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Qiyun Mountain-Taoist holy site Guide

-Travel to Qiyun Mountain-Taoist holy site

Qiyun Mountain sits on the bank of the Shuaishui River which, viewed from the mountaintop, meanders along picturesquely by grain fields and white-walled cottages. The river and its polychrome surrounds are said to closely resemble a black and white Yin and Yang sign – or the 'diagram of the supreme and ultimate' to use its real name – when viewed from directly above. Proximity to such powerful Taoist imagery is the reason why Taoist sage Zhang Sanfeng is said to have spent his last years on the mountain before gaining immortality. Thanks to the power of the Tao, Zhang had a long life. According to legend, he lived 200 years from 1247 to 1458.

Perhaps the almost constant cloud cover and the sense of seclusion it creates explain why Qiyun Mountain has remained an epicenter of Taoism in South China for over a millennium. China's history over the past several hundred years has been tumultuous, but this hasn't stopped Taoist followers from making pilgrimages to the mountaintop shrine of Lord Zhenwu, the Truly Martial Grand Emperor. Dynasties fell and wars raged, but artists, scholars and poets continued the Taoist tradition of immersing themselves in the serene solace of the woods above Qiyun’s steep bluffs. Some have left behind works of art to mark their stay in the form of inscribed tablets. The carvings of sages long past remain on the rock face today, standing stately guard over tourists who clamber up Qiyun.

The visitors to Qiyun over the course of history, many of whom were artists and scholars, have left their mark on the mountain. The most ambitious among them would have their writings engraved on the cliff faces of Peach Blossom Valley and other scenic and sacred spots.

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