WUDANG MOUNTAINS

Supreme Harmony Palace

 Wudang Mountains is located in central China's Hubei Province. The Chinese Charaters for Wudang Shan are 武当山,Shan for mountain. For hundreds of years, Mt. Wudang has been regarded as a fairy mountain, a sacred land for Chinese Taoism (Daoism).After the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, people from home and abroad have been more and more appealed by the charm of this mystical mountain. Read one part of Wudang Culture expert Mr Gu Shiyi 's letter to know more:

  I totally agree with your idea. Mt Wudang is truly a fascinating place to visit. IT's not just its scenery – there are other places which have more beautiful nature; it's not because of it's ancient architecture – there are Summer palace and forbidden city and Ping Yao Ancient City; it's not because of the Wudang wushu – there is Shaolin which has been quite earlier known to the world…

  BUT Wudang has all these elements! In another word, there is not any other place like Mt Wudang that has so many Chinese cultural elements so perfectly combined together! To feel the charm of the Chinese culture, to have a feeling of a real Middle Kingdom (the Chinese for China is Zhong Guo, zhong for middle and guo for country or kingdom), just come to central China's Wudang Mountains. Naturally, this can be a best place for your base for conducting the cultural exchange between USA and CHINA, the most vigorous countries in today's world.

  The two nations, like the remainging of the world, still face some challenge. In my view, there is a way for the human being to make a better living. This way lies in the great book of the ancinet Chinese sage, Lao Zi. The book, as well known, is called Dao De Jing. With this book as Bible, our mission is to help people find the WAY!

 

 

  Before your exploration of Wudang Taoist Martial Arts, we would like you to have some brief impression of Wudang Mountains.

SITE 
The palaces and temples on Mt. Wudang were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces.

Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renown for its wealth of cultural relics. Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the moulding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination. Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao , meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism.

Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25-220). The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practice their worship of nature. As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627-647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple , the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form. A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China.

The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and labourers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain. The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square metres, although now, with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square metres.

In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.



ARCHITECTURE 
The ancient structures built onto the Wudang Mountains were designed to conform to the shape of the mountain range and ultimately reflect the Taoist belief in nature and spontaneity.

The Palace of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Palace), perched on the top of Tianzhu Peak, consists of the Golden Hall and the Bronze Hall . The palace was built in AD 1416 during the reign of Emperor Yongle in the Ming Dynasty. It measures 5.54 meters high, 4.4 metres long and 3.15 metres wide. Resting upon a granite base, the entire structure was made of gilded copper coated with gold. Inside the palace many bronze sculptures embellished with gold were discovered, one of which represents the Taoist deity Zhen Wu.

Snow-covered Supreme Harmony Palace

Golden Summit In the Morning

Yuxu Palace was built in AD 1413, the eleventh year of Emperor Yongle's reign, and was rebuilt in AD 1512. It was originally one of the largest buildings in Wudang with its 2,000 rooms, until it was destroyed in AD 1745. The remains of the palace include four pavilions housing stone tablets positioned upon stone tortoises, each of which weighs over several hundred tonnes.

The Nanyan Palace is located in one of the most beautiful areas on the mountain range. The palace is actually a complex of wood buildings clinging to the side of a mountain. Built in AD 1413, much of the original complex has collapsed or been destroyed, and what remains seems to be held to the rock face as if by magic.

Nanyan Gong (Nan Yan Gong ( South Cliff Palace)

The most famous palace on the mountain range is the Zixiao Palace (The Purple Cloud Palace), which was constructed in AD 1413. Originally the complex contained a number of palaces, verandas, dining halls and pavilions. Zixiao Palace is the largest of the palaceson Mt. Wudang. It presently contains 29 buildings arranged on a five-tier terrace covering 6,854 square metres.

Purple Heaven Palace

Other important palaces and temples include the Fuzhen Temple (Revelation Temple) also built during the Ming Dynasty and extended at the end of the 17th century. The Qiongtai Temple (the Marble Tower Temple) is located 10 kilometres southeast of the Tianzhu Peak. The complex is composed of the upper temple, the middle temple and the lower temple. Much of the complex was destroyed in AD 1856, but some restorations have since been conducted.

Prince Slope ( or Fuzhen Temple ) in the autumn sunset

 

The Five Dragon Palace is the oldest of the palaces on the Wudang mountain range, having been constructed during the Tang Dynasty between AD 627-649 at the foot of the Lingying Mountain Peak. In AD 1412 the complex was expanded and a number of buildings were added, such as the Imperial Hall , the Gate of the Palace , the Veranda Wings , the Jade Statue Hall and others.In 1930 a fire destroyed much of the palace.

