The name comes from its main peak propping up the sky. It contains Mysterious Valley known as “the first granite mysterious place”; Sanzu Temple, which is the founder place of the third generation of Chinese Zen; petroglyph in the ancient stone cattle cave, a wonder of the world and Qianhe River Drifting called “the first drifting at the Yangtze-Huaihe Valley”. You will produce unbounded fantasy when stepping into the place where the story of Peacock flying Southeast, the first long poem of China, took place, and realize the profound meaning of the saying “majestic and spirited ”when approaching the rouge well where Da Qiao and Xiao Qiao dressed and made up during the Three States Dynasty. The mountain absorbed litterateurs and calligraphers like Wang Anshi, Sushi and Huang Tingjian etc; turned out Cheng Changgeng, the founder of Beijing opera, and Zhang Hengshui, a great master of chaptered novel; brings up Xia Juhua, the queen of acrobatics and Han Zaifen, a new actress of Huangmei opera.
The natural scenery of Mt. Tian Zhu is amazing, containing marvelous peaks, strange rocks, deep caves and beautiful springs. Bai Juyi praised the mountain in his poem as “one peak props up the sun and moon, cave gate blocks the cloud and thunder”; Libai and Su Dongpo revealed the wish to settle down here in their poem “come back here after returning the pill of immortality” and “prefer the natural conditions of Shu State and be willing to live here finally” respectively. It serves to show its extraordinary charm, which consists of majestic pillar propping up the sky, 45 peaks, strange pines, rocks, springs, flying waterfalls, valleys, deep caves, swift gorges, ancient villages and Liandan Lake, the third largest lake of China, too many beautiful sights to see.
Sanzu Temple, previously named Shangu Temple and Qianyuan Temple also, is the southern gate of Mt. Tian Zhu Scenic Spot. It was built during Wu Emperor’s rein in the Liang Dynasty. Then, in the Sui Dynasty, Sengcan, the third founder of Zen, passed away here and was buried behind the temple.
With the serene and marvelous scenery gathering the human sights of Mr. Tian Zhu, it is a famous ancient temple of Zen among major Buddhist temples of China at present. Jueji Tower, built in the Tang Dynasty, stands in the Yunshi Gully. Seven-floored and eight-square, it is 33 m high with engraved paintings of Tang style in its wall. Towering into the sky presents its majesty; while the bells hanging on the tower creates the mysterious atmosphere with the sound echoing in deep valley when it is windy.
The scenic spot has sights like Sangao Pavilion, Lihua Tower, Jijue Tower and Zhuoxi Spring etc.
Shiniu (Stone Cattle) Ancient Cave
In the west gully of Sanzu Temple, there is a huge rock like a sleeping cattle with gurgling spring, whence comes the name. Huang Tingjian built a house and read here; Li Gongling, a great painter, drew s self-portrait sitting on the stone cattle; Wang Anshi, an official under Renzong Emperor’s rein in the Song Dynasty, left inscription of his poem when visiting here.
Among the ten sights of Qianyang, “Shiniu Ancient Cave” and “Spring Flowing in the Valley” keep over one hundred stone inscriptions of Tang, Song Ming and Qing Dynasties.
The inscriptions with characters big or small were graved in cliff and deep cave. As for the style, there are poems, songs, “Fu (a Chinese literary form, mixture of verse and prose)” and inscriptions; the fonts include regular, running, official, seal and cursive scripts; the graving methods consist of intaglio and relief; the dynasties continue from Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic China till present without interregnum, each has 2 to 109 inscriptions.
Tian Zhu Peak
1488.4 m high, the peak stands high up in the sky with rugged stone bones, as a pillar, wimble, torch, sword, storied building and gifted pen. Hence, there is a saying goes “don’t want to see any mountain after watching the five mountains, don’t want to see the remainder of the five mountains after watching Mt. Huangshan and don’t want to see any peak after watching Tian Zhu Peak”. When passing the Susong section of Yangtze River and watching the majestic Tian Zhu Peak, Li Bai, a great poet in the Tang Dynasty, highly recited “marvelous peak towers marvelous clouds, beautiful forest contains beautiful circumstances, Mt. Wangong, not matter in clear or dark, is precipitous and pleasant”; Bai Juyi chanted that “one peak props up the sun and moon, cave gate blocks the cloud and thunder”. Towering alone with precipitous peak, it is hard to mountaineer. The records show that there are only two tourists reaching the top till now.
Besides, the peak has lots of bynames.
