Wudang Mountain (Chinese: 武当山; pinyin: Wǔdāng Shān) is the cradle of Wudang Kung Fu or Wudang Internal martial arts, also Wudang Mountain has long been the Taoist Holy Land in China and the No. 1 Taoist Mountain in China. Wudang Mountain is located in Shiyan City, Hubei Province, It is a world-famous ancient building complex, which fully demonstrates human wisdom and efforts and the beauty of architecture. Wudang Mountain is one of the ‘Top 10 Chinese Tourist Areas Favored by Europeans’.
Wudang Daoist Culture
For thousands of years, the Wudang Taoism has always been a key school of Chinese Taoism, and has the same religious doctrine and dogmata with Chinese Taoism. This religion put emphasis on the faithful filial piety ethics and the harmonious combination of three religions, namely the Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Besides, Wudang Mountain is preferred for its Wudang martial arts. The famous Tai Chi also called shadowboxing, Eight Diagram Palm, Xing Yi Quan, etc. were originated there. Therefore, so many martial arts likers visit Mount Wudang from different countries and regions to feel its charm and the benefits to their bodies and minds.
History of Mount Wudang
Wudang Mountain has already been an important site for religious activities from the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) to the end of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) in ancient China. During the reign of Emperor Tang Taizong (627-649 AD), the Wulong Shrine (Five Dragon Palace) was constructed under order. And in later periods, as Taoism developed prosperously, this mountain gradually got its reputation among people under the praise of the emperors and was regarded as the No. 1 Famous Taoist Mountain in Ming Dynasty and the royal temple for the emperor and his family, since which it became the largest Taoist rite nationwide. Under the imperial order of Emperor Zhu Di in Ming Dynasty, Wudang Mountain began its expansion. 33 architectural complexes including 9 palaces, 8 temples, 36 abbeys, 72 rock temples, 39 bridges, 12 pavilions were completed during 12 years.
Natural Sceneries of Wudang Mountain
Wudang Mountain as a World Natural Heritage site is beautiful as a fairyland, characteristic in mystery and intangibility. There you could see the 72 uprising peaks with lush old trees, 24 turbulent ravines, 10 strange stones and 9 platforms. The peaks stand irregularly but elegant, and you would be amazed at the so excellent skill of nature. Besides, Wudang Mountain is surrounded by clouds frequently, so there you could see different views due to the changeable weather. The spring flowers emitting refreshing fragrance, summer emerald forest and cool crystal clear spring for retreating from the summer heat, autumn red leaves decorating all over the mountain like a brightly costumed performer, winter white snow highlighting the tranquility and solemnity of Wudang Mountain, endless sea of clouds soft like marshmallow, brilliant sunrise and sunset with the splendid colorful clouds surrounded by, romantic night sky full of stars, exciting thunders and lightings with the mysterious flame before the heavy rain, and so forth. The whole Wudang Mountain is like a magical box to offer much natural sightseeing for you from the whole universe.
Ancient Building Complex In Wudang Mountain
In 1994, Wudang Mountain was listed as “World Natural and Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO. Wudang Mountain has thousands of ancient buildings of high artistic beauty, royal magnificence, brilliant design of strength, and the praised respect and balance with nature. You could visit Prince Slope/太子破, Purple Cloud Temple/紫霄宫, Nanyan Temple/南岩宫, Golden Palace/金顶 and many other constructions in Wudang Mountain to know more about the perfect combination of architecture, Taoism, landscape, folk culture and imperial charm together.
Prince Slope / 太子破
Prince Slope (Chinese: 太子坡; pinyin: Tàizǐ Pō) or Fuzhen Guan (复真观) was built in 1,412 AD under the order of Ming emperor Zhu Di and later repaired three times in Qing dynasty. At present, 105 rooms remain covering 1600 square meters. According to the legend, the prince of Jingle State came to Wudang Mountain to cultivate himself and lived there on the slope, so it was called Taizi Po.
