Our Foreign Teachers’ outing this Sunday was to Qingcheng Mountain, about a 90-minute ride from Chengdu. It’s a famous sacred Daoist mountain and pilgrimage site.
The entrance pavilion at the mountain’s base
Qingcheng Mountain is located just southwest of Dujiangyan. It is also known as Green City Mountain as the peaks and skyline of densely forested slopes are thought to resemble city battlements. Nestled among the lofty ancient trees are 108 monasteries, temples and pavilions with the highest peak, Laoxiaoding (Old Heaven Top), rising 1,600 meters (5,250ft) above sea.
At the end of the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220AD), Zhang Daolin, patriarch of Daoism, preached here, and so Qingcheng is considered to be one of the birthplaces of Daoism in China.
Some of the Eastern Han structures and sites still survive after.2,000 years including Jinfu Palace, Tianshi (Teacher from Heaven) Cave, Zushi (Patriarch) Hall and Shangqing Palace together with many cultural relics of Daoism.
The pilgrim’s progress: going up, up, up. OK, I admit that I didn’t take the stairs to the top. Because of my delicate constitution, I took the cable car, actually a ski lift. I did climb a FEW steps, though.
There’s a beautiful lake where you can take a barge to the other side, where the cable car waits to take you to the top.
A view from the cable car: you can almost make out the temple at the very summit, in the center of the photo (it kind of looks like a tree, though). Some hardy members of our team made the ascent on foot in about 2 1/2 hours. It was a warm, steamy day, and I was drenched after climbing only a few steps.