is famous for its perfect combination of natural and cultural scenery. It is also renowned for its magnificent ancient buildings, profound traditional Taoist culture and Wudang kungfu.
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Zi Xiao Gong - Purple Clouds Palace
Zi Xiao Gong is the biggest Palace in Wudangshan.
Purple Clouds Palace is where the Wudang Taoist prayed for the imperial family. The Grand Hall inside Purple Clouds Palace is the only left double-eaves, lean-to wooden building. It is one of the rare examples of uplift wooden crossbeam construction in the history of the Taoist architecture.
The big Chinese characters on the lintel of the palace door have vigorous strokes. The four characters on the right horizontal board read xie zang zhong tian, and the characters on the middle one read shi pan liu tian. The words mean that the Zhenwu god, once was the ruler of Middle Heaven, stamped out the demons and brought peace in the Heavenly Palace. And the four characters on the left board read yun wai qing du, referring to the peaceful residence of immortals, which reflects the Taoist ideology of holding themselves apart from the world.
Nanyan - Southern Cliff
The South Crag is named after the fact that it faces the south. Taoism views it as the holy land where the Zhenwu God, the Taoist god of Wudang Mountain, ascends to the heaven. Here there are beautiful peaks and cliffs and a thick forest facing the gully. It’s quite impressive among the 36 crags in Wudang Mountain for its tranquil and spectacular surroundings.
Built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), South Crag was renovated and expanded during later dynasties. The buildings of South Crag break free from the traditional layout to create a pattern of architecture more in harmony with the environment. Craftsmen made use of the terrain to form the well-proportioned architecture complexes.
Taizipo - Prince Slope
The Prince Slope Architectural Complex was meticulously designed in accordance with the legend of the god of Zhenwu, the prince of Jingle Kingdom, who wanted to ascend to heaven. According to the legend, Zhenwu ran away from his kingdom to Wudang Mountain when he was 15 years old. He wished to learn Daoism and become an immortal. So this is one of the places where Zhenwu was refining himself, according to Taoist doctrine.
The buildings here were put up in 1412 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the temple here was destroyed three times in fire and rebuilt three times.
Jin Ding - Golden Top
The Golden Hall in Wudang Mountain is at the top of Tianzhu Peak, which is 1,612 meters above sea level. The construction of the palace was started in 1416 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and it features the largest extant brass cast building in China.
Despite more than 500 years of natural erosion and occasional extreme weather, the palace is still in splendid condition. It is considered a pearl in the history of ancient architecture and casting technology in China.
In the center is enshrined the God Zhenwu, the Daoist god of Wudang Mountain.
From Golden Hall, mountains green with forests can be seen. The Danjiang Reservoir appears to be as smooth as a mirror. The Taihe, Nanyan and Wulong palaces are positioned in order with a compact layout. Watching the sunrise in the morning and enjoying seas of clouds in the evening is like visiting a fairyland.
Wulong Gong - Five Dagon Palace
The Five-Dragon Palace. Looking around, everything is green. The mountain streams flow in the valley like sea or thunder. Isolated from the outside world, it's an ideal place to self-cultivate.
Visitors can't help being surprised by the stable belief and lasting willpower of former Taoists and hermits.
Xiao Yao Gu - Carefree Valley
About 10 minutes down the road from Taizi Po, the Carefree Valley is an extremely scenic area with enough hiking to keep you busy for a full day. Though the main activity here is hiking, if you cross the river and head over to the plain-looking stage area, you can catch kung-fu shows at 10am and 4pm.
To the left of the stage is a small lake with a tea house built over it which is accessible by docks. The docks periodically hiss steam, remnants of bygone glory days when the tea house was a film set.
Cross the river again and you'll come to a little plaza where monkeys often converge to beg, or harass, people for snacks. This is your last chance to buy water before fully commiting to the trails.
After that, it'll be you and the valley. Even during busy national holidays, you won't likely see many people on the trail so you'll have all the petroglyphs, abandoned cliff temples, river rapids, snakes, frogs and crabs (the last two you'll see in abundance) all to yourself.
You can hike all the way to the Golden Palace Cable Car Station if you want, though it'll take you two to four hours, depending on your pace