Wudang Mountain (Chinese: 武當山; pinyin: Wǔdāng Shān), located in Shiyan City, Hubei Province, is both a famous scenic spot and the Taoist Holy Land in China. What is more it is also the cradle of Wudang Internal Martial Arts or Wudang Kung Fu.
There are 72 peaks in the area, as well as 36 sheer cliffs and overhanging rocks, 24 ravines and 11 caverns. The highest peak and temple in the range is Golden Peak (Jin Ding), which rises to an elevation of 1,612 meters. It creates a striking view of “One Pole Supporting the Sky.” Clustered around it are numerous smaller ones, composing a fantastic picture of 72 peaks paying homage to the main one.
As the largest existing Daoist complex, Wudang has been built up over several centuries. The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). By this time Daoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China.
Daoist culture has existed on Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (25-220). The movement began with a few early Daoists settling on the mountain in order to practice their worship of nature.
In the Song dynasty, the legendary Daoist priest Zhang San Feng achieved immortality at Wudang and is credited with originating concepts of internal martial arts, specifically Tai Ji Quan (13 postures).
Well into the Ming dynasty, there was a surge in building temples at Wudang that honor Zhen Wu, a prince that left everything behind to study inner alchemy.
The ancient architectural complex on the mountain was listed by UNESCO in 1994 as a World Culture Heritage Site. It is famous for many Taoist Monasteries where many Taoist ravine are shirined which attracts many Chinese religious believers here to pilgrims.
NOTE: In summer, the entrance to Wudang Mountain Scenic Area will be closed at 5:30 pm. If you arrive at the ticketing center after 5:30 pm, then you need to stay at a hotel in the town for one night, then enter Wudang Mountain Scenic Area and come to Wudang Mountain Kung Fu Academy the next morning.