Wudang Shan is a sacred mountain area in northwest
Hubei. The range of 72 peaks stretches for 400km (250 miles). At
1,600 meters (5,250ft) Tianzhu Feng peak is the highest of Wudang
Shan’s peaks. Its name means pillar to the sky. Many of the hills
in Wudang Shan have Daoist temples scattered on their slopes which
date back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and this is one of the
most sacred mountain areas for Daoists.
The Ming emperor Zhen Whu, who became a Daoist deity, lived here during the 15th century and there is a statue of him in the impressive Taihe Temple, which is about halfway up Tianzhu Feng Peak. The climb to the top of the mountain takes about 3 hours. Jinding (Golden Summit) is located at the top of Tianzhu Feng Peak. There are numerous other temples to visit in this scenic area including Zixiao Gong (Purple Cloud), which was built in 1413 and is located northeast of Tianzhu Feng peak.
It is claimed that the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi has its origins in Wudang Shan, based on a style of boxing developed by a Daoist monk named Zhang Sanfeng who lived in the area during the 14th century. Zhang Sanfeng developed the martial art from his observations of birds and animals in Wudang Shan.