Mount Qiyun, situated in Xiuning County, 33 kilometers from the west of Huangshan city, Anhui Province, was called Baiyue in ancient times. Mount Qiyun gains the present name in Ming Dynasty because of its peak “thrusts into the sky with one rock and is as high as the clouds”. It is a scenic area of mountain with the characteristics of Taoist culture and red morning/evening glow. Mount Qiyun was listed as a cultural relics site under the provincial protection in 1981, and listed by the State Council in 1994 as one of the relics sites under the national protection.
The scenic spot of Mount Qiyun covers a total area of 110.4 square kilometers and the natural protected area is about 150 square kilometers, which belongs to the low-mountain scenic spots and its highest altitude is 585 meters. It governs four scenic spots such as Yuehua Lou, Luo Shang Lou, Yunyan Lake, and Hengjiang, which has 36 strange peaks, 44 grotesque rocks, 18 quiet caves, 27 caves with flying springs, 14 ponds, 16 pavilions, 537 inscriptions, 3 stone houses, 5 stone bridges and 33 temples. And there are many rolling mountains, towering cliffs, flying clouds, flowing springs, sea of clouds and Buddha light; the four seasons are changeable and very beautiful. There are many caves, streams, ponds and springs all over the place. The geological structure of the whole mountain is layered sandstone, red like cinnabar and bright like rosy clouds, which is a typical “Danxia landform”. While Baiyue Mountain, Qiyun Rock, Dusong Rock, Zixiao Rock and so on are very famous scenic spots, where there are many strange mountains, grotesque rocks, beautiful water and quiet caves. Through the ages, refined scholars who came to climb Mount Qiyun such as Zhu Xi, Tong Pak Fu, Xu Xiake, Zeng Guofan, and Yu Dafu left beautiful poems and famous works in Mount Qiyun, some of which are carved in the Danya cliff and others are monumentalized in caves. Shimen Temple in the mountains was magnificent and built in the fourth year of Yuanhe, Tang Dynasty, where there are thousands of Buddhist statues, Taoist paintings, and various inscriptions in the past dynasties. Among them, the famous steles were written by Tang Bohu in the Ming Dynasty.
Qiyun Mountain, together with Longhu Mountain in Jiangxi, Wudang Mountain in Wuhan and Heming Mountain in Sichuan, is also called the holy land of China’s four major religions. And Mount Qiyun has 1200 years’ history for Taoist, whose Taoist activities started from Qianyuan period of Tang dynasty and whose Taoist culture has been affecting East and Southeast Asian countries. Today, there are 108 palaces, halls, courtyards, altars and pavilions, 27 Taoist temples and 12 Taoist houses. Thousands of Taoist paintings, cliff inscriptions and inscriptions are left on Mount Qiyun, and almost everywhere. It was praised by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty as “the scenic spot second to none and the best-known mountain in the regions south of the Yangtze River”. In history, Mount Qiyun, together with Huangshan Mountain and Baiyue Mountain are both called as “Mount Hang and Baiyue are the most beautiful in the regions south of the Yangtze River”.
Mount Qiyan is rich in local specialty resources and the types are up to hundreds. Among these, the well-known “Baiyue Huangya” is a famous tea produced here, which smells like orchid when it is made with water, and it has characteristics of “Fresh, Pure, Strong and Sweet”. Besides, there are some rare animals, such as “Harp frog” and “Oriental newt”. As a gift, bamboo shoots of Mount Qiyun went to Beijing to participate in the local products exhibition of National day’s 10th anniversary. In recent years, the mushroom, abalone mushroom, mushroom and stone chicken produced here have become the main raw materials for making the famous Hui cuisine in Anhui province, and they are well-known delicacies.