Created 29-Jun-07
Modified 29-Jun-07
Visitors 1221
54 photos
According to Du Guangting's Tang dynasty text on the so-called Grottoe-Heaven (dongtian fudi), this is the first in the series of the "Big Ten". It's significance in Chinese religious thought and mythology can not be overestimated. The mountain with over 1700 m is one of Henan province' highest elevations, and not far from at least two ancient Chinese capitals (to be precise, it is located ~40 km west of Jiyuan city, 100km NW of Luoyang).

A quote from just one of the many texts discussing Mt. Wangwu:
"In ancient times, the Yellow Emperor ascended Mount Wangwu and received scriptures on the elixirs;..." From The Scripture of the Nine Elixirs. (See more at

I had applied to local authorities to enter the mountain for fieldwork purposes back in September 1984 and thereafter. Access was denied three times (it was classified military area). Finally visited 23 years later, on June 26, 2007.

All photographs taken with Olympus E-330 and the recommendable 11-22mm wide-angle zoom lens. Some post-processing in ACDsee and Photoshop (perspective correction).

Thomas H. Hahn
Modern, "faux traditional" gate to the mountain. The real shanmen appears to have been lostSmall farm nestled into one of the valleysThe Ying'en gong IThe Ying'en gong IIThe Ying'en gong IIIStairs leading up to the otherwise totally demolished  Ziwei gong"Facing the real gate of Mt. Wangwu"View towards where the halls and structures once stoodNot the original placement of these stelesDilapidated halls and side buildings IDilapidated halls and side buildings IICollapsed head of a steleFields cover the main area of the former hallsThis used to be the floor of a large temple hallDilapidated halls and side buildings IIIDilapidated halls and side buildings IVA sort of graveyard for ancient stelesPig's den build against the side of the entrance hall of the Ziwei GongOld inscription, text mostly faded awayStele, back side used as a chess board, re-erected for cosmetic reasons