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Mt. Huashan

Mt. Huashan, also called 'the Great West Mountain' in the past, is one of China's five sacred mountains. It is the tallest among the five great mountains. The mountain flanked by the Yuntai (Cloud Terrace) and Yunu (Jade Maiden) peaks and fronting thirty-six minor peaks, has peculiar peaks, strange rocks, seas of clouds, purling springs as well as flying waterfalls. It is one of the famous mountains as well as a very beautiful scenic spot of China.It takes usually 24 hours to visit all the five peaks on foot, but only five to six hours if one takes the ropeway. If you wish to watch the sun rising on East Peak, you had better start at night. After four to six hours' walk, you will arrive at the very top of the mountain and can enjoy the impressive sun rising.


Location

Mt. Huashan is located to the south of Huayin County, 120 kilometres east of Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province. With an elevation of 2200 meters above sea level, the mountain overlooks the Huanghe River and the Weishui River in the north and links with the Qinling Mountains to the south.


Main Peaks

Mt. Huashan is formed of a piece of huge and complete granite. Its history dates back to 2.7 billion years. In ancient times, Mt. Huashan was called Mt. Taihuashan. Seen from afar, the five peaks looks like five petals of a flower. Hence its name, Mt. Huashan (= five flowers).

Mt. Huashan is famous for its breath-taking cliffs. Along the 12-kilometer-long winding path up to the top are awe-inspiring precipices, looking into which will take your breath away. It has five peaks, the south one is called the Peak of the Wild Geese, the east one, the Peak of the Rising Sun, the west one, the peak of Lotus, the Central one, the Peak of the Charming Maiden and the north one, the Peak of the Cloud Terrace. The latter two are not so tall as the former three, yet each presents a kind of scenic beauty of its own.

Among the five peaks, East Peak (Facing Sun Peak), West Peak (Lotus Peak) and South Peak (Dropping Goose Peak) are comparatively high. The three main peaks, acclaimed as 'the three magnificent peaks under heaven', stand like the three legs of a tripod in the blue sky.

East Peak, with a rising-sun platform favorable for viewing the morning sun, is also called Facing Sun Peak. As the sun emerges from the sea of clouds, standing at the top of East Peak, one can enjoy the rising sun early in the morning.

There is a giant rock in front of Cuiyun Palace on West Peak. As it takes the shape of a lotus flower, the mountain is also called Lotus Peak. As legend has it, Chen Xiang, a filial young man, once split the mountain and rescued his mother out of it. Now a crack can be witnessed in a giant rock beside Cuiyun Palace as if an axe made it. Thus, the rock is called 'Axe-splitting Rock,' beside which is a huge axe with a long handle.

the south peak, which is the highest of the three, 2160.5m above sea level, is also named the Wild Goose Perching Peak. Along the cliff of South Peak is a planked path equipped with an iron chain, with the help of which, adventurers can walk on the frightful path.

The middle peak got its name because of a story telling that once a young lady rode a white horse among the mountains.

The northwest side of the peak is called Fatal Cliff for it is as steep as if it was cut by a sharp sword. North Peak, with cliffs on three sides, has only one road leading to the south. From here one goes south to Ca'er Precipice, the fourth most dangerous place along the only path in Mt. Huashan. The cliff path is less than 30 centimeters wide, and faces such a deep valley that the tourists have to edge along carefully. Then one comes to Sky-leading Ladder, Sun and Moon Precipice and the well-known Blue Dragon Mountain.


Interests and Scenic Spots

Mt. Huashan boasts two hundred and ten famous places of interest and scenic spots. Temples and pavilions can be found every where. Owing to its peculiar lie the mountain has its own style of architecture. Many towers, caves and stone steps are built according to local conditions.

Of the ruins, Yuquan (Jade Spring), Zhenwu Palace, and Jintian Palace are famous. Xiyue Temple, seven kilometers north of Mt. Huashan is the place where people of ancient times paid tribute to the Mt. Huashan God.

The cloud-enshrouded cliff path, the sculptured rocky cliff, the floating-in-the air Somersault Cliff, the cliff-excavated Thoursand-Foot Precipice, the Hundred-Foot Valley, Laojun's Furrow, Ear Touching Cliff, Up the Heaven's Ladder, the Heaven Dragon Peak and so on are all marvellous views of precipitous and perilous cliff paths.

The Immortal's Palm Rock ranks the first in the Eight Scenes of the Guangzhong Plain. The changeable weather on the mountain makes Mt.Huashan sometimes in the clouds, or in the rain, or in the mist, or in the snow, which make people feel as if they were in a fairyland.

The area of Mt. Huashan specializes in gingko, thatch weaving and traditional paper-cutting. Today, Mt. Huashan is listed as one of the renowned national scenic spots.


service facilities

In recent years, the basic construction of Mt.Huashan has developed rapidly.

In past, there was only one path leading to Mt.Huashan. Now, two new high ways up to the mountain have been opened. Mt. Huashan cable cars to the North Peak were finished.

A series of service facilities were established both on the top and at the foot of the mountain, including the Huashan Hotel, the Jinrong (finance) hotel, the Li Hua Ping Hotel and the Beifeng Restaurant. As well, one might can be refreshed in the restaurants on Qingke Stand, South Peak and North Peak as well as in temples, big or small. An electric and telephone circuit has been set up throughout the mountain.

The shops are mostly at the foot of the mountain, where one can rent walking sticks, gym shoes, warm clothes, electric torches and so on.

in Huangfuyu, two kilometers east of Yuquan there is an 8-kilometer-long cement road which leads to Wamiaogou. Then one can take the ropeway straight to North Peak, which takes only seven to eight minutes. Every year one can take advantage of the best visiting times through May to October.