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L Location
Mt. Qingcheng, situated southwest of Dujiangyan City, is 63 kilometers from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuau Province.
2. Status and Reputation
~ It was designated as one of China's first group of China National Key Tourist Resorts in 1982.
~ It was inscribed on the List of World Cultural lteritage by UNESCO in 2000.
~ It is a famous summer resort known as the "most secluded mountain under the heaven."
~ It is one of the famous mountains where Taoism originated and developed.
3. Features
Mt. Qingcheng boasts beautiful peaks with dense greenery everywhere in every season. It is a well-known summer resort and
scenic area which enjoys popularity as the "most secluded mountain under the heaven". It is one of tile places where Taoism, the only tehgion native to China, originated. As a famous Taoist mountain, it has some 70 Taoist temples and 38 Taoist remains. Mt. Qingcheng is of great natural and cultural value.

Commentary
Mt. Qingcheng is situated 63 kilometers west of Chengdu. Characterized by its secluded and quiet environment, the scenic area
is surrounded by ring-shaped peaks. It enjoys equal fame for steepness with Jianmen , for elegance with Mt. Emei and for
grandeur with Kuimen- It has been widely acclaimed as the "most secluded mountain under the heaven". In Chinese Qingcheng
lite,-ally means "green city". Mt. Qingcheng gets its name because the main scenic spots such as the Tianshi Cave are all
surrounded by 36 mountain peaks with their forests of lush evergreen trees encircling each spot like a city wall.
The ring-shaped hills, cool, trtmquil and secluded, covered with luxuriant vegetation, make Mt. Qingcheng, in the western part of
Sichuan Province, a famous scenic spot and summer resort. As a place where Taoism originated and an important base of Taoism
development, it has been a famous Taoist mountain for abnost 2000 years. In 1982, it was ratified as one of first group of China National Key Tourist Resorts by the State Council. In 2000, together with the Dujinggyan Irrigation Project, it was inscribed on the List of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Mt. Qingching is unique for its secluded environment and for its Taoist significance. Mt. Qingcheng is popular all over the world for its "You". Frankly speaking, it is hard to define this Chinese word because there
is no direct English equivalent. In Chinese, "You" has a host of various meanings such as the serenity, leisure and seclusion. "You"
,,n Mt. Qingcheng is vividly reflected in its serene paths, secluded woods, quietly flowing streams, pavilions made of tree barks, the
Fragrance of burning incenses from temples and Taoist culture. You eould feel the elegant ambience of the unique "You" on the way to the mountain. However, it would be helpful if you could understand the essentials of Taoism before you visit the Taois! sanctuary.
Taoism was the only indigenous religion in China. It was founded by Zhang Daoling in the Hah Dynasty. Lao Zi (~ff;)was its respected
founding master and Dao De .ling ( The Classic of the Way and Its Power, are its doctrines. What is the "Dao"? Dao, in Dao
De Jing, means the way of ultimate reality, that which exists beyond the physical sense of mankind. Tao is the natural way of the universe, the driving force in nature, the order behind all life and the power behind all living things. That is why Taoists worship all life in the universe and everything created by nature. Taoists advocate Wuwei (non-action,) and callion people not to compete with nature, but to conform with it instead. The concept of Wuwei does not mean to do nothing as it literally suggests. It means to follow the law of nature and let everything be what it naturally will be. Taoism claims that Yin and Yang are negative and positive principles of tile universe. One cannot exist without the other. This belief is very similar to the theory of Yin and Yang in Chinese Wushu and
traditional Chinese medicine. Taoism also claims that people can be immortal. The Outer alchemists believed in herbal medicine and
pharmacology. The Inner alchemists believed in the alchemy inside their bodies, the energy called Qi . As a result, Chinese medical
science and Taoism developed and helped each other all the way. Like many other religions in the world, Taoism is polytheistic.