Finally, the Xuanyue Archway stands at the foot of Mt. Wudang. It was built in AD 1552 and reaches a height of 20 metres and a width of 13 metres. The structure contains four pillars and three entrances and boasts five arches, all with exquisite carvings.

The Gate to the Mysterious Mountain 

GETTING TO WUDANG, YOUR DREAMY DESTINATION

  Mt Wudang is located in the northwest of central China's Hubei Province. If you are in Beijing, it is to your south; if you are in Shanghai, it is to your west.

  Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province, also a very big city throughout the country. You can go there to visit the famous Yellow Crane Tower and the East Lake .Of course, you can't miss seeing the magnificent Yangzi River, which is called the Mother River for Chinese nation.

  But, for those who have a clear purpose of coming to Wudang directly from the gateway city Beijing or Shanghai, then there is no need to come to Wudang via Wuhan. Among many Wudang tourists from foreign countries, they hardly had any information as how to get here to Wudang. They first took a train to Wuhan, and then stayed there for one or two nights unwillingly, and then took extra trouble in getting tickets to Wudang. Below is the useful information helping with your Wudang tour.

Information of the Trains that takes you to

Wudangshan ,Shiyan, Hubei Province, P.R. China

(Refer to the map at the left top of the website )

Starting station

Train number

Starting time

Your Destination and arrival time

The train's destination

 

Beijing

K279

16:32

Wudangshan

12:49

Shiyan

T9

 

Wudangshan

6:45(Shiyan)

Chongqing

 

Shanghai

K283

21:02

Wudangshan

17:23

Chengdu

K351( from South Station)

18:19

Wudangshan

16:20

 

Chengdu

K284

17:50

Wudangshan

10:02

Shanghai

K352

19:34

Wudangshan

13:11

Shanghai South Station

Chongqing

T10

10 : 10

19 : 46 (Shiyan)

Beijing West Station

 

Xi'an

K626

8:50

Wudangshan

17:23

Three Gorges(Yichang)

Three Gorges (Yichang)

K625

15:17

Wudangshan

21:48

Xi'an

Wuhan

T673(from Wuchang)

9:00

Wudangshan

14:10

Shiyan

(from Hankou)

 

 

When in the gateway cities such as Beijing or Shanghai? 

  If you need the arrangement of pick-up and stay for a short time in Beijing or Shanghai before your heading to Wudangshan, transportation(reservation of ticket  and shift from your hotel to the train station) from there to Wudang, you can inform us. We will try our best to smooth your worry. We will give your an email of whom works there in travel agency. Below is a price list covering a few services in Beijing offered by Mr Wang, the one from whom we most often ask for help.

 

Per person price for Pick-up from Airport & Send to the station

 

Per person price for reserve, get and send tickets

Per person price for soft sleeper ticket

per person price for total expense

1 person 500yuan 100yuan 470yuan 1070yuan
2 persons 300yuan 80yuan 470yuan 850yuan
3 persons 250yuan 60yuan 470yuan 780yuan
4-6 persons 220yuan 50yuan 470yuan 740yuan

       If the ticket is not soft sleeper or you don't need a soft sleeper, it's lower than 470yuan.

  If you mind spending money for the arrangement and want to try doing things all by yourself, we give your another option - making use of the following bilingual notes or sentences which are most needed:  

我 买  张 到湖北 襄樊 的飞机票 [wo mai zhang dao Hubei Xiangfan de feiji piao]

   I need a flight ticket to Xiangfan, hubei (province).

的士[dishi] taxi

  我到x宾馆 [wo dao x Binguan] I'm going to x Hotel

  把我送到离北京西站比较近的一个宾馆[ba wo songdao li Beijing xizhan bijiao jin de yige binguan]

  Please send me to a hotel nearby the Beijing West Train Station (where i can go to Wudang Mountains)

  请把我送到北京西站[Qing ba wo songdao Beijing Xizhan]。

  Please send me to Beijing West Station.

  我到湖北武当山[ Wo dao Hubei Wudangshan]。我要订一张x号的火车票[ Wo yao ding yizhang x hao de huochepiao

  I'm going to Wudangshan in Hubei Province. I want to book a ticket for (date).

  软卧[ruanwo ] soft-sleeper 硬卧[yingwo]hard-sleeper

  1yi 2er 3san 4si 5wu 6liu 7qi 8ba 9jiu 10 shi 11 shiyi 12 shi'er 13 shisan 14 shisi 15 shiwu 16 shiliu 17 shiqi 18 shiba   19 shijiu 20 ershi 21 ershiyi 22 ershi'er 23 ershisan 24 ershisi 25 ershiwu 26 ershiliu 27 ershiqi 28 ershiba 29 ershijiu 30 sanshi

   (please think of those most needed sentences and tell us to add more)

   And when you arrive at Wudang train station, we will ( have somebody) be waiting for you at the exit,with your name on a piece of paper.