Mt. Gezao, in the southeast of Zhangshu municipality (formerly Qingjiang county) of Jiangxi province, is named after the fact that its shape is like a pavilion and its color is black. It has 99 peaks and stretches for more than 100 kilometers. It is regarded as the 36th grotto heaven.
Mt. Gezao is the ancestral mountain of The Numinous Treasure Sect of Daoism ( 靈寶派 Lingbao Pai ). Daoists of this sect said that their founder, Guo Xuan, set up an altar and a fireplace in Temple Woyun in the eastern peak of Mt. Gezao, and refined golden elixir after touring the series of the famous peaks. After he attained Dao, he ascended the Heaven.
From the Southern and Northern Song Dynasties to the Sui and Tang Dynasties, Temple Gezao and four nunneries named Xianren, Lushan. Guogong and Woyun were built successively on Mt. Gezao. The Song Dynasty was its prosperous period, when several Daoists came here for cultivation. The main temple of this period was Temple Gezao, which was given another name, Temple Jingde, by Song Emperor Zhenzong in accordance with his reign title "Jingde" used during the years 1008-1016. Song Emperor Shenzong granted it 180 volumes of books and over 2000 mu of fertile farmland. In the 8th year of the Reign of Zhenhe (in 1118) Song Emperor Weizhong again changed its name into Worshipping Perfection Temple ( 崇真宮 Chongzhen Gong ) and gave posthumously the title of Perfect Man in Correspondence with the Eternal Dao ( 沖應真人 Chongying Zhenren ) to Ge Xuan. During the southern Song Dynasty, Song Emperor Lizhong changed the name again into "Large Longevity Temple of the Worship of Perfection" ( 大萬壽崇真宮 Da Wanshou Chongzhen Gong ) and also granted Ge Xuan posthumously as Perfect sovereign and Protector in Correspondence with the Eternal Dao ( 沖應孚佑真君 Chongying Fuyou Zhenjun ). At that time, Mt. Gezao's prosperity was unprecedented, with more than 1500 houses and over 500 Daoists on it. During the Yuan Dynasty, it was became less and less frequented. Until the 12th year of the Reign of Zhizheng, Worshiping Perfection Temple suffered from the rebellion of the mountain fastness. The altars and halls were broken down. So Numinous Treasure Sect was sapped of its vitality. In the Ming dynasty, the temples were reconstructed with the effort of the Daoist Xu Linzhou of Mt. Gezao. In the early Ming Dynasty, the royal court awarded the 50th successor Li Banxian, the 51st Zhang Zhunli and the 52nd Huang Guxu of Mt. Gezao as the eight-rank immortal officers. However in the 8th year of the Reign of Xuande (in 1433) Mt. Gezao was burnt down again. In the Wanli period (1573-1619) the Daoist Liu Kaihua failed in reconstructing it because of financial resources. Until the early Qing Dynasty, Mt. Gezao declined very much. At the end of the Qing Dynasty and in the early Republic of China, the palace was reconstructed gradually under the management of a famous Daoist, Ouyang Mingxing, who was excellent in medicine and in Kungfu. But till the early year of the liberation of China, in the hall there were only three Daoists, who went home to be farmers one after another.
In recent years, under the care and support of the local government, some famous Daoist monasteries of Mt. Gezao were re-reconstructed respectively, such as Worshiping Perfection Temple, Gate of the Mount, Receiving-Immortal Bridge, Mingshui Pavilion, Mingshui Bridge, Let-Life Pool, Flowering Yard, Refining-Elixir Well. We hope that this ancestral shrine of Numinous Treasure will look as beautiful as before as soon as possible.
Address: Zhangshu Municipality of Jingxi province, China
Touring route: Firstly to Zhangshu Municipality by train, then to Mt. Gezao by bus