The highest Taoist gods are San Qing (the Taoist trinity,- The three gods are respectively worshiped as Yu Qing (Jade Purity ),
Shaug Qing (Lofty Purity, ) and Tai Qing ( Absolute Purity,). Under San Qing, the trinity gods, there are four Heavenly
Emperors. The most respected is Yu Huang (the Jade Emperor) who governs the other deities. Next there are fourr numina guarding the east, the west, the south and the north respectively. Among them, the northern numen, called Zhenwu (Genuine Prowess,),colloquially Zhenwu Dadi, is more respected than the other gods. He is believed to be the eighty-second reincarnation of Taishang Laojun (Lord the Most High), another title for Lao Zi .There are also other heavenly immortals, such as the famous Ba Xian
(Eight Immortals) and San Guan (Three Officials). The Taoist deity system is complicated, but comprehensible, based on rank and Taoist doctrines. After listening to my brief introduction of Taoism, hopefully you will understand the Taoist culture and appreciate the landscape a little better. Now, here we are at the foot of Mt. Qingcheng. Can you feel the green woods behind the front gate bringing you a feeling of seclusion, luring you away from the hustle and bustle of the world? Maybe you can hardly wait to climb the mountain right now. However, Jianfu Temple is a scenic spot not far from us. So we shah visit it first, and climb the mountain later.
Jianfu Temple
Jianfu Temple at the foot of Zhangren Peak was first named Zhangren Temple. It was built in 730 and reconstructed in
1888 during the Qing Dynasty. Near Jianfu Temple is a scenic spot with ancient buildings and green trees as perfect as a picture. The
place is referred to as a "Natural Picture" because people who come here feel as if they are unconsciously merging into the beautiful
surrounding landscape. The three Chinese characters (Jianfu Temple) were written by Lin Sen in 1940. He was a famous
calligrapher and one of the founders of Kuomintang as well. The front hall is the Zhangsheng Hall (Longevity Hall), where Fan Changsheng , a Taoist saint, is enshrined. The statues of Ning Feng and Du Guangting are enshrined in the main
hall. A legend has it that Ning Feng comprehended Dao through practice on Mt. Qingcheng. He taught Hung Di (the Yellow
Emperor) how to fly; the latter defeated Chiyou , his opponent and finally unified China. There are three statues in the back hall.
The one sitting in the middle is Taishang Laojun, the founder of Taoism. To his left is Donghua Dijun ( Royal Iord of the East,
a god who was given such a highly privileged title because he (Lord the Most High), another title for Lao Zi .
There are also other heavenly immortals, such as the famous Ba Xian (Eight Immortals) and San Guan (Three Officials). The Taoist deity system is complicated, but comprehensible, based on rank and Taoist doctrines.
After listening to my brief introduction of Taoism, hopefully you will understand the Taoist culture and appreciate the landscape a little better. Now, here we are at the foot of Mt. Qingcheng. Can you feel the green woods behind the front gate bringing you a feeling of seclusion, luring you away from the hustle and bustle of the world? Maybe you can hardly wait to climb the mountain right now.
However, Jianfu Temple is a scenic spot not far from us. So we shah visit it first, and climb the mountain later.
