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Mt. Hengshan - Nanyue

 2013-11-13    Sherry    Sights    Changsha    2408  

Mt.Hengshan, also known as Nanyue is one of the Five Great Mountains in China. It sits in Hengyang, Hunan Province.It has 72 peaks and extends 150 kilometers. At the foot of the mountain stands the largest temple in southern China, Nanyue Damiao(南岳大庙). The temple dated back as far as the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

Besides marvelous temples, the mountain also boasts 9 ponds, 9 wells, 9 pools, 10 caves, 15 rocks, 25 streams and 38 springs, in harmony with green forests and fragrant flowers. It is summarized that there are “four perfections” in Mt. Hengshan. They are the height of the Zhurong Peak(祝融峰), the wonderfulness of Waterfall Cave(水帘洞),the grace of the Sutra Collection Hall(藏经殿), the profundity of Fangguang Temple(方广寺).

We went there during National day. Apart from sightseeing, another main purpose is to pray for blessings and longevity. Mt. Hengshan is the Shou Mountain (Mountain of Longevity) in China's Five Great Mountains. Its blessing and Shou culture has a long history. It was called the "Shou Mountain" since the Han dynasty. According to THE 28 Chinese Lunar Mansions(星经), Mt.Hengshan matches along with Zhen(Chariot, 轸星) . Zhen governs people’s life span.

We went there by train. As there is quite a distance from Hengyang to Mt. Hengshan, and the fare is expensive, we chose to stop at Hengshan County Station. It’s very convenient to go to the mountain from there. Shuttle buses run every 10 minutes. We spent five Yuan for half an hour’s journey.

Upon arriving, we went to Nnayue Damiao(南岳大庙)straight away. Nanyue Daomiao is located under the foot of Mt. Hengshan. It was originally built in Tang Dynasty. It is the biggest and most complete ancient palace like temple in overall layout in China’s Five Great Mountains.

Nnayue Damiao has nine courtyards and the main hall is 22 meters high, supported by 72 stone pillars, which symbolize the 72 peaks of Mt. Hengshan. The buildings displayed Tang and Song’s artistic essence.
The ticket is 20 Yuan each. Please pay attention to people hawking joss sticks and candles around. My advice is don’t buy from them. They always offer a cheap price at first, but you end up paying a lot. Don’t talk to them either, otherwise they will stick on you.

We stayed at a two star hotel at the mountain foot in the evening. It charged 200 Yuan per room. If you want to see the sunrise, it’s better to sleep at the hotels on the mountaintop. The best accommodation is Shangfeng Temple(上峰寺), as it’s closest to the best viewing location Wangri Tai(望日台).You can also book for Gaota Temple(高台寺) or Shixian Chamber (狮仙阁) if Shangfeng Temple is fully booked.

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