There are five sacred mountains in China that, during ancient times, were mounted by many emperors, for sacrifice, prayer and to visit the Buddhist and Taoist temples. Today, poetry can be seen written on the rocks of these mountains, supporting the notion that many famous writers an poets visited to witness the outstanding natural beauty. The five great mountains include; Mount Tai (泰山) in the east, Mount Heng (衡山) in the south, Mount Hua （华山）in the west, Mount Heng (恒山) in the north and Mount Song (嵩山) in the middle.
Mount Tai 泰山 – Shandong province
It is said that 72 emperors have trekked this mountain,making sacrifice to heaven and earth. It stands at 1545m high, and those that conquer it’s 7000 steps and walk through the Gate of Heaven, will become immortal. From the top gorgeous vistas open up all around, and a the sun set/rise can be enjoying from the Jade Emperor summit.
Highlight: Dai temple at the foot of the mountain is a wonderful introduction. It it the largest and best preserved in the area.
A personal venture to Mount Tai can here read here
Mount Heng 衡山 – Hunan province
This great mountain stands at 1300m tall, with a total of 72 peaks! Zhurong peak being the most visited. There are many Taoism and Buddhist temples at the top, and it is considered to be the most important Taoism centre in Southern China.
Highlight: This mountain range is home to over 1200 species of plants and in the summer it is decorated with a bright sea of flowers.
Mount Hua 华山 – Shaanxi province
Huashan is famous for its natural steep crags (one of which is 90 degrees), bizarre rock formations and narrow paths. It is not for the faint hearted! The highest point is 2155m and the surrounding area can be observed from a possible 5 peaks. The north peak is famous for a sea of clouds that regularly appears.
Highlight: There is a plank walk near south peak aptly named ‘the most dangerous walk in the world’. If you’re feeling brave enough clip on and give it a go!
A personal venture to Mount Hua can be read here
Mount Heng 恒山 – Shanxi province
This mountain was considered a natural battle defence and its history goes back as far as 1400 years. It stands an impressive 2016m tall, overlooking nearby interests such as Datong city and Jinglong canyon.
Highlight: At Tianfeng peak, there is a suspending temple hanging on the mountain. It is a unique mix of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism culture – not to be missed!
Mount Song 嵩山 – Henan province
This was the most popular mountain to offer sacrifice in ancient times, and more than 30 emperors visited here to ascend the throne. Mount Song’s highest peak (out of 72) stands at 1491m and the area is surrounded by beautiful valleys, water falls and caves.
Highlight: This is also the home to the famous Shaolin temple, the birthplace of Wushu and now a resort for many learning Kung Fu. Make time also to see China’s oldest star-observation platform.