‘Viewing Zhangjiajie Scenery Online’ Day 14: Wulei Mount
By Li Liandi | Updated : Mar 10, 2020
Wulei Mountain is a national 3A scenic spot, one of the famous Taoist Holy Place, one of the key religious sites that have been firstly recognized in Hunan Province, a provincial tourist attraction and a core scenic spot along Zhangjiajie’s eastern tourist route. It is 29 miles away from the east entrance of Cili county on the Changde-Zhangjiajie Highway.
It’s said that there is a strange phenomenon in the temples on the mountain that the thunders sweep the temple, the bells and drums can give a sound by themselves and the dust can be cleaned naturally. That’s why this mountain is called Wulei Mountain (Wulei means five thunders in Chinese).
It has unique natural landscapes with a pleasant climate. Its dense vegetation, ravines and fresh air make it a famous summer resort.
It’s as famous as Wudang Mount in Hubei Province, as the saying goes that “there is Wudang Mount in the north and Wulei Mount in the south. Many of its Taoist temples are praised as the largest Taoist cultural community in Hunan Province.
According to historical records, the Taoism of Wulei Mountain began in Tang Dynasty and flourished in Ming Dynasty. The legend goes that the Prince of ancient Jingle in Western Regions once chose this place to practice Taoism and then ascended to the land of “immortal”. That is the famous Emperor Zhenwu. Afterwards, Li Jing of Tang Dynasty established a Taoist temple there. At the end of Yuan Dynasty, Zhang Dui, compiler of Imperial Academy, retreated to Wulei Mountain, expanded the temple to promote Taoist culture, and personally inscribed “The first famous mountain in South Chu”. Since then, Wulei Mountain has gained a great reputation.
During the Ming Dynasty, Rongding King of Changde and Huayang King of Lizhou carried out large-scale expansion and renovation in Wulei Mountain, with a construction area of more than 5,000 square meters, 36 palaces and 72 temples. The palaces were built of stone walls and tiles, along with the ridges and valleys, stretching for 15 miles. It’s unique and beautiful. Emperor Shenzong named Wulei Mountain as a “blessed place”. Taoist believers were widespread all over 18 cities and counties in southwest Hubei and northwest Hunan. Every year in the lunar calendar, “the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month”, “the fifteenth day of August of the lunar calendar” and “the ninth day of the ninth lunar month” are the three days when Taoist believers come to worship. And big temple fairs are held at that time. There are many believers from the surrounding counties of Hunan and Hubei swarming into Wulei Mountain on these occasions.
In the early 1990s, in order to implement the religious policies and regulations on cultural relics management, the local government of Cili County repaired some of the ancient buildings, built a special tourist road and relevant tourist service facilities and set up Wulei Mountain Scenic Spot.
In October 2004, Zhangjiajie Wulei Mount Tourism Company integrated resources to create the distinctive tourist brand of Wulei Mount Taoist culture.
Wulei Mountain is a brilliant pearl in the eastern entrance of the western Hunan Province.