Sunday, June 14, 2009

Heng Shan

Name : Heng Shan

Location : It is located in Shanxi province in China. At 2,017 m, it is one of the five tallest peaks in China Proper is one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism. It is sometimes known as the Northern Heng Shan, and should not be confused with the Southern Heng Shan in Hunan Province. Both mountains have the same pronunciation in Chinese, and the Southern Heng Shan is also one of the Five Sacred Mountains.

Description : During the Han Dynasty, a temple called the Shrine of the Northern Peak (Beiyue Miao), dedicated to the mountain god was built on Hengshan's slopes. While periodically destroyed and rebuilt, this temple has an uninterrupted history from Han times to the present day.

The Hanging Monastery, built in 491, has survived more than 1,400 years. The extant monastery was largely rebuilt and maintained in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The most famous temple at Hengshan is not Daoist, but is actually the Buddhist Hanging Monastery (Xuankong Si). The Hanging Monastery stands at the foot of Mt. Hengshan and is one of the most dramatic sights at Hengshan - a wooden temple clinging to the cliff side, appearing to defy gravity with only a few wooden posts as support.

The buildings were restored in 1900 and there are 40 wooden halls and structures linked by an ingenious system of pillars, posts and walkways.

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