China Tour Guide : World's Window To China — Travel E-Online

Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain,also called Taihe Mountain,is a well-known sacred mountain to Taoists in China. It stands aloft in Danjiangkou,Shiyan City,Hubei Province,overlooking the vast water of Danjiangkou Reservoir in the front,and joining Shennongjia Forest Reserve at the back,covering an area of about 400 square kilometers. The highest peak is the Heavenly Pillar Peak,rises 1 612 meters above the sea level.Around it there are altogether 72 peaks,24 streams,11 caverns,3 ponds,9 springs,10 pools,9 wells,and 9 terraces,to form this beautiful and grand view of Wudang Mountain.

The large scale of its architectural complex was planned by the emperor himself,and the construction was supervised by imperial officials specially assigned for the project. The sites of the buildings were decided by gemancy experts,and the master craftsmen of the nation were summoned for the construction under the supervision of the minister of construction.Therefore the complex is grand and imperial,brilliant and glorious,with features that none is to match.With its 8 main palaces around the center Golden Summit,the complex as a whole looks with the majesty of a royal architecture of religion.

The most distinguishing feature of Mount Wudang is the large Taoist architectural complex. Making full use of the terrain featuring towering mountains and deep valleys,more than 20 000 rooms were built in spots where they most harmoniously blended with the nearby woods ,rocks and streams so that the man-built structures and natural elements complimented each other. That is also the “oneness of heaven and man” and the “way of nature” Taoism pursues.The Gold Hall,built in 1416 on the top of the Heavenly Pillar Peak,is the largest copper structure existing in the country. It is 5 .54 meters tall and 5.8 meters wide. The walls were cast separately,but precisely and well knit. All the statues of god and sacrificial vessels are made of copper. Although 500 odd years have past,they still glitter as before.

The complex consists of buildings of three dynasties,Yuan,Ming ,and Qing,but those preserved to the present are mostly built in Ming Dynasty. Specifically,the survived buildings mainly include the four palaces of Taihe Palace,South Peak Palace,Purple Firmament Palace,and Sage Encounter Palace,the remains of Jade Heaven Palace and Five Dragons Palace, as well as Yuanhe Temple,Revelation Temple and numbers of nunneries,shrines .and cave temples,altogether over 200 in number,with a total building floor of about 50 000 square meters on an area of about 1 000 000 square meters.

The religious relics kept in the palaces and temples also enjoy a fame far and wide. There are 1 486 statues of bronze,iron,wood,or stone,nearly 1 000 of which were made before Ming Dynasty. There are 409 sites of cliff face inscriptions carved in Song,Yuan,Ming,and Qing Dynasties. And 682 pieces of religious tools or ceremonial appliances as well as various Taoism paintings and classics. All these beautiful artifacts,tens of thousands in number,constitute the most charming scenes of human culture. In addition,Wudang Mountain is also the cradle of the Wudang Kung Fu,a martial art from Wudang Taoism that is one of the main schools of Chinese martial art.

In 1994,the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO inscribed the building groups of Wudang Mountain into World Heritage List as a cultural heritage of the whole world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *