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Kongtong Mountain--The Earliest Famous Mountain of Taoist

Kongtong Mountain

Kongtong Mountains (Kōngtóng Shān 崆峒山) is one of the sacred mountains of Taoism. It is located in Pingliang City (píng liáng shì 平凉市), Gansu Province (gān sù shěng 甘肃省), People's Republic of China. To the east of Kongtong Mountains there is famous ancient city Xi'an (xī ān 西安), to the west it is Lanzhou (lán zhōu 兰州), this mountain is the west exit fortress of GuanZhong flatland (guān zhōng píng yuán 关中平原) along the ancient Silk Road.  It is the mythical meeting site between the Huangdi (huáng dì 皇帝) (also known as Yellow Emperor) and Guangchengzi (guǎng chéng zǐ 广成子).

 
Overview

Kongtong MountainLying 7.5 miles to the west of Pingliang, Kongtong Mountain is noted for its marvelous natural scenery and exquisite manmade landscapes. It enjoys the reputation as "The Holy Land of Taoism", "The Remarkable Spectacle of Western China" and "The First Mountain in Western China". With the magnificence peculiar to the northern mountain and elegance of the southern mountains, the Kongtong Mountains is a famous place of tourism in eastern Gansu.
 

History

In the years as early as Qin and Han dynasties, Kongtong Mountain was the place where monks and Taoists lived together, and the Emperor Shi Huang of Qin (qín shǐ huáng 秦始皇) and the Wu Di of Han (hàn wǔ dì 汉武帝) have once climbed up the mountain.

Kongtong MountainIt is said that an immortal named Guangchengzi once lived in a stone cave in the mountain, and the Yellow Emperor once came here to hear his preaching. So it is one of the birthplaces of Taoism in China. The first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty visited this mountain, and historical sites of later dynasties are found here.

In May 1986, general secretary of the CPC central committee inspected before HuYaoBang achieved with questions when book "kongdong mountain"; In January 1994, kongdong mountain approved by the state council as China's key scenic; In January 2001, approved by the Chinese tourism bureau for China first AAAA tourist area.
 

Geographic Features and Climate

Kongtong MountainWith an elevation of 2,123 meters the Kongtong Mountain covers an area of over 30 square kilometers. Having dozens of towering peaks they all look very magnificent as if wrought by superlative workmanship with a sea of forest roaring like billowing waves from the sky. Strange peaks, picturesque caves, weird rocks and scudding clouds contend one another with greenness, elegance and towering magnificence. The Kongtong Mountain, with the Jing River (jīng hé 泾河) in front and Yanzhi River (yān zhī hé 胭脂河) at the back, boasts a unique geographical environment, a magnificent of crouching tiger and curling dragon.

Pingliang bears a temperate semi-dry continental monsoon climate with an annual average temperature of 8.5 C (47.3 F). Its eastern area is warmer and wetter than the western. On the whole, the rainfall mainly concentrates during July to September.       


Attractions

Kongtong Mountain

Kongtong Mountain is a branch of Liupan Mountain (liù pán shān 六盘山). Though located in the western plateau area, the mountain is endowed with the characteristics both of the magnificence of China's northern mountains and the beauty of southern mountains. Huge mountains stand one after another with vast patches of green forests as their clothes and ethereal mistas their white belt. Kongtong Mountain is abundant in stone caves and houses, many of which are located in the cliffs or dense forest where nobody sets foot. The famous ones include Guangcheng Cave (guǎng chéng dān xué 广成丹穴), Zhaoyang Cave (zhāo yáng dòng 朝阳洞), Xuanhe Cave and Kongtong Cave. In addition, Kongtong Mountain is a rich water resource. The Yanzhi River flows from the north. Every spring, peach blossoms fall into the water and float on the current: a lovely sight. At the foot of the mountain, Tanzheng Lake flows calmly like a mirror, and its murmuring water sounds like a Chinese zither, giving the lake its name,Tanzheng Lake (tán zhēng hú 弹筝湖).

Kongtong MountainKongtong Mountain has typical Danxia geomorphy. The mountain is as gorgeous as if created by the spirits. It is verdant, elegant, and grand. The tree tops make a continuous succession like the huge waves on the ocean. It gives a perfect tour for unusual peaks, caves, stones, and floating clouds.

It has more than 10 peaks. Little streams of Jingshui meander in the front gorge and swift current of Carmine River rushes in the rear gorge. The two waters converge at the foot of Wangjia Mountain, like a tiger crouching, a dragon curling. Many temples of the Tang, Song, Ming, and Qing Dynasties were located here. Among them, the temples in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had the largest scale with more than 40 historic sites. The most famous one is Kongtong Pagoda.

Kongtong MountainThere are 19 Buddhist temples from the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Today Buddhism and Taoism grow together in a harmonious atmosphere on Kongtong Mountain, a situation which is unique to Kongtong Mountain. In addition, Kongtong Mountain has cultivated many Confucianism scholars such as Huang Fumi, the talented founder of Chinese Acupuncture. Kongtong Mountain has more than 1,000 types of plants known so far. Among them, there are up to 100 types of old valuable trees. It is regarded as a natural plant kingdom. Meanwhile, there are more than 100 types of animals, and more than 1,000 types of insects. The musk deer, crane, leopard and golden eagle are the national Class A protected animals.
 

The Kongtong Sect Martial Arts

Kongtong MountainAlmost 1,400 years ago during China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907), master swordsman Feihongzi (fēi hóng zǐ  飞虹子) founded his style of martial art, naming it the Kong Tong Sect in honor of Kong Tong Mountain (kōng tòng shān 崆峒山), a high cloud-crowned mountain sacred to Taoism (dào jiāo 道教) located in Gansu province. From then until the present day, the Kong Tong traditions have been handed down from generation to generation.

Kongtong's martial arts bear some resemblance to those of Wudang (wǔ dāng 武当) and Kunlun (kūn lún 昆仑), because they all have their roots in Taoism. Kongtong's main focus in martial arts are to improve physical fitness and increase inner energy strength.  

Kongtong MountainThe martial arts of Kong Tong Sect have six “Schools” (mén pài 门派). These are the Tai Ji School (tài jí mén 太极门), the Flying Dragon School (fēi lóng mén 飞龙门), the Pursuing the Soul School (zhuī hún mén 追魂门), the Life Stealing School (duó mìng mén 夺命门), the Drunken School (zuì mén 醉门) and, at the highest level, the Flower Form School (huā jià mén 花架门) which is also called the Divine Combat School (shén quán mén 神拳门). A unique feature of Kongtong is that its members do not use traditional weapons used by jianghu pugilists, such as swords, sabers and staffs. These schools contain more than one hundred forms, including the empty-handed Quan fa (fist) and Hangfa (palm) forms and other forms using the eighteen orthodox weapons (swords, spears, etc.) found in Chinese Wushu (martial arts) as well as a wide variety of unorthodox weapons such as the iron fan, the Pan Guan Bi (pàn guān bǐ 判官笔), and the Fo Chen (fó chén佛陈)(a special implement used in Buddhism).


Travel Tips

Location: 15km west of Pingliang City or 12km west of Kongtong District
Tel: 0933-8711212
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00 (Monday-Sunday)
Transportation: There are buses in Pingliang city bus station driving to the foot of Kongtong Moutain (about CNY15)
Admission Fee: CNY120 tourist season (April 1 to October 31)
                        CNY60  off season (November 1 to March 31)
Best Time to Visit: Summer and Autumn (The weather is appropriate)


 

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:30
 

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