Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Series of Mountain (4): Travel to Hengshan

Today, we continue the travel of China’s famous mountains. Hengshan, named the Southern Mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains, is located in Hengyang County, the middle part of Hunan Province.

Here in Mt. Hengshan, you will feast your eyes on all the graceful scenery. Want to see grand view of sunrise, the rolling cloud and the oceans of trees? Go to the mountain peaks! Mt. Hengshan is composed of 72 peaks, none of them is without trees. It is green all over. There are various kinds of precious trees and a vast area of primeval forest. Among all these trees here, some are 300 - 400 years old, which still bloom when spring comes. Some trees are even over 1,000 years old. The trees in the primeval forest are bending with lichen growing on the trunks, resembling old men wearing tattered clothes.

This scenic area is also a well known and hallowed Buddhist ground. It has abundant temples including nunneries and Taoist temples. The most notable one is Nanyue Damiao (Nanyue Temple), the largest temple in Wuyue(Means the Five Sacred Mountains), which is also the largest group of ancient buildings in Hunan Province, covering an area of 100,000 square meters.

People summarize all the spectacles here as 'the eight marvels in Mt. Hengshan'. They are the height of the Zhurong Peak, the grace of the Sutra Collection Hall, the profundity of Fangguang Temple, the quietness of Mojingtai, the magic of the Shuilian Cave(also called Water-Screen Cave), the antiquity of Dayu Stele, the majesty of the Nanyue Temple and the steepness of Huixian Bridge. Zhurong Peak is the highest mountain peak of this scenic area, with 1,290 meters above sea level. Sutra Collection Hall is located deep in the glen and is surrounded by towering trees. The running spring and flying birds make this place very peaceful and leisurely. The most famous in the Shuilian Cave is foundation. Walking along the brook and past the stone bridge, you can see stones with different poses and different carvings. The falling foundation falls into a stone pool. Huixian Bridge is in fact a bridge on a big stone. It is narrow and dangerous, and few people are brave enough to go over it.

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