Hengshan Mountain (Shanxi)
Chinese recorded history tells us that Emperor Shun (circa 2372 BC) toured his northern domain years ago, and he was so impressed by the sight of Mt. Hengshan that he proclaimed it the 'North Mountain' (Bei Yue). Many later emperors had also come to visit Mt. Hengshan. The renowned traveler Xu Xiake came to visit in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and left behind Hengshan-inspired writings. Others did similar things.Hengshan Mountain in Shanxi province, traditionally called Beiyue or North Sacred Mountain, is one of Chinese Five Sacred Mountains, and the other four are respectively Taishan Mountain famous as East Sacred Mountain, Huashan Mountain famous as West Sacred Mountain, Hengshan Mountain in Hunan province famous as South Sacred Mountain as well as Songshan Mountain famous as Middle Sacred Mountain.
Mt. Hengshan is located in Hunyuan County of Shanxi Province in northern China. It is the Northern Mountain of the "Five Sacred Mountains". Boasting 108 peaks and spanning 150 kilometers, it has an average elevation of 2,017 meters. The Tianfeng Peak, the highest peak, is 2,190 meters above sea level, the highest among the Five Sacred Mountains. Mt. Hengshan is famous for steepy ridges, splendid peaks, exotic-shaped temples, and gushing fountains, together with oddly-shaped stones and forests of ancient trees, which constitutes a beautiful landscape. Mt. Hengshan boasts many cultural relics like temples, sites of academy, steles and engravings, some of which occupy important positions in the development of China's ancient architecture, such as the Xuankong Temple, Yuanjue Brick Pagoda and Yongan Temple.
Mt. Hengshan offers some spectacularly beautiful scenery. The soaring mountain peaks and the undulating curves of the mountain ridges, the steep, precipitous cliffs, the grotesque and fantastic caves, the dense and verdant tree cover, the gurgling, meandering brooks, full of the singing and chirping of birds, not to speak of the canopy of clouds and mist that variously - and to varying degrees - veils and unveils the mountain and the skies that surround it, all bear witness to how Mt. Hengshan was able to call attention upon itself as one of Taoism’s ‘Five Sacred Mountains’.
Tianfeng Hill and Cuiping Hill are divided by tree-filled escarpments, in the center of which lies Golden Dragon Gorge, which, from above, looks menacing, so deep is the gorge and so narrow at its base, being hardly ten meters wide. The gorge has acted as a natural defense barrier of strategic importance to military commanders ever since armies first set foot on Mt. Hengshan. During the Northern Song (CE 960-1127) Dynasty, when General Yang Ye and his sons managed to hold back invaders from the neighboring Liao (CE 916-1125) Dynasty, Golden Dragon Gorge was their ultimate line of defense.
Tianfeng Summit: At 2016.1 meters (6,617 feet), Tianfeng Summit, in Hunyuan County, Datong City, is the highest peak. The steep north slope is covered with verdant pine trees. Climbing onto the top of the mountain, you will see endless pine trees, some of them growing on the cliff with roots burrowing in the rocks, exotic flowers and rare herbs and odd-shaped stones, and so forth. The tourists are too delighted to return home. The south slope is studded by lots of temples where emperors worshipped the North Mountain.
Mt. Hengshan Scenic Spots has temperate semiarid continental climate and distinct four seasons. It features cold-dry winters, windy springs, short rainy summers, and short sunny autumns. There is extreme temperature difference between daytime and at night. Annual average temperature in Mt. Hengshan is 6.1 degree centigrade.
Ancient battleground: Mt. Hengshan has been an age-old battleground. It is the bottleneck to Central Hebei Plain from Plateau beyond the Great Wall. Many emperors utilized Mt. Hengshan in national defense planning. Emperors and generals went down in history on battles won and lost right here. Plenty of ancient battlefield relics litter the landscape with passes, fortresses, castles and beacon towers. These make Mt. Hengshan unique among the famed mountains.
Hengshan Mountain has a long history as the place of Taoism. It is said that Zhang Guolao who was one of Eight Taoist Immortals in Chinese fairy tales once cultivated here. The main peak of Hengshan Mountain has the altitude of 2016.1 meters; it is ranked second among Chinese Five Sacred Mountains Hengshan Mountain is famous for Taoism. In Taoist record, Taoism has 36 small cave-heavens, and Hengshan Mountain is the fifth. Mao Ying, who was the founder of Maoshan Branch of Taoism, also cultivated here.
Anciently, there were 18 famous scenic spots, and currently there are Zhaodian Hall, Huixian Bridge, Jiutian Palace and so on. It attracts a lot of travelers via its steepness and uniqueness. Roughly 4000 years ago, Emperor Shun who was one of the oldest forefathers of China visited Hengshan Mountain and selected it as the North Sacred Mountain due to its steepness. During the reign of Emperor Shihuang of Qin Dynasty, He promoted Hengshan Mountain as the second famous mountain in 12 famous mountains. Historically, Emperor Qinshihuang, Emperor Hanwudi, Emperor Tangtaizong, Emperor Songtaizong and other emperors all visited Hengshan Mountain and sacrificed to Heaven. Hengshan Mountain unavoidably became the humanistic mountain. A lot of famous men such as Li Po, Jia Dao, Yuan Haowen and Xu Xiake once visited Hengshan Mountain and left a lot of classic masterpieces.
