Mt. Yunfeng Daoist Temple (Tengchong County, Yunnan)
Mt. Yunfeng, also called Mt. Jian, is situated to the northwest of the county seat of Tengchong County, Yunnan Province. Its highest peak is 2,445 meters high. Mt. Yunfeng Daoist Temple was initially built in the Ming dynasty. According to legend, at that time someone chased a deer to the top of the mountain, but the deer disappeared suddenly, only leaving footprints on the stones. Thinking it supernatural, he built a temple on the mountain. The Ming Geographer Xu Xiake climbed Mt. Yufeng in the 12th year of the reign period of Emperor Chongzhen (1639). In his diary he wrote, “The top (of the mountain) is five zhang across from east to west and half that distance from north to south. In the center stands The Jade Emperor ( 玉皇 Yuhuang ) Pavilion. Worshipped in the part of its three front columns is the Great Man in White (Guanyin), and worshipped in the part of its three back columns are the Sages of the Three Doctrines ( 三教 Sanjiao )”; “The southern and northern wings hang half in the air”; “The northern wing enshrines The Perfect Warrior ( 真武 Zhenwu ), while the southern one enshrines the Mountain Spirit.”
Mt. Yunfeng Daoist Temple reached its heyday between the end of the Ming dynasty and the beginning of the Qing dynasty. In that period the buildings included the Jade Emperor Pavilion, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清 Sanqing ), the Hall of Patriarch ( 祖 Zu ) Lü, and the Hall of the Perfect Warrior at the mountaintop, the Temple of Emperor Guan ( 關帝 Guandi ) at the mountainside, and the temple of Myriad Blessings and the Temple of Initiation at the piedmont. During history, the temples were destroyed and reconstructed several times. During the “Great Cultural Revolution”, most of the temples on the mountain were damaged, and only a few dilapidated rooms remained. In the 1980s, the Jade Emperor7 Pavilion, and the Hall of Patriarch Lü and other temples were rebuilt one after another and basically restored to their original appearance. In 1983, Mt. Yunfeng Daoist Temple was classified as county-level major historical and cultural site under state protection. In 1988, the Daoist Association of Tengchong County was moved to this temple.
Most temples on the mountain were built on rocks at the mountaintop. With the distinctive upturned eaves high up in the air, this architectural complex enjoys the laudatory title “immortal metropolis in the air”. The “three-section zigzagged scaling steps” through cliffs and precipices are renowned as the best of the twelve landscapes in Tengchong. Mt. Yunfeng is a famous Daoist sacred place and scenic spot in western Dian. During the annual mountain fair and temple fair, a continuous flow of sightseers and worshippers tour or pilgrimage to this mountain.