Mount Potalaka (traditional Chinese: 補陀落山; simplified Chinese: 补陀落山; pinyin: Bǔtuóluò Shān, Japanese: Fudaraku-san), which means "Brilliance", is the mythical dwelling of the Buddhist bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, said to exist in the seas south of India.
The Japanese scholar Shu Hikosaka, on the basis of his study of Buddhist scriptures, ancient Tamil literary sources, as well as field survey, proposes the hypothesis that, the ancient mount Potalaka, the residence of Avalokiteśvara described in the Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra and Xuanzang’s Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, is the real mountain Potikai or Potiyil situated at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
With the spread of Buddhism in the region beginning at the time of the great king Aśoka in the third century BCE, it became a holy place also for Buddhists who gradually became dominant as a number of their hermits settled there.
Later Japanese Buddhists, such as the Japanese Yogacara monk Jōkei, espoused aspiring rebirth on Mount Potalaka as an easier way to attain progress on the Buddhist path than the more well-known pure land of Amitābha.
Places named after Mount Potalaka include:
see also: P'u-t'o