Situated in Huayin City, Mount Huashan is 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Xi'an. It is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak.
The Mount Huashan is also home to several influential Taoist temples, where many emperors of past dynasties took part in Taoist activities and sacrificed to the god of mountain, making it a holy land of Taoism. At its foot, are the representatives of its Taoist elements。
Xiyue Temple of Mount Huashan
Located at the foot of Mount Huashan, Xiyue Temple is 120 km (about 74.56 mi) east of Xi'an City. It was built to honor the god of the mountain during the reign of Emperor Wudi in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). Since then many emperors have made sacrifice here to the god of the mountain.
Xiyue Temple is referred to as the Forbidden City of Shaanxi because of its constructions and the overall composition. Facing towards Mount Huashan, it is a must-see place as visitors start or finish climbing the mountain. The main buildings here are Haoling Gate, Five-Phoenix Pavilion, Lingxing Gate, Golden City Gate, Haoling Palace, Study of Emperors, and Long Live Pavilion.
Jade Spring Temple (Yuquan Temple)
As one of the wonderful attractions around Xi'an City, Jade Spring Temple is a must-pass place when visiting Mount Huashan. People consider Jade Spring Temple as the door to the mountain. Belonging to a Taoist Temple, it functions to hold Taoist practices and activities. It was originally built during the reign of Emperor Shenzong in the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127) to honor Chen Tuan (871 - 989), a famous scholar and eremite of the Quanzhen School (a branch of Taoism), by Jia Desheng, a student of Chen. Chen Tuan once was named Mr. Xiyi by an emperor, so people call him “Taoism Father Chen Tuan”, “Sleeping Fairy” or “Taoism Father Xiyi”. He combined the ideology of Quietism, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism making great contributions to the development of neo-Confucianism, a Confucian School of ideal philosophy in the Song Dynasties (960 - 1279).