Prince Slope leaning the Lion Mountain, facing deep valley, near natural pool, Prince Slope looks beautiful but mysterious from afar. The winding red wall covered with green tiles climb along the rocky road up to the higher place, like rolling waves. You could walk there to feel the majesty of the royal styled architecture. Besides, in the Five Clouds Pavilion, there are 12 girders that are put on only 1 beam in the middle part. For hundreds of years, this pavilion still stands so steady, which is a big creation of Chinese history of ancient architecture on mechanics and a famous human landscape in Wudang Mountain.
Purple Cloud Temple / 紫霄宫
Purple Cloud Temple (Chinese: 紫霄宮; pinyin: Zǐxiāo Gōng) or Zixiao Palace is one of the best preserved palaces on Wudang Mountain, standing on Zhanqi Peak, and was first built during 1,119-1,125 AD. For several times of repairmen, the whole palace building group remains its original appearance. And till now, there are 182 rooms. Looking from the axle wire, the constructions locate there symmetrically along the mountain, splendid and gorgeous. In Wudang Mountain, you could find a lot of worth-seeing items that please your eyes and also are filled with the outstanding skills of ancient Chinese people. In the Purple Cloud Temple, there are not only countless carvings and paintings of dragon, phoenix, sun, moon, clouds, thunders, sea, sky, birds and beasts, floras and plants, but also statues of Taoist immortals, which are full of colors and lifelike vigor.
Nanyan Temple / 南岩宫
Nanyan Temple (Chinese: 南岩宮; pinyin: Nányán Gōng) or Nanyan Palace was first built in Yuan Dynasty and rebuilt in 1,413 on Wudang Mountain. Later, the whole temple building group was expanded into 460 rooms during Qing dynasty and presented a new look in 1,862 with lots of temples. At present the whole construction and site covers about 61,187 square meters wide.
Nanyan Temple is the most beautiful among all the 36 Rocks in Wudang Mountain. Passing the Liangyi Temple, you could see the famous “leading incense” at the “dragon head” reaching in the air. When you walk in Nanyan Temple, you could see four red Chinese characters on the cliff, which are “longevity (寿)”, “fortune (福)”, “health (康)”, and “peace (宁)”. Although those four words are so simple, they express the fair wishes of people on earth, which indicates the theory of Taoism not only in the cultivation of oneself but also on the best wishes to the world.
Golden Palace / 金顶
Golden Palace (Chinese: 金顶; pinyin: Jīn Dǐng) or Golden Peak (金殿) on Wudang Mountain is also named Taihe Palace (太和宫) which means Palace of Harmony, and is located on the highest peak in Wudang mountain, Tianzhu Peak which is about 1,613 meters high. This sacred place in Wudang Mountain is the soul and symbol of Wudang Mountain, so it is the must-visit place for visitors and pilgrims reaching there. And it is commonly said that one really visit Wudang Mountain only if stepping in the Palace of Harmony. Built about 600 years ago under the order of Ming Emperor Zhu Di who stressed the respect to nature without any change of the mountain itself, Golden Palace was featured with royal magnificent charm and looked authentically harmonious with nature. With the impressive natural sea of clouds, sunrise and sunset, lush forests and rocks, the Palace of Harmony is like a heaven on earth. Moreover, with so many compliments, Wudang Mountain has attracted groups of specialists to feel its buildings, and they from fields of World Heritage Site, chroreutics, and architecture all marveled at Palace of Harmony and praised it as an excellent work never seen before.
Wudang Mountain Kung Fu School is located at the Chun Yang Temple, In fine weather, you can training in the temple every day and feel the charm of Wudang Kung Fu in the ancient buildings.
Apart from the above top ancient building complexes in Wudang Mountain, there are also other temples, palaces, and so on deserve your visit, such as Qiong Tai Temple, Yuxu Temple, Five Dragon Temple, Jingle Temple, Yuzhen Temple, and so forth.