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The Four Sacred Mountains Of Taoism In China

Four mountains in China are regarded as sacred by the followers of Taoism.

1. Wudang Mountains -

The Wudang Mountains is a mountain range located in China’s Hubei province. It is closely associated with Taoism, a major indigenous religion of China. The mountain serves as an important venue for the practice of Taichi, an ancient form of martial arts advocated by Taoism. Numerous temples and monasteries related to Taoism are also present here. The Five Dragons Temple was the first temple to be built in the Wudang Mountains during the rule of Emperor Taizong of Tang. Numerous other temples were built over the centuries during the rule of the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. Although many of these temples have failed to survive the test of time, many more still remain erect on the mountain face today. The oldest among these temples is the Ancient Bronze Shrine and the Golden Hall which were constructed at the beginning of the 14th century. Other notable historical structures on the Wudang Mountains include the Purple Cloud Temple, Nanyang Palace, the stonewalled Forbidden City, and several monasteries.

2. Mount Longhu -

Mount Longhu, one of the four sacred mountains of Taoism, is located in the Guixi County of China’s Jiangxi province. The mountain offers scenic views that have inspired many ancient poems and attracted visitors to the mountain since ages. Mount Longhu has also inspired numerous fables and legends that are narrated to tourists visiting the mountain. The mountain is also closely linked with Taoism, serving as the location of many Taoist relics, temples, and monasteries. As per local records, it once hosted 36 temples, 81 monasteries, and 10 palaces associated with Taoism. Although many fell to ruins or were destroyed by fires over the years, some like the Heavenly Master's Mansion, are well-preserved even to this date. Believers of Taoism flock to Mount Longhu each year to take part in the numerous religious observances and rites related to Taoism.

3. Mount Qiyun -

Mount Qiyun, located in the Xiuning County of China’s Anhui province, is well regarded by the followers of Taoism. The highest point of the mountain is at an elevation of 1,919 ft. The mountain is also a national park that is well-known for its natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural values. Several temples and monasteries (about 33) advocating the spread of Taoist principles are located here. The mountain also houses a large number of caves some of which are held sacred and enshrine statues of religious significance. The waterfalls, clear water pools, uniquely shaped rocks, and greenery of the mountain are features that help complement the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the area. Several inscriptions and tablets of historical and cultural value are also located on the mountain.

4. Mount Qingcheng -

The Mount Qingcheng is another one of the four mountains in China that are held sacred by the Taoists. The mountain is located in Dujiangyan in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Mount Qingcheng is the site where Zhang Ling, a Chinese philosopher, founded the doctrine of Taoism in 142 CE. Thus, the mountain occupies a very significant position in Chinese history and culture and acts as Taoism’s intellectual and spiritual core. During the rule of the Jin and Tang dynasties, numerous temples were established on the mountain. These temples served as a base of Taoist education for centuries. It is from here that the important teachings of Taoism were emanated to the rest of China which then led to the evolution of the Taoist culture. These temples also reflect the traditional architecture of the Sichuan region.

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