was personified much earlier than all other gods. To his right is Wang
Changyang, the founder of Quanzhen Sect of Taoism. From the lgth century on Taoism developed into two main
sects: Quanzhen Dao, emphasizing self-cultivation toattain immortality
and Zhengyi Dao, involving belief in charms and spells. After you enter the mountain gate, turn right to head for the
Yuecheng Lake , where you can reach the mountain top by cable. On the winding path round the mountain, the first two pavilions
you see are Yu Ting (the Rain Pavilion,) and Cuiguang Pavilion (Green-Light Pavilion, ). Walking through the woods, you will
see plenty of pavilions, bridges and memorial archways on both sides 0f the paths, which create a beautiful scene with the background of green woods and hills. The pavilions, decorated with dry branches and vines, are usually constructed with dry trees as pillars, tree
bark as roofs, tree roots as benches. The pavilions are shaped differently in accordance with the surroundings. For example, a
triangle pavilion at the turn of a road is named Yilewo ( Happy Nest, ); a square pavilion on the cliff is called Lingranting ( Cool
Pavilion,), and an octagonal pavilion standing on the peak is referred to as Xixinting (Hearts Ease Pavilion, ). The number
of pillars that support the Woyunting (Lying-on-Clouds Pavilion, is reduced for the path to pass through while the Ningcuiting (Jade Crystallization Pavilion, is constructed like an arc to match the shape of tile hill nearby. They are all made and named
according to the surrounding landscape. The arohitectural styles of the pavilions and temples here conform to the Taoist pursuit of returning to nature without artificial interferences and doing nothing that goes against nature. They have blended in well with the landscape of the mountain. Moreover, the appropriate couplets on the pillars add a poetic flavor to the scenery. You will see more couplets on our trip. Now let's get to the mountaintop by cable car.

Shangqing Temple
Ai'ter you get off the cable car you will arrive at the scenic spot,Shangqing Temple. Shangqing Temple is located at the highest point
of the 38 temples which remain on Mt. Qingcheng. In the main hall is enshrined TaiShang Laojun, the founder of Taoism. The temple gate is a two-story building, on the horizontal board of 'which are three Chinese characters (Shangqing Temple) written by Jiang Jieshi On each side of the gate is a couplet written by Yu Youren Behind the entrance gate are two halls, in which a stone tiger and stone dragon are set up as the temple guardians, one on the right and the other on the left. In the temple there are two wells, a
square one and a round one. The two wells have the same underground water resource, but one is shallow and clean while the
other is deep and muddy. The wells are said to have been dug by a king's concubine in the ancient Shu state. A stone tablet beside the wells is ca/red with three Chinese characters ( Mandarin Duck Wells), which were written by Zhang Daqian, one of the top masters of Chinese painting. In the right ball of the temple the entire text of Dao De Jing is inscribed on a wooden board. You can see four carved Chinese characters: It means that Dao does not ask anyone ibr help. For this reason Taoists do not beg for ahns outside the temple, but Buddhist monks may go outside their temples to do so. Not iht from the temple stand three pavilions: Guanriting (the Sun-viewing Pavilion, Shendengting (the Magic Lantern Pavilion, and Haylngting (the Echo Pavilion, From
here you can view Mt. Qingcheng, the Minjiang River and the Chengdu Plain. If you don't want to descend the mountain but would
rather stay in the Shangqing Temple overnight, you may get to see the magic lanterns, the sunrise and the cloud sea, which make up the three wonders of Mt. Qingcheng.

Zushi Temple
As you walk down the winding path you will come to the Fang- ning Bridge. One kilometer to its left is Zushi Temple,
where a princess in the Tang Dynasty once stayed and practised Taoists. It is an important Taoist temple where many Taoist followers meditate and practise the religion. Thc valley in front of Zushi Temple is the White Cloud Stream and thc mountain behind it is Xuanyuan Peak. On the rock is written the "First Peak on Mt. Qingcheng" and the "Fifth Famous Mountain under the Heaven".
The forests and mists of the mountain transform this temple into a peaceful and mysterious world. A historical site is found here, a stone desk at which Du Guangting, a scholar and also Taoist saint of the Tang Dynasty studied and practised Taoism. General Feng Yuxiang stayed in Zusbi Temple three times during the War of Resistance against Japan. In 1945 when he got the news that Japan had unconditionally surrendered to China he was overwhelmed with joy and inscribed words on a tablet to commemorate the victory. This tablet is now placed in the Temple here and is protected as a historic relic. After your visit to Zushi Temple you will arrive at the scenic area of Tianshi Cave. Tianshi means a celestial master. It is a title of high privilege conferred upon the master of Taoism. The
Tianshi Cave scenic area refers to a group of Taoist temples and shrines. It consists of Tianshi Hall, Sanhuang Hall and Sanqing Hall.
