Hengshan Mountain [Photo/VCG]
Hengshan Mountain in Hunyuan county, Shanxi province, is the northern mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Boasting 108 peaks and spanning 150 kilometers, it has an average elevation of 2,017 meters. The Tianfeng Peak, the highest peak, is 2,190 meters above sea level, the highest among the Five Sacred Mountains.
Hengshan Mountain is famous for steep ridges, splendid peaks, exotic-shaped temples and gushing fountains, together with oddly shaped stones and forests of ancient trees, which form a beautiful landscape.
Hengshan is called "The First Mountain Guarding the North Borders", depicting its magnitude and wondrous appearance. The mountain links up with the Taihang Mountain range in the east, and to the north it faces the vast expanse of a plateau, thus forming a natural screen for Shanxi province. The Great Wall winds up the mountain, forming many ancient strategic passes. Thre passes, ancient castles and beacon towers constitute a unique landscape differing from that of the other four sacred mountains.
Hengshan Mountain is a very good summer resort. It has a semi-arid continental climate, with cold winters, dry and windy springs, humid summers and sunny but short autumns.
Hengshan Mountain also boasts many cultural relics like temples, sites of academies, steles and engravings, some of which occupy important positions in the development of China's ancient architecture, such as the Hanging Temple, Yuanjue Brick Pagoda and Yongan Temple. The Hanging Temple, a wooden structure built around 1,500 years ago, hosts worship for Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists. The temple hangs on the middle of a cliff and is still in good condition.
Besides the Hanging Temple, many other temples sit on cliffs like castles in the air, adding to the spectacular scenery. Standing high on the mountain, with the clouds floating under your feet and the wind in the pine trees resounding above your head, the mountain peaks occasionally appearing and disappearing in the clouds, you will be reluctant to leave. On the sides of some cliffs are stone inscriptions lauding the beauty of Hengshan Mountain written by famous from ancient times.
The Hengshan Mountain scenic area was rated a national 4A tourist attraction in 2002.
Address: 10 km south of Hunyuan county, Datong city, Shanxi province