Zhongnan Mountains

The Zhongnan Mountains (simplified Chinese: 终南山; traditional Chinese: 終南山), sometimes called the Taiyi Mountains (Chinese: 太乙山) or Zhounan Mountains (Chinese: 周南山), are a branch of the Qin Mountains located in Shaanxi Province, south of Xi'an, China that extend from Wugong County in the east of the province to Lantian County. At 2604 meters the range's highest point is the Cui Hua Mountain. Other notable peaks and places in the Zhongnan mountains include Lou Guan Tai, (where Taoist sage Laozi is said to have dwelt and conveyed the Dao De Jing), as well as Nan Wutai (simplified Chinese: 南五台; traditional Chinese: 南五臺) and Guifeng (Chinese: 圭峰).

The Zhongnan mountains have been a popular dwelling-place for Daoist hermits since at least the Qin Dynasty. Buddhist monks began living in the mountains after Buddhism's introduction into China from India in the early first millennium AD. The Complete Perfection Sect, one of the largest branches of modern Taoism, was founded in the Zhongnan mountains by Song Dynasty Taoist Wang Chongyang. Due to the mountains' close proximity to the ancient capital of Chang'an, officials who incurred the imperial court's wrath often fled to these mountains to escape punishment.

See also


  • Bill Porter, Road To Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits. Counterpoint, 1993. ISBN 1-58243-523-5.
  • Edward A. Burger, Amongst White Clouds. Buddhist Hermit Masters of China's Zhongnan Mountains, Festival Media, 2007. Documentary movie.
  • 终南山 Baidu Baike entry for Zhongnan Mountains (in Chinese)

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