Changdao Temple represents all three halls. As you descend thf mountain, you will see the back hall, Tianshi Hall, first then
Sanhuang Hall and then the front hall Sanqing Hall. Now, let's visit the halls one by one.

Tianshi Hall
The last hall of Changdao Temple is Tianshi Hall. It was reconstructed in the loth year of Emperor Guangxu's reign in the Qing
Dynasty (1884). In the hall is enshrined the statue of Celestial Master Zhang Daoling, who has three glaring eyes, with his
left ann stretched out and a seal in his palm. The seal is said to be his weapon to guard Mt. Qingching. A legendary story has it that Zhang Daoling meditated and practised the religion on Mt. Qingching but the rnotmtain ghosts often disturbed him. ()ne day he invited the ghosts to sign a peace agreement to end thc quarrels. After the negotiation Zhang used his writing brush to dip into the red ink and touched the mountain with the brush. All of a sudden, the mountain split into a deep groove along the lines of his handwriting. The mountain ghosts were so scared by Zhang's super-natural power that they all ran away from the mountain. Mt. Qingcheng has become quiet and secluded ever since. Here you can appreciate many precious histrical relics and commune with the old trees, if you like.

Sanhuang Hall
At the front of the temple is Sanhuang Hall ( tile ltalI of Three Emperors), in which three legendary emperors of Fuxi, Shennong and
Xuanyuan are enshrined, Sanhuang also refers to the Three August Ones-legendary rulers of remote antiquity, listed as the Celestial Ruler, the Earthly Ruler and the Mortal Ruler , who are looked upon as gods by Taoist believers. In front of their statues is
a handwritten tablet inscribed by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. This tablet is regarded as the treasure of the
mountain by Taoist believers because this decree ordered that temples here be returned to the Taoists; the Buddhists build their temples outside Mt. Qingcheng, thus bringing an end to the long-standing dispute between Taoism and Buddhism. over who should possesses this holy mountain. The scenic spots nearby are the Three-Island Stone, the Heart Washing Pool , the Ladder to
Heaven and A Line of the Sky.

Sanqing Hall
Sanqing Hall is the most magnificent hall in Tianshi Cave. Tile main hall was built in 1923 and has been renovated in recent years. A
stairway of nine stone steps leads to thc corridor in the front of the hall, which has 5 ranked bays, and is supported by 28 peripheral
columns, 4. 4 meters high. All the columns and arches are made of whole stones, shaped and decorated with simple colors and elegant designs. The top hall is Wuji Hall( the Omnipotent Hall, ), which has an octagonal courtyard for thc sake of ventilation, where
you never feel depressed. On a horizontal board were inscribed these Chinese characters (Red Platform and Jade Cave ) in
calligraphic form by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Three supreme Taoist gods are enshrined in the hall. The Dao developed in three different eras: Yuqing holds a pear in his hand, a symbol of the Hong Yuan Era (the Flooding Era, ); Shangqing holds the
universe, a symbol of the Hun Yuan Era ( the Chaotic Era, ; and Daiqing, holding a feather fan, is symbolic of the Tai Chu
Era (the Remotest Era). The three gods are called Sanqing (the Taoist Trinity). In the Sanqing Temple some musical instruments were designed into the stone sculptures, where a conch will emit a sweet sound whenever the wind blows. So it is called the "Sound of Nature" . It reflects the aesthetic value of Taoism. Near the hall grows an l0O0-year-old gingko tree, 30 meters high and 6 meters
around the trunk. The diameter of the tree crown is more than 36 meters. It is said that Zhang Daoling planted the tree himself.
After you visit Mt. Qingchen, do not lose the chance to take some local products as souvenirs. May I suggest four special and local
products which are worthy, of your appreciation: Qingcheng wine, Qingcheng tea, Qingcheng pickle and gingko seeds, the last of which can be cooked with chicken.