|Song-shan ( 嵩山 Sōng Shān )
China's Central Daoist Sacred Mountain
|Overview of the gigantic Zhongyue Daoist Temple on the south side of
Song-shan -- the 2nd-most-famous sacred site of this mountain. It is
20 centuries old, and contains a large shrine for this mountain's spirit.
This complex was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in
July 2010, and includes two Han-Dynasty gates.
Of the sacred Five Imperial-Daoist Mountains, Song-shan occupies the the middle or central
position, and therefore is especially venerated. It might be considered the 2nd most-sacred
set of peaks & valleys in China (after Tai-shan). "Song-shan" is really a conglomeration of
two connected mountains, Taishi-shan and Shaoshi-shan (this sort of naming of mountain-clusters
as sacred entities is common in Korea too). It is classically said to have 72 distinctive peaks with
charmning anthropomorphic names, and housing on its slopes 72 Buddhist and Taoist
temples and Confucian shrines -- 72 is 9X8, combination of the highest odd and even
numbers and this a symbol of Completeness. These temples and shrines contain a grand
collection of cultural relics, earning the entire area the reputation of “land of cultural relics”.