The scenic area, standing 3 kilometers to the north of Quanzhou as a natural defense, is made up of the mountains Qingyuan, Jiuri, and Lingshan. It is known for its 36 exotic rocks and limpidsprings. Of the 18 best scenic spots, the most famous include the Laojun Rock at the foot of Mountain Qingyuan and the Holy Islamic Tombs at the southern foot of Mountain Lingshan.
The 5-meter-high Laojun Rock is the biggest stone statue ofLao Zi, the founder and Saint of Taoism. The sitting statue was carved out of a natural rock duirng the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Lao Zi's left hand rests on his lap, and his right hand, on a small table. His ears reach the shoulder, white beard floats in the air, and face beams with happiness and kindness.This statue is the biggest extant stone sculpture of Lao-tzu measuring 5 meters (16 feet) high and 8 meters (26 feet) wide.
The figure has become a symbol of health and longevity. As the saying goes in Quanzhou, "Touch the nose of the Stone Old Saint, and you'll live up to 120 years old," which entices many tourists to have a try.
The two Holy Islamic Tombs are where the third and fourth disciples of the Islamic prophet Mohammed -- who traveled with difficulties to Quanzhou across the vast ocean to preach -- were buried after death. Their tombs are the oldest and best-preserved Islamic holy resting places in China. In the shape of a crescent, the winding stone corridor at the holy tombs signifies the purity and holiness of the disciples.
The Statues of the Three Buddhas (Tibetan Buddhism) stand in the Bixiao Grotto on Mt. Qingyuan. They were built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The three Buddhas are set in a rectangular niche and each sits on a lotus flower throne. In the middle is Sakyamuni with his right hand touching the ground. On the left is Dipamkarara who has an alms bowl in his left hand. On the right is Maitreya who sits in meditation. All three Buddhas exemplify the fine carving skills of Yuan Dynasty artisans.
The Islamic Holy Tombs on Mt. Ling is the best preserved and the oldest existing Islamic site in China. The two tombs were built for two famous disciples of Muhammad (about 570-632), the founder of Islamism. Both of the covers of the tombs are sculpted in granite. In front of the tombs is a huge stone that wobbles when the wind blows or when people push it slightly. There are U-shaped cloisters about 3 meters (10 feet) high at the rear of the tombs. Here one can see five steles and several prism-like stone columns reflecting the style of the Tang Dynasty. Among the steles, one is made from dolerite and it records the coming of the two disciples to China.
Mt. Jiuri is celebrated for its many stone inscriptions and the most well known is the Qi Feng Inscriptions of the Song Dynasty. Qi Feng means 'praying for propitious wind'. In ancient times, people often held a ceremony praying for favorable winds prior to sailing. These inscriptions recorded those ceremonies held from 1174 to 1265. The inscriptions remain important relics of ancient Quanzhou's nautical history.
Laojun and Ci'en Grottos, Qingyuan Cave and Huru Spring are other beautiful and popular attractions in this scenic area.
The mountain has gathered rock calligraphies of Taoism, Confucius, Buddhism, Muslim, Muni, as well as many fine calligraphy since Tang and Song Dynasties, hence the name of "Museum of Stone Carving".
||CNY 50 (including Laojun Grotto, Ci'en Grotto and the main scenic area)|
CNY 30 (the main scenic area)
CNY 15 (Laojun Grotto)
CNY 10 (Ci'en Grotto)
||3, 15, 28, 30, 601|