Chaoyang (Facing sun) Peak：Towering above the mountains, the peak welcomes the first ray of sunlight when the sun rises from the horizon and sends away the last one, facing sun for whole day. The major peak is hidden in the mist for half a year and seldom visible since it is misty in Yangtze-Huanhe Valley.
Siming Peak：As a famous Taoist mountain, which is called the fourteenth heavenly abode and fifty-seventh blessed spot, it is under the administration of Siming Zhen Jun, whence comes the name of its major peak.
Hejia (Crane flying) Peak：The ancient records show that there are thousands of white cranes flying towards the peak from the southwest and circling above it. In fact, it is birds migrating in spring.
Wanbo Prong：The area where Mt. Tian Zhu stands is under the rein of Wan Country founded by Wangong. So, Tian Zhu Peak is the prong of Wanbo Mountain.
Bamboo Shoot Tine: It is named for the shape. Chu Guangqian of the Qing Dynasty described Tian Zhu Peak in his book Travels of Mt. Wanshan as “thin in top, thick in bottom and precipitous around, like a bamboo shoot in spring growing from the earth and putting off its shells ”. In the southern cliff of the top graved characters “propping up the sky alone” and “only pillar in the sky” of five chi (unit of length, 3chi=im) square. The former was written by Li Yunling, a general of Qing Army and subordinate of Zeng Guofan, and graved by chemical peasants, He Liangmou and He Liangzuo. The latter was written by Zhang Ganyou, vice-commander of the fifth war zone of Kuomintang, and graved by He Laichao and He Laibin, great-grandsons of He Liangmou.
Located in the south of Tian Chi Peak, Mysterious Valley is also called Siyuan Cave. As the most mysterious place of Mt. Tian Zhu, its reputation lies in two points: one is the marvelous valley, another is lots of mysterious legends since ancient times.
Taoists regard it as a fairyland and Taoist books call it as the fourteenth blessed spot. According to the ancient materials, the cave is “deep enough for thousands of footsteps with crystal rock blow leading to the sea”. It is called Zongguan Cave afterwards.
Consisting of Dragon King’s Palace, Labyrinth and Carefree Palace, from the entrance of Cliff of Howling Dragon and Tiger, through Five Fingers Peak, close to Flying Peak, around Xianzhu (hold a pearl in the mouth) Peak to Duxian Bridge, the valley is over 400m long with a drop of over 100m. Looked from the outside, the valley is just a pile of ripraps, which contains nearly 100 caves however. So, tourists cannot see each other but hear the voice no matter how many they are. Caves in the valley lap over and wrap each other, some communicate with and some are separated from each other. So, tourists will find the route where there seems on one and get lost where there seems to be a route. Some are wide enough for numerous people, who can see clearly the pebbles on the bottom of the river; some are so low that people have to crawl and will be completely dark only if one blocked in the way; some are big enough for sever people to walk side by side and take a rest on the rock; some are so steep that tourists have to climb with both hands and feet; some are gloomy and cold with lots of curves, which make people tremble; some are bright and tourists can appreciate the gurgling spring, pines and singing birds.
Ma Zu Temple
The temple abuts on Dragon Concave to the east, Zhengguo Temple to the west, Xiaolong to the south and Tian Zhu Peak to the north, covering 3.7 sq. km. The terminal of the mountaineering highway of the former mountain is the major gate of the Mt. Tian Zhu Scenic Spot.
As an alchemy place in the ancient time, it has forests and mountains around, crossing fertile lands and farmhouses, like a Xanadu. With thick forest and clean springs, the environment here is very sequestered. The major attractions here include Foguang Temple, Mazu Cave, Muyu Rock, Kylin Rock and Pig Rock etc. standing on the Dicui Bridge and watching southwards, you will find the river like a silk sometimes and rainbow other times. Looking back northwards, you will see Tian Zhu Peak, Xiangzi Peak and Jiangdan Peak like green screens in the sky.
Ma Zu Temple is the retreat place of Mazu Daoyi, a great monk in the Tang Dynasty. There are Ma Zu Cave on the left, Thunderbolt Rock and Pig Rock on the top and Xueya Fall and Mr. Lianggong Spring blow.
Under Tian Zhu Peak, there is a peak separated from the major peak by a crack, which is above the ground and seems made by a huge axe. It is normally called Xiao Tian Gate and “a thread of sky” also. The peak is only 10m high, like a first blooming flower, hence comes the name of “Flower Peak”. Looking up to the cliff of Tian Zhu Peak, there are four characters of regular scrip “Ding Tian Li Di”, which were written by Liu Chunyi, a general of Kuomintang in the 29th year in public China.