Mt. Song is also called the Songgao Mountain and is the Middle Marchmount among the Five Sacred Mountains. It is in Dengfeng County, Henan province and is composed of Taishi Mountain and Shaoshi Mountain. It is the sixth grotto heaven among The Thirty-six Lesser Grotto Heavens.
There are many Daoist remnants. Prince Zi Jin, son of Emperor Lingwang of the Zhou Dynasty was sent to Mt. Song by the Daoist practitioner Master Fuqiu. There remain Fuqiu Peak and Zijin Peak on Taishi Mountain. Zhang Lin in the Han, Zuo Ci in the Wei and Bao Jin in the Jin, all went to Mt. Song for cultivation. In the Northern Wei, Kou Qianzhi retired to Mt. Song for seven years and caused the Supreme Venerable Sovereign to descend on Mt.Song, and conferred him the title of Celestial Master and granted him the twenty volumes Commandments of the New Ordinances from the Cloud. He ordered him to declare the New Ordinances and rectify Daoism. Daoism development rapidly in the Sui and Tang dynasties, large numbers of eminent Daoist priests cultivated here, such as Pan Shizheng, Sima –chengzhen, Li Hanguang. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, Xu Changling, Helan-xizhen and Qiao Zhigao entered the Mt.Song. Daoism declined after the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Mt. Song Temple was built in the Northern Wei. The Songyang Temple, Longtang Temple, Taiyi Temple were all built in the Sui and Tang dynasties. The Zixu Temple, Tianfeng Temple, Chentian Temple and Chanchun Shrine were constructed in the Song and Yuan dynasties. Most temples had been destroyed in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and only Temple of the Central Marchmount was reconstructed.
Temple of the Central Marchmount
It located at the foot of Huanggai Peak, the southern side of the Taishi Mountain. It was originally called Taishi Temple and was built in the Qin dynasty. Today's buildings were constructed in the Qing dynasty. Covering an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, they are arranged along the central axis. From the South to the North, from low to high, there are the Chinese Gate, Remote Viewing Pavilion, Middle Heaven Pavilion, Matching Heaven Lane, Worshipping Holy Gate, Converting Three Gate, Ultimate High Gate, Ultimate High Lane of Songgao, and Great Temple of Mt. Song, Bedroom Palace, and Imperial Calligraphy Stored Building. There are eleven entrances in total. Imperial Company Officer Temple, Fire God Temple, Founder Temple, Small Stored Building Temple, the Divine Land Temple and Dragon King Temple are located on the eastern and western road. They have separate courtyards.
The main hall of Temple of the Middle Marchmount is Great Temple of Mt. Song. It is called Ultimate High Temple. There are nine rooms and five entrances. Its double brimmed roof is covered by yellow colored glaze. The flying rafter and sets of brackets, girders and roof decoration apply the most precious mixing seal color painting. A five-meter tall statue of Great Temple of Mt. Song sits in the middle shrine. General Fang Bi and Fang Xiang stand on both sides to guard the hall.
There are large quantity of showplaces and cultural relics in Temple of the Central Marchmount. East of the Pavilion of Worshipping Holy Gate is Ancient Gods Pavilion. Four martial iron persons stand around the storeroom. They are 2.5 meters tall. Tradition has it that the four iron persons were four Daoist practitioners resisting the Jin armies. Four-cornered Pavilion behind the Converting Three Gate stores Efficacious Temple Tablet of the Mt.Song carved in the Northern Wei. The style is a mixture of official script and regular script. They are quiet and aged, deep and powerful, which is valuable for the studies of Wei style calligraphy. The well-known Tablet of the Map of the True Form of the Five Sacred Mountains is stored in the crush-room at the north of the Ultimate High Gate.
There are several xaDatuks at the south side of Mt.Song. The present Yellow Cover Pavilion is one of them. Climbing the pavilion, one can have the panorama of Temple of the Central Marchmount and one can find it is secluded, quiet and attractive.
Address: Dengfeng County, Henan, P.R.C.
Touring Route: Arrive at Zhengzhou first; take bus to the Mt.Song.