Mount Qingcheng is a mountain in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China. It is amongst the most important centres of Taoism (Daoism) in China. In Taoism mythology, it was the site of the Yellow Emperor's studies with Ning Fengzhi. As a centre of the Daoist religion it became host to many temples. The mountain has 36 peaks.
Mount Qingcheng is one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China. The mountain complex is home to both many Taoist and Buddhist temples and sites along the paths that wind up to its peaks. The area is snow-free all year round and is known for its peaceful quiet (this of course excludes the Chinese tourists that flock there on major holidays and the incessantly loud blasts of bus horns along major roadsides). The back entrance to the mountain is much less touristy and much more quiet and should be visited first by those who have hiking as their priority. It contains many links to over 80km worth of very green and lush hiking paths including a few small chairlifts.
Description by UNESCO
Mount Qingcheng, dominating the Chengdu plains to the south of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, is a mountain famous in Chinese history as the place where in 142 CE the philosopher Zhang Ling founded the doctrine of Chinese Taoism. Most of the essential elements of Taoism culture are embodied in the teachings of Taoism that emanated from the temples that were subsequently built on the mountain during the Jin and Tang dynasties. The mountain resumed its role as the intellectual and spiritual centre of Taoism in the 17th century. The eleven important Taoist temples on the mountain reflect the traditional architecture of western Sichuan and include the Erwang Temple, the Fulong Temple, the Changdao Temple built over the place where Zhang Ling preached his doctrines, and the Jianfu Palace (formerly the Zhangren Temple).
Features of Mount Qingcheng
Located in Sichuan Province, southwest China, Qingcheng Mountain is one of the birthplaces of the Taoist religion. With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism, it exudes a strong flavor of Taoist culture and the buildings demonstrate the Sichuan style of architecture.
Large stone inscriptions by Huang Yunhu of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) are prominent on the mountain, reading "the fifth famous mountain under the sun", and the first peak in Qingcheng Mountain". A 2.9-m-high and 4.5-ton statue of Li Bing, made 1,800 years ago, the first altorilievo stone sculpture in Chinese history, is now on display in a hall on the mountain after its excavation from a riverbed in 1974. Inscriptions recording water management methods, maps of Dujiangyan made in the Qing Dynasty and testimonials to Li Bing and his son are also on display, side by side with precious art works by several famous modern painters such as Xu Beihong, Zhang Daqian and Guan Shanyue.
Qingcheng Mountain is a representative site of Taoist culture. Major religious sites here include the Natural Picture (a building complex immersed in Nature), the Jianfu Palace, the Tianshi Cave, the Zushi Palace, and the Shangqing Palace. All structures are shaded by dense woods and embraced by nature.
The Jianfu Palace, with extraordinary bearing, stands against the barranca under the Zhangren Peak. It was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and repaired for several times in the successive dynasties, now only two halls and three compounds are preserved.
The Tianshi Cave, perching on a cliff with only a small path leading to its entrance, houses statues of Fuxi, Shennong and Xuanyuan (three legendary primeval kings of the Han people) on its main altar, made in the Tang Dynasty. The palace contains wood and stone tablets of past dynasties. The most famous include the Tang Xuanzong's imperial decree and Yuefei's handwriting of Zhu Geliang's Chushibiao, etc.
The Zushi Palace is also named Zhenwu Palace. It was built in the Tang Dynasty, with murals of the Eight Immortals and inscriptions left by famous writers through the dynasties in the main hall.
The Shangqing Palace situates on the peak at an elevation of 1,600 meters. The Shangqing Palace was first built in the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and the extant temple was built during the reign of Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty. Besides a woodcut edition ofDao De Jing, there are two wells in the palace; one is called Mandarin-duck Well, the other Fairy Magu Pond. It is the best place to appreciate the three famous scene of Qingcheng Mountain -- Sunrising, Cloud Sea, and Holy Lights.
The Natural Picture is a building complex made of wood. Lying in the arms of high mountains and steep cliffs, it presents a lush and primitive view of forests and pure sky. The neighboring Crane-dwelling Village adds even more colors to the picture when the white cranes cruise gracefully among the mountain peaks.