Wudang Mountain is a serene sanctuary hidden in northwest Hubei Province. It borders Xiangfan city, a famous cultural and historical city to the east, and faces the massive Danjiangkou Reservoir. Behind it is the Shennongjia Virgin Forest Zone.
Wudang Mountain is one of the world cultural heritages issued by UNESCO. This famous Taoism Mountain is the cradle of Wudang Boxing. Its main peak, Tainzhu Peak, towers at an altitude of 1612 meters.
Blessed with abundant rain and sunshine (the annual rainfall ranges from 900 to 1200 millimeters), Wudang Mountain is heavily forested. Summer marks the rainy season. Be aware that it is one of the storm centers in Hubei Province.
Wudang Mountain is an open-air botanic garden and zoo. It spots myriad subtropical plants, over 400 kinds of herb plants like stramonium flowers and trees including pine trees and birches. Poets also compare it as a fantastic bonsai. In around 30 kilometers, there are 72 peaks, 36 rocks, 24 gullies, 11 caves, 3 ponds, 9 springs, 10 pools and 9 wells.
Xu Xiake, a famous Ming-dynasty travel expert and geographer, was so enamored by this place that he composed many books on it.
A galaxy of magnificent Daoism architectural complexes and well-preserved cultural relics litter its valleys and summits. During the Ming Dynasty, 33 grand architectural complexes, 39 bridges and 12 pavilions and halls stood.
At its peak, it spans over 1600,000 square meters and boasts 20,000 rooms extending over 70 kilometers. The well-preserved buildings include: Xuanwumen, Yuzhengong, Mozhenjing and Zixiaogong.
At the peak of Tianzhu summit stands the 90-ton Golden Palace, the largest bronze building in modern China.
(1) A timeless spiritual Sanctuary
The heavenly Wudang Mountain is the cultivation center of Zhenwudadi, who is an authoritative immortal in Chinese legend. Since the remote antiquity, emperors, officials, poets and monks had frequented this Mecca. Yinxi in the East Zhou Dynasty, Tao Hongjing, a famous Taoist in the Jin dynasty, Sun Simiao, the medicine master in the Tang Dynasty, Lv Dongbing, one of the eight immortals in folklores, all chose Wudang Mountain as their cultivation home.
(2) Its heavenly and divine.Taoism music
(3) Wudang Kungfu
Wudang Kung Fu rivals Shaolin Kungfu in fame and importance. Wudang School is one of famous Kungfu centers in China. A sayings goes like this: “learning Shaolin Kungfu in north China and Wudang Kungfu in south China”. Rumors had it that the Taoist monks in Wudang Mountain, who usually wear green or white ferment, can fly over steep cliffs, or 5m-high walls or eaves like cranes.
Wudang Kungfu is distinguished by its fluid movements and elegant gestures, just like the saying goes: “floating like cloud, they are flying like crane, and moving like cloud, running like wind and staying like stone.” Shaolin Kungfu, however, is characterized of its hardness and the use of swords and knives. The biggest mystery of Shaolin Kungfu is other sharp weapons can’t hurt the Shao-Lin Kungfu exercisers at all, which is proofed in many Kungfu Shows.
(4) The birthplace of Taichiquan
As we know, the shadow boxing or Taijiquan is invented in Wudang Mountain by a century-old Kungfu master, Zhang Sanfeng, which currently is extremely famous worldwide.
The best time for travel in Wudangshan Mountain is spring and autumn.
What to eat: The dishes of Wudangshan Mountain belong to Sichuan Cuisine or Hubei Cuisine, which is one of the seven cuisines in China. In addition, the delicious Taoism cuisine is not to be missed.
What to Buy: The local handicrafts such as dragon-head stick, jade carving, woodcarving, chinaware are very unique. The famous local tea is Zhengjing tea.
Wudang Mountain Temple Fair: it occurs in March 3 (lunar month, April 2, 2014)
Activities: Wudang Mountain Temple Fair integrates Taoist culture, Wudang Kungfu culture and local folklores. It is the birthday of the Taoist God. Hence you can puzzle over the peculiar and grand worship ritual.
Wudang Religious Festival
Sep 9(lunar month): It is the day the Taoist God Zhenwu gained nirvana. It offers perfect chance to enjoy Taoist music and rituals. Kungfu show, lion dance are performed.
Wudang Mountain International Tourism Festival: each autumn. It involves singing and dancing, relic exhibition, Taoist ritual anad folklore performances. It offers rare insight into Wudang folklore cultlure.
Dos and Don’ts
(1) don’t point at the Buddha statues no matter how marvelous they are. Do not facing the statues with your back, don’t step on the doorsills and speak aloud.
(2)do not ask the Taoist’s age, it is a taboo.
(3) when you plan to pay tribute to the god, please keep calm and silent. The megrante, plum, the colorful flowers, chicken and dog and so on are forbidden to be the tributes. Before your visit, please do not eat goose, tortoise, beef, dog meat, pork, onion, leek, garlic and ginger. No smoking.
Author: David Posted on Jun1, 2009
Last edited by Sophia on Feb 13,2014
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