Taking Beauty to New Heights in China: What Stunning Sights Emerge on Huangshan and its Bridge of Immortals?

Taking Beauty to New Heights in China: What Stunning Sights Emerge on Huangshan and its Bridge of Immortals?

(Read the article on one page)

Huangshan (written in the Han script as 黄山, and literally translated as ‘Yellow Mountain’) is a mountain range located in the southern part of Anhui Province, in the eastern region of China. This mountain range is well known for its picturesque landscape, which is often considered to be the most beautiful in China. Apart from its natural scenery, Huangshan is also renowned for its Bridge of Immortals, which is dubbed by certain sources as the “world’s highest bridge”.

Huangshan, One of China’s Most Magical Mountains

A travel writer by the name of Xu Xiake, who lived during the Ming Dynasty, wrote that “薄海内外之名山,无如徽之黄山。登黄山,天下无山,观止矣!”, which may be more or less translated as follows, “Whilst there are many famous mountains, there is none like Huangshan. Having ascended Huangshan, there are no more mountains under Heaven, the viewing (of other mountains) stops”. This quote later became “五岳归来不看山,黄山归来不看岳”, which roughly means “Having seen the Five Great Mountains, one does not see other mountains; having seen Huangshan, one does not see the Five Great Mountains”.

Landscape of Mount Huangshan, China.

Landscape of Mount Huangshan, China. (Chi King/ CC BY 2.0 )

Huangshan has an important place in Chinese history and culture. For instance, a legend dating to 747 AD, when China was ruled by the Tang Dynasty, states that this was the place where the elixir of immortality was discovered.

Apart from hermits seeking immortality, Huangshan also attracted scores of Chinese poets and artists over the centuries, who hoped to be inspired by the mountain’s breath-taking landscape. It was during the Ming Dynasty, more specifically around the 16th century, that the landscape, rocks and trees of Huangshan served as inspirations for an influential Chinese school of landscape painting known as 山水 (pronounced as ‘shan shui’, which means ‘mountain and water’). It is thanks to this school that a fundamental representation of oriental landscape painting found its way into the art and imagination of the world.

An ink painting depicting Huangshan in China, by Shitao, 1670.

An ink painting depicting Huangshan in China, by Shitao, 1670. ( Public Domain )

Special Sights in Eastern China: The Four Wonders of Huangshan

Huangshan is famed for the ‘Four Wonders of Huangshan’, namely, its ancient pines, rock formations, sea of clouds touching the mountainsides, and hot springs. Many of the pines on Huangshan are more than 1000 years old, and, due to the mountainous terrain, have not been able to grow upright. As a result, these trees are crooked and twisted, yet beautiful to behold.

Rocky Gate and trees in Huangshan mountains, Anhui, China.

Rocky Gate and trees in Huangshan mountains, Anhui, China. (Arne Hückelheim/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

As for the rock formations, exposure to the elements over time has produced many bizarrely-shaped rocks. Visitors to the mountain may discern various real or mythical creatures in these formations.

Rock formations and mountains at Huangshan, China. Visitors to the mountain may discern various real or mythical creatures in the rock formations.

Rock formations and mountains at Huangshan, China. Visitors to the mountain may discern various real or mythical creatures in the rock formations. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

It is during the winter that the sea of clouds may be best viewed at Huangshan. As the clouds are often lower than the peaks of the mountains, the mountaintops look as though they are islands floating in a sea of mists.

When the clouds roll in the mountaintops look as though they are islands floating in a sea of mists.

When the clouds roll in the mountaintops look as though they are islands floating in a sea of mists. ( CC BY SA 4.0 ) Huangshan, China.

Finally, the natural hot springs may be used by visitors to relax after climbing the mountain. Huangdi, a legendary Chinese Emperor said to be the ancestor of the Chinese people, is believed to have bathed in one of these springs for 49 days before becoming an immortal and ascending to Heaven.

A colorful pond at the foot of Huangshan, China.

A colorful pond at the foot of Huangshan, China. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

The Bridge of Immortals, A Chinese Fairyland Bridge

Huangshan is also known for its Bridge of Immortals, which is known also as the ‘Fairyland Bridge’. This bridge passes through two tunnels hewn out of the rock of two adjacent mountains, and is suspended over a narrow gorge. This bridge, which is made of stone, is ornately carved. There are many steps and steep cliffs to climb before one reaches this bridge. Nevertheless, one who had reached the Bridge of Immortals will be rewarded with an unparalleled view of the surrounding area.               

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Posthumous portrait of Queen Isabella I of Castile.
Isabella I was a Queen of Castile and León who lived between the middle of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. Her reign is notable for a number of important events, including the completion of the Reconquista, the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, and Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage, which the monarch supported and financed.

Opinion

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article