Fanjingshan Temple – Temples in the Air
The Fanjingshan or Mount Fanjing, located in Tongren, Guizhou province, is the highest peak of the Wuling Mountains in southeastern China, at an elevation of 2,570 m. The Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve was established in 1978 and designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1986.
Mount Fanjing was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018. Besides being a natural wonder, the area includes a number of Buddhist temples as well.
Getting to Mount Fanjing is not easy. Located about 12 miles from the city of Tongren, daily buses run to the mountain and the journey takes around 90 minutes. There is limited accommodation in the area. However, its relatively isolated location means, that it is home to a great variety of plant and animal life, including the rare Guizhou Golden Monkey and the Chinese Giant Salamander. The area has over 2000 varieties of plants and trees, many of them unique to the place.
However, this isolation can also be a blessing for the modern traveler, as Mount Fanjing is not overrun by tourists. It’s possible to get to the top of the mountain and many pilgrims and visitors do so. The climb is not for the faint hearted, although there are stops along the way as well as some refreshment stalls. Legend has it, that there are 8888 steps to the top, so if you can make it to the peak, the views are spectacular. Another option is to take a cable car to a nearby outcrop, known as Mushroom Peak.
Perched at the top of the most significant “Red Clouds Golden Peak” is the more incredible Fanjingshan Temple with 2,336 meters above the sea.
The two temples were originally built from the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty, about over 500 years ago, and the present temples have been rebuilt according to their original look and with iron, tiles to protect from the strong mountain wind. And there is only one hall for each temple, which is built with layers of stone pieces into 5.4 meters wide and 5.55 meters deep. There is a bridge linking between the two temples above the deep Gold Sword Gorge.
Since “Red Clouds Golden Summit” is often surrounded by mists and sea of clouds, standing on the platform outside of Fanjingshan Temple is really cool to admire the extraordinary view like viewing in the air. Thus, people from around the globe flock up to Fanjingshan to visit the iconic summit and Fanjingshan Temple to add such incredible experience and sightseeing into their travel memory.