Qingcheng Mountain

Located in south-west of Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, the Qingcheng Mountain is 68 km far away from Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan) and only 16 km away from Dujiangyan. The original name of this mountain is Zhangren Mountain which is one of the branches of Qionglai Mountains. The main peak measures 1260 m in height according to the data in 2007. All the trees on the mountain remain green throughout the year and the many peaks forms a shape like city walls, therefore, the mountain is called Qingcheng Mountain. The whole mountain is divided into two parts, namely the front hill and the back hill. The Qingcheng Mountain Scenic Spot which contains a large number of historical interests mainly lies on the front hill covering an area of 15 km2. The total area of the back hill covers about 100 km2 and the temperature here in winter is extremely low but in summer you can enjoy very cool weather. So we can also say this mountain area has two very distinct seasons. Qingcheng Mountain is famous for its quietness just like a secluded wood. Various peaks, streams, valleys, pavilions and temples are all in the shade of the tall trees with luxuriant foliage. The buildings like the pavilions, Taoist temples, and palaces are in perfect harmony with the whole mountain because they all used natural building materials whose color is similar with the rocks or the plants. Judging from this, we can get to know that Taoists appreciate simple and natural living style. When you visit Qingcheng Mountain, you can not only enjoy the beautiful scenery but also learn much about Chinese Taoism because Qingcheng Mountain is one of the places where Taoism originated. Taoists lived and studied Taoism in the area of Qingcheng Mountain almost more than 2000 years ago.  It is said that in 143 A.D. Zhang Ling, a famous Taoist master, came to Qingcheng Mountain and settled down here then to study and teach Taoism. From then on, Qingcheng Mountain became a hot spot for Taoism and was listed as “the fifth Taoist fairyland”. Tianshic (Tianshi) Temple is at the heart of all the well-preserved ancient buildings and of course it is a must-see in this scenic spot.

Qingcheng Mountain Attractions:

Jianfu Palace

Tianshi Temple

Laojun Pavilion and Natural Pictures 

Qingcheng Mountain Stories

1.   The sanctuary lamp on Qingcheng Moutain

Qingcheng Mountain is famous for three natural wonders, the beautiful sunrise, the vast sea of clouds and the sanctuary lamp. The sanctuary lamp, also known as the holy light, is a particularly special and rare sight. Shangqing Palace is the best place to view and admire it. In summer, every time when it becomes sunny again after the rains, visitors in the pavilions near Shangqing Palace might be able to see flickering light in the mountain, sometimes there are just a few lights, sometimes there are millions of them, and the sight is breath-taking. The legend holds that those lights are lit by Zhang Ling, a famous Taoism master, who lives in Qingcheng Mountain. Actually it is just because the oxidation of phosphorus causes the fire, which is a very normal natural phenomenon.

2.   The Legend of Puzhao Temple on Qingcheng Mountain

Puzhao Temple once was called Jinhua Temple before and in it the figure of Master Yinghua was worshipped. At the very beginning, the temple expanded from an abandoned family ancestral hall was very poor, there was neither any food to support monks nor any room to place figures of great masters of Taoism. However in the 30th year under Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign, for some unknown reason the temple was rebuilt with great efforts. The temple earned its fame overnight. It is estimated that the reconstruction at least cost over ten thousand liang(an ancient Chinese unit of weight equivalent to 31.25 grams) gold and silver. According to the monumental writing, the project did not receive any donation or sponsorship. Then how did they get the money? Today, the reason why Puzhao Temple could become prosperous in such a short period of time is still a mystery. A folk tale in Chengdu has it that Zhang Xianzhong, an insurrectionist in Ming Dynasty who overthrew the government’s rule in Sichuan, established his own farmer regime. Then before long the soldiers of Qing Emperor invaded his land and Zhang had to leave Chengdu. Before he left, he decided to hide all the treasures and designed a stone ox and a stone drum as the marks of the treasure place. Some people thought he hid the precious deep down the Jinjiang River, while some guessed the treasures were hidden in Qingcheng Mountain. So people make a further guess that the money used to rebuild Puzhao Temple came from the treasure place mentioned above. Is it a good guess or a bad one? No one knows….

Jack Li

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