In early period of West Han Dynasty, some temples were built on Hengshan Mountain. Since Han Dynasty, a lot of people in different dynasties built the temples or buildings on Mountain, and currently the buildings on Hengshan Mountain have become a big ancient architectural complex. People generally summarize as Three Temples, Four Memorials, Nine Pavilions, Seven Palaces, Eight Caves and 12 Halls. Unfortunately, many of buildings have collapsed. Also Hengshan Mountain has 18 famous attractions which can be available in book of Travel Note of Xu Xiake, who was a famous travel expert.
Hengshan Mountain is located in Hunyuan County of Shanxi Province in northern China. It is the Northern Mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains. Boasting 108 peaks and spanning 150 kilometers, it has an average elevation of 2,017 meters. The Tianfeng Peak, the highest peak, is 2,190 meters above sea level, the highest among the Five Sacred Mountains.
Legend has it that 4,000 years ago when King Shun visited the mountain and saw the lofty peaks, he named it the "Northern Sacred Mountain". During the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), Emperor Shihuang named 12 famous mountains, and Hengshan Mountain was regarded as the "Second Mountain in the World". In ancient times, many emperors and celebrities visited Hengshan Mountain and left quite a lot of stone inscriptions of poems.
Hengshan Mountain is famous for steepy ridges, splendid peaks, exotic-shaped temples, and gushing fountains, together with oddly-shaped stones and forests of ancient trees, which constitutes a beautiful landscape.
It is called "The First Mountain Guarding the North Borders", depicting its magnitude and wonder. The mountain links with the Taihang Mountain Range in the east, and to the north it faces the vast expanse of a plateau, thus forming a natural screen for Shanxi Province. The Great Wall winds up the mountain, forming many ancient strategic passes; thus, passes, ancient castles and beacon towers constitute a unique landscape differing from that of the other four mountains.
Hengshan Mountain is a very good summer resort. It has a semi-arid continental climate, with cold winter, dry and windy spring, humid summer and sunny but short autumn. It has an annual temperature of 6.1oC -- the hottest month, July, averaging 21.6oC and the coldest month, January, 12oC.
Hengshan Mountain's main peak, Tianfeng (Heavenly Peak) Ridge, rises 2,190 meters above sea level. Its steep northern slope is covered with pine trees, and located on its southern slope are temples and monasteries built by ancient kings and emperors to worship their ancestors. Hengshan Mountain was once famous for its "Eighteen Sites of Interest, and there still remain a dozen sites such as the Xuankong (Suspending or Mid-air) Temple, Zhaodian Hall, Jiutian (Nine Heavens) Palace, Huixian (Celestial-Meeting) Mansion and Flying Stone Cave, etc.
Cultural Heritage: Temples on the Cliff
Hengshan Mountain boasts many cultural relics like temples, sites of academy, steles and engravings, some of which occupy important positions in the development of China's ancient architecture, such as the Xuankong Temple, Yuanjue Brick Pagoda and Yongan Temple. The Xuankong Temple, built 1,400 years ago, hosts worship for the Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists. The temple is hung on the middle of the cliff and is still in perfect conditions after so many years.
Besides the Xuankong Temple, many other temples are constructed on the cliffs or caved in just like castles in the air, adding to steepness and grandiosity. Standing high in the mountain, with the clouds floating under your feet and the wind in the pine trees resounding above your head, the mountain peaks occasionally appearing and disappearing in the clouds, one will be reluctant to leave. On the sides of some cliffs are full of stone inscriptions eulogizing the beauty of Hengshan Mountain by celebrities in history.
Hengshan Mountain belongs to the half-aridity continental climate in temperate zone, and has four distinctive seasons. The winter is cold and spring is dry and windy. The rainfall is dense in summer. Besides, the temperature difference at daytime and nighttime is obvious. The average temperature all the year around is 6.1 degree Celsius. It is the coldest in January and the average temperature is minus 12 degree Celsius. It is the hottest in July and the average temperature is 21.6 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature all the year is 35.9 degree Celsius and minimum temperature is minus 37.3 degree Celsius.
Go around: You can take coach from Datong to Hunyuan. The fare is 15 RMB.
Hengshan Mountain Fee and Opening hour:
Cuiping Mountain Scenic Spot:
Xuankong Temple: CNY 60 per person
Tianfeng Peak Scenic Spot:
Hengshang Temple: CNY 35 per person
Hengshan cableway: uplink: CNY 30 per person; Downlink: CNY 25 per person; the whole journey: CNY 45 per person
Yuemen Gulf: CNY 20 per person( The fare of entering to Hengshan)
The Town Area:
Suyumei mausoleum: CNY 20 per person
Yong'an Temple: CNY 20 per person
Winter : 8:00-18:00
As the local coal mines is rich, the wind often blows with black sand, so you'd better take particular beware to your contact lens. The sunglasses and hat are essential when you go out. To trave in the mountainous terrain, please follow the guide,do not go to the place without protection facilities.
Hengshan Mountainand Hangying Temple Wutai Mountain
||Temples: CNY 35|
Cableways: CNY30(up), CNY25(down), CNY45 (round-trip)
Yuemenwan: CNY 20
||Hanging Monastery: CNY 60|
||Li Yumei Tomb: CNY 20|
Yongan Temple: CNY 20
Related Link: :
Henshan Private Tour:
Car rental in datong From 180 USD / Day
Tour Guide Reservation From 65 USD / Day