The Wudang Mountains are famous for their history. It is the birthplace of many spiritual awakenings, the most known of which being to Zhang San Feng, a Daoist priest credited with the creation of Tai Ji (see here). However, spiritual journeys aside, Wudangshan also is equipped with beautiful panoramas and timeless craftsmanship.
The most journeyed is the long trail that leds to the Golden Summit, Jin Ding. Inside, the temple has a bronze statue of Xuan Wu, also referred to as Zhen Wu, a well known Daoist figure. The temple itself is entirely built of gilded copper, weighing a total of over 20 tons.
The journey to Jin Ding takes a few hours from the last bus stop near Nanyan. The trail is now mostly paved and is a relaxing walk through forests, near a few caves, and up a lot of stairs. After the voyage to the summit is complete, the temple is backed with a stunning vista of the surrounding mountain range making it worth the trip whether for spiritual or photographic reasons.
Before you make the trek to the Golden Summit, you can find Nanyan Temple on the southern cliff of Wudang Mountain. Built from stone, Nanyan is a stunning view and an easy walk gets you close up to explore this relic.
As well as being a cultural landmark, Nanyan has its claim as being a spiritual landmark, too. Nanyan is believed to be the point from which Taoist people can go to heaven. This stems from the legend of Zhen Wu. The story goes that he found Taoism and flew to heaven from a dangerously placed incense burner found hanging from one of Nanyan's ledges.
Halfway up the mountain rests the grand structure of Zi Xiao Gong, or the Purple Heaven Palace. Reconstructed in 1413, the temple is designed with all of the numerous halls facing inwards towards each other. For centuries this temple has been the center of prayers from countless people.
Zi Xiao Gong is also host to martial artists of the area. There is a school nearby that uses the temple grounds for training. It was here that Master Yuan Xiu Gang spent his time as a monk while he learned Daoist culture, wushu, music and various other things.
Wudang Mountain has more to offer, as well. The mountains are full of small schools teaching traditional martial arts, Chinese herbal medicine, and other practices. While the city is close at hand with new development on the rise yet still designed to coincide with the culture of the famous Wudang Mountains. In between you can find Monkey Valley, a place where many well known movies have been shot including the Karate Kid with Jackie Chan.
Wudang is also alive in the promotion of modern martial arts. Within the last two years the newly created stadium has hosted performances, competitions and the 4th World Tai Ji Quan Health Congress. Wudang is moving towards the collective goal of sharing with the world the benefits of Tai Ji and other internal martial arts of Wudang.