Mount Heng in Hunan — Magnificent Cultural Landscape and Representative of Longevity

Mount Heng in Hunan of China

Mount Heng in Hunan of China, Photo by Zuiniulvyou.

What is Mount Heng?

 

Mount Heng in Hunan, also named Hengshan Mountain or Nanyue or Nanshan, is one of the Five Great Mountains in China. 

 

Besides its beautiful natural scenic views, Mount Heng in Hunan holds exceptional values regarding history, culture, religion, legend, and mythology.

 
Buildings and Stone Inscriptions on Zhurong Peak of Mount Heng.

Buildings and Stone Inscriptions on Zhurong Peak of Mount Heng

Important Data of Mount Heng

 

  • Mount Heng is in Hunan Province, the south of China;

 

  • It is around 640 square kilometers large;

 

  • The highest peak of Mount Heng is 1300 meters;

 

  • There are over 200 temples in the Mount Heng area.

 
Wanshou Palace inside of the Nanyue Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan.

Wanshou Palace inside of the Nanyue Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan

Why Mount Heng in Hunan is representative of longevity?

 

In Chinese Astrology, Mount Heng in the south corresponds to the star of longevity, which is in charge of humans' lifespans and wellbeing. 

Therefore, Mount Heng has been representative of the long and happy life in Chinese culture.

Today, wishing a person lives as long as Mount Heng (Nanshan) is still a popular benediction on someone’s birthday, especially for aged people.

 
 Starry Sky of Mount Heng

 Starry Sky of Mount Heng, Photo by Deng Minmin.

What is the cultural importance of Mount Heng?

 

  • Mount Heng is representative of longevity in Chinese culture.

  • One of the earliest private colleges was built on Mount Heng (during 806 — 824), where later became a center of private academies in history. 

 
Yehou College on Mount Heng in Hunan

Yehou College of Mount Heng in Hunan

Who are the deities of Mount Heng?

 

  • Zhu Rong, the God of Fire in Chinese mythology, invented and taught people how to make and use fire. 

In other legends, Zhu Rong was the Minister of Fire and was sent to garrison Mount Heng by Yellow Emperor

 

  • Nanyue the Great, or Nanyue Dadi, is in charge of water and aquatic life.

 
Temples to Worship Deities of Mount Heng on Top of the Zhurong Peak

Temples to Worship Deities of Mount Heng on Top of the Zhurong Peak, Photo by Gan Lai.

What are the important cultural sites of Mount Heng?

 

 

Nanyue Temple

 

Firstly constructed in 725 to worship Nanyue the Great, it had been rebuilt and expanded several times in history.

 

Today, the 98,500 square meters' Nanyue Temple is one of the largest temples in China, with both Taoism and Buddhism halls inside. 

 
Nanyue Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan

Nanyue Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan, Photo by shaddockpapa.

Zangjing Temple

 

Firstly built in the year 568, it had been a small temple hiding in the nature of Mount Heng. 

 

After Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328 — 1398) awarded this temple a Zangjing scripture, the master there changed its name to Zangjing Temple. 

Zangjing Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan

Main Hall of Zangjing Temple of Mount Heng in Hunan

Longevity Tripod, or Wanshou Dading

 

It is a 9.9 meters tall, 56 tons tripod, carved with 10,000 characters of "longevity" (Shou) from all historic periods and ethnic groups of China. 

 

This biggest tripod in the world now represents the Longevity Culture of Mount Heng in Hunan. 

Longevity Tripod or Wanshou Dading of Mount Heng

Longevity Tripod or Wanshou Dading of Mount Heng

What are impressive natural scenic views of Mount Heng?

 
Sunrise on Mount Heng in Hunan

Sunrise on Mount Heng in Hunan, Photo by Zuiniulvyou.

Sunset Glow on Zhurong Peak of Mount Heng

Sunset Glow on Zhurong Peak of Mount Heng

Magnificent Peaks of Mount Heng

Magnificent Peaks of Mount Heng, Photo by Zuiniulvyou.