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Worshipping in Kongtong Mountain

 2014-01-22    Ada    Sights    Pingliang    1914  

Lying 7.5 miles to the west of Pingliang City in Gansu Province, Kongtong Mountain is noted for its marvelous natural scenery and exquisite manmade landscapes. It enjoys the reputation as "The Holy Land of Taoism", "The Remarkable Spectacle of Western China" and "The First Mountain in Western China".

The Kongtong Sect is a fictional martial arts sect mentioned in several works of wuxia fiction. It is commonly featured as a leading orthodox sect in the wulin. It is named after the place where it is based, the Kongtong Mountains. While actually, Kongtong Mountain is the holy mountain of three religions: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. It is said that Taoism temples were being built on the mountain as early as in the Wei (220-265) and Jin (265-420) Dynasties. Kongtong Mountain boasts dozens of grotesque peaks. It is said that an immortal named Guangchengzi once lived in a stone cave in the mountain, and the Yellow Emperor once came here to hear his preaching.

So it is said to be one of the birthplaces of Taoism in China. From then on, Kongtong Mountain rapidly gained prestige. Later on, the King of Mu in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC), the Emperor Qin Shi Huang and the Emperor Wu in Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD), all followed him to visit Kongtong Mountain, which made the mountain more and more famous. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), construction began on Taihe Palace and other attached Taoist buildings. Since then, Taoism has been handed down from one generation to another. Buddhism also flourished in Kongtong Mountain, as evidence of Buddhist rituals can be found in it from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). There are 19 Buddhist temples from the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Today Buddhism and Taoism grow together in a harmonious atmosphere on the mountain, a situation which is unique to Kongtong Mountain. In addition, Kongtong Mountain has cultivated many Confucianism scholars such as Huang Fumi, the talented founder of Chinese Acupuncture.
Though located in the western plateau area, the mountain is endowed with the characteristics both of the magnificence of China's northern mountains and the beauty of southern mountains. It is covered with dense forests rolling from one steep peak to the other. In past dynasties, many men of letters and philosophers visited Kongtong Mountain and left poems and articles to praise its beauty and glorious culture. Today more and more visitors are enchanted by its irresistible charm.

Thanks to its endless beauty, it deserves to be called "The First Mountain in Western China". Huge mountains stand one after another with vast patches of green forests as their clothes and ethereal mist as their white belt. Kongtong Mountain is abundant in stone caves and houses, many of which are located in the cliffs or dense forest where nobody sets foot. The famous ones include Guangcheng Cave, Zhaoyang Cave, Xuanhe Cave and Kongtong Cave. In addition, Kongtong Mountain is a rich water resource. The Yanzhi River flows from the north. Every spring, peach blossoms fall into the water and float on the current: a lovely sight. At the foot of the mountain, Tanzheng Lake flows calmly, and its murmuring water sounds like a Chinese zither, giving the lake its name, Tanzheng Lake.

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