in Tao the only motion is returning
In the South Cliff, there is a hall called Two Bearings Hall. Here two bearings refer to father and mother, heaven and earth, or Yin and Yang. The main characteristic of Taoism is loyalty and filial piety. Behind the grand hall of every palace and temples there built Parents' Hall to worship Zhenwu's real father and mother, by which to teach all the visitors to be filial to their parents which is the code of conduct in Taoism. All these showed that Chinese theory of faith, piety and ethic had combined into Wudang Taoist doctrine. In the hall, there are some statues of other gods which were best devised and elaborately made, some of which have been confirmed the first-rate culture relics in nation level.
South Heaven Gate, inlaying in the rolling hills, is one of the masterpieces that made full use of the space environment cleverly. South Heaven Gate, built in Yongle year of Ming Dynasty, is the only road to South Cliff Palace and connects the Pavilion to Pray for Rain, Taichang Temple and Thunder God Hole as well.
Though small and unique in size, it has made clever use of the topography to fully demonstrate the style of imperial architecture. Near the Mountain Gate is the large Imperial Stele Pavilion, the special building in Wudang Mountains in Ming Dynasty, which presents the palace's level. In the pavilion, there is an imperial stele on the back of a tortoise showing the meaning of reserving it forever and also demonstrating that only the large tortoise is qualified to deliver important orders to humans.
In the architectures of Wudang Taoism, the Mountain Gates of palace and temples are quite important. For once getting into the gate, it means you step in the Wonderland. It was said that South Heaven Gate is the first gate you must pass if you want to go to Heaven. So build it here, they wanted to create an ambit of fairyland.
The Taichang Temple, always surrounded by cloud and fog, has always been called the Temple of Cloud and Fog. It's said that a Taoist named Taichang with consummate medical skill always lived on Wudang Mountains. Once he cured the emperor's mother and refused to accept any reward. Then the emperor ordered a temple to be built in Wudang Mountains in the name of this Taoist so as that he would be remembered by later generations. It's also said that Taichang is one of the twelve gods and the Taichang Temple is the place to offer sacrifices to gods, so the Statue of Laojun is worshipped here.
The statue of Laojun, 1.96 meters high, covered with gold foil and colored drawing, serious and affectionate, appears to be delivering the sermons and also looks as though it was thinking deeply. This statue is on a high level, for it shows perfectly the ancient culture's level of understanding the thought of Laozi either from its shape or from its expression, and displays vividly the world outlook of living in seclusion and doing nothing. It's not only a precious relic but also an elegant work of art. When appreciating this statue, we are often filled with great admiration for the superb skills of ancient artisans.
In the Taichang Temple, the Goddess of the Big Dipper's Mother is also worshipped. It has three eyes, four heads and four arms on each side with the weapons of the sun, the moon, the bow and the arrow in her hands. The statue, silk padded and covered with colored drawing, is priceless.
In South Cliff, there is a stone sculpture spreading forward which has been the topic of the town. This is Dragon-head Stone, or Dragon-head Censer as people often mentioned. Dragonhead Censer faces the Golden Peak, just as playing religious homage. It's 3 meters long, 0.55 meter wide; in fact, it is two dragons carved together by the ancient workers in all kinds of techniques. On the head of the dragon, there is incense barner; under it is a deep valley. That demonstrates super skills and high scientific technology.
It is said that these two huge dragons were the ride of Zhenwu on which he often travel here and there. Because of its mysterious character and special status in the past, many people wanted to show their devoutness and tried to burn incense on the head of dragon. That you must move on the narrow back of dragons by kneeling position and then move back. It is very dangerous. A little carelessness will kill you, because you will suddenly drop from it and fall into the gorge. There were thousands of people died because of this. So Kangxi Emperor of Qing Dynasty sent an order to forbid this action and to set fence around the dragonhead Censer.
According to the history, Thunder God Hole, built in Ming Dynasty, was the place for Zhang-Shouqing, a famous Wudang Mountain Taoist to exercise Qingwei Law of Thunder and pray for rain.
Thunder God Hole is the only place to worship Thunder God, also named God Deng. In the stone hall, there is a statue of Thunder God, the biggest in Wudang Mountains, which has a bird face in a man body, a glede mouth, two snipe eyes, two man feet and ten glede toes, which exhibited the graceful bearing of Thunder God of China in 15th century.
The belief of Thunder God has derived from ancient people's subconscious adoration to thunder and lightning. It was said in history that Thunder God has only one foot and looks like a cow. When he comes out, there must be rain and wind with strong noises. Taoism believes that the thunderclap can stand for Heaven in change of living beings and humans and bring you fortune and misfortune. So in Wudang