Wudang Mountain, in the northwest of Hubei province, is perhaps the best known of China's Taoist holy mountains. It was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994.It is a national AAAAA tourist attraction.
The mountain has several main tourist attractions, covering an area of 300 square kilometers. From afar, the scenery resembles a beautiful, traditional Chinese landscape painting.
Wudang Mountain 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.
Wudang Mountain is beautiful all year round. In spring, the area is filled with flowers; in summer, the mist envelops; in autumn, oranges turn yellow and the smell of sweet-scented osmanthus fills the air; in winter, heavy snow covers the mountain like a white blanket.
Tianzhu Peak, the main peak, which is 1,612 m above sea level, is just like a column supporting the sky. Around Tianzhu are 72 peaks, 36 rocky cliffs, 24 streams, three pools, nine springs and 10 lakes.
Wudang Mountain has rich plant resources. About 600 of the 1,800 medicinal herbs recorded in "Compendium of Materia Medica" compiled by Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) scientist Li Shizhen can be found in the area.
Ancient building complex
A sprawling ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountain was founded in the heyday of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), but reached its zenith during the Ming Dynasty, when Emperor Zhudi sent some 300,000 workers in 1412 who spent 12 years to finish the sacred site.
The impetus for such imperial glamour originated in legends that say the prince of Pure Pleasure State came to Wudang Mountain to nurture his will and power. He has been worshipped ever since. Most of the buildings contain stories about him, including Pure Pleasure Palace built in the ancient city of Junzhou.
The buildings are located in a 70-km-long area from the Pure Pleasure Palace in the ancient city of Junzhou to the Golden Hall at the top of Tianzhu Peak.
At present, the well-preserved buildings include Xuanyue Archway, Yuanhe Taoist Temple, Yuzhen Palace, Yuxu Palace, Fuzhen Taoist Temple, Zixiao Palace, Taihe Palace and Golden Hall. The Golden Hall, situated on top of Tianzhu Peak and built in 1416, is the most famous of the buildings.
The complex was designed to fit the Taoist principle of harmony between man and nature. Its buildings are cited as a museum of ancient Chinese design and thought. A thousand years of lightning, storms and winds only make them more magnificent.
The buildings have won wide acclaim in architectural circles. Two United Nations experts wrote that they think the Wudang Mountains are among the beautiful places on earth due to its exquisite architectural design.
Tickets for the Wudang Mountain Tourism Area
①The tickets for the entire scenic area (excluding Purple Heaven Palace and Golden Summit) cost 243 yuan, which includes the entrance ticket 140 yuan, Wudang Mountain Scenic Area tourist bus tickets 100 yuan and insurance 3 yuan.
②Tickets for the Purple Heaven Palace and the Golden Summit are 15 yuan and 20 yuan, respectively.?
③Tickets for round-trip cableway are 170 yuan in peak season(90 yuan for the ride up, 80 yuan for the trip down) and 130 yuan in off-season(70 yuan for the ride up, 60 yuan for the trip down).
How to get there
By train: Take a train from Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Wuhan, or some other cities and get off at Wudangshan Station. Transfer to intercity bus no. 202 or 203 to the scenic area directly.
The Wahan-Shiyan expressway connects Wudang Mountain with Wuhan and the Xiangfan-Jingzhou expressway which reaches Wudang Mountain, Xiangfan and Jingzhou, and both run to the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta.
The Fuzhou-Yinchuan expressway reaches Wudang Mountain and Xi'an and national roads 316 and 209 both pass through Wudang Mountain, with long-distance buses coming ten times a day.
There are three tourist roads on Wudang Mountain: one from the entrance to the Crow Ridge, about 25.05 kilometers long, and passing through scenic sites such as Hui Long Temple, Needle-Grinding Well, Guan Di Temple, Lao Jun Temple, Prince Slope, Dragon Spring Temple, Tian Jing Bridge, Wealth God Temple, Wei Lie Temple, Purple Heaven Palace and the South Crag Palace; a second is from the entrance to Er Ya Zi, Lao Jun Tang, ending at the Middle Temple of Qiong Tai; the third runs from Hao Kou in Liu Li Ping Village to Five Dragon Palace.
By air: Tourists can fly to Wudangshan Airport from Xi'an, Tianjin, Kunming, Wuhan and Hangzhou and then take a taxi to reach the mountain at a cost of CNY60-80.