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Home East China Attractions Yingtan Longhu Mountain

Yingtan Longhu Mountain Travel Guide


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Longhu Mountain or Dragon-Tiger Mountain located in Yingtan city, Jiangxi province, specifically, 20 kilometers away from the downtown Yingtan. Longhu Mountain is the cradle land of Chinese Taoism as a religion and the eighth world natural heritage site in China. It is also the world geo-park, national cultural and natural heritage site, National Forest Park and national 5-a tourist scenic area. As a key cultural site under the national protection, Longhu Mountain covers an area of 220 square kilometers. Longhu Mountain is a typical landscape site featured of the danxia landform in the world.

The Holy Land of Taoism

Longhu Mountain is the cradle of Zhengyi Branch of Taoism and the site of Zhang Tianshi becoming the immortal soul. In history of Chinese Taoism, it has the most important role. Originally named Yunjin Mountain or Cloudy Brocade Mountain(云锦山), Longhu mountain extends for dozens of miles. It was said that 99 sacred dragons met here, and transformed to be the mountains. Today, you still can view the shapes of mountains or peaks like the dragon or tigers. They fight against each other. The Shangqing Stream is a famous river in Longhu Mountain; it comes from afar and slowly flows along the mountains and peaks. There are 99 peaks and 24 cliffs famous. This site was the truly holy land for Taoists, and commented highly as Dongtian Fudi(洞天福地, the sacred sites of Taoism to cultivate the soul and body).

Zhang Daoling(张道陵, 34-156), the founder of religious Taoism, was also an immortal figure and leading god honored to be Tianshi (天师, heavenly master)in Chinese myth, and his ridden animal is a tiger. And this is the reason why it was called Dragon Tiger Mountain together with the depiction above. He selected this mountain as his site for cultivation. It was said that he was guided by two scared cranes to this mountain. Upon his arrival, the gods of mountain and waters got know, and the dragon and tiger all appeared their original looks. Since then, the Yunjin Mountain was renamed Longhu Mountain. Among dozens of Taoist mountains, Longhu Mountain was the most famous one. And it also became the holy center of Taoism to manage the Taoists in the world after Zhang Tianshi cultivated to be an immortal soul. Since Zhang Sheng(张盛), the successor of Tianshi of the fourth generation, in late Han Dynasty, every generation of Zhang Daoling settled down here.

There are totally 63 generations of Zhang Tianshi to manage the Taoists and their crown of Tianshi gave them the privileged honors and pride, which are from the folk society and the central administration. Up to today, it has been a great tradition in south China for over 1800 years. And in culture of China, it is the only counterpart of Confucianism, the predominant thought in north China. Taoism and Confucianism, the both origins of Chinese culture and history, and two different spiritual and philosophic systems, together shoulder the mission of escorting the soul of Chinese people in safety and peace. Meanwhile, they are also both worshipped in every dynasty. Their successors (Tianshi is the title of Taoism successor, and Yanshenggong is the title of Confucianism successor). And their statuses in government are inferior to Emperor, who was the son of heaven, and higher than anyone else. In history of culture, the term of Nanzhang Beikong(南张北孔, the south family of Zhang and the north family of Kong), is a vivid mark showing the basic structure of Chinese belief and the spiritual distinction between south China and north China. And it also becomes a term of Chinese culture, religion and philosophy.

The Shangqing Palace (Supreme Purity Palace) and Tianshi Mansion are the centers of Taoism in Longhu Mountain. In different dynasties, the emperors always paid a lot to reconstruct or resurface them to show their high attention and respect to Taoism. Therefore, the palace clusters in quantity, scale, area, layout and level are the No.1 in the world. At its peak time, there were over 80 taoist temples, 36 monasteries, and several large Taoist palaces. It is historically known as the capital of Taoism.

In addition, there are also other highlights. The Xiangshan Academy(象山书院) located on Yingtian Mountain in the scenic area is the origin of the Internal Philosophical Concept of Sudden Understanding (dunwu xinxue,顿悟心学), which was a key part of Chinese philosophy. Mazu Rock of Jinlong Peak was the cultivation site of Mazu Daoyi(马祖道一, 709-788), who was one of the most important contributors to the development of the Zen philosophy in China. The cliff tomb on Xianshuiyan is a miracle in Chinese history of burial custom. In history of Chinese Taoism and philosophy, Longhu Mountain is a holy land out of question!

The Magic Land of Danxia

The unique shapes of the rocks and peaks look quite attractive thanks to its Danxia landform. The diverse shows of the mountains and peaks make the mountain of Longhu look like a dreamland of heaven. The typical part is located in scenic area of Xianshuiyan, which roughly covers an area of 40 square kilometers. The main river is Luxi River(芦溪河),which go through the peaks and mountain, and link the rocks and peaks together. It links to 99 peaks, 24 rocks and 108 natural sites. Looked from the sky or afar, the whole Longhu Mountain is a huge colorful painting themed with natural landscapes and ancient temples. It is a holy land of Chinese spirituality and also a romantic but tragic site that love story between Julia Wu and Davis Chu. May love and spirituality be together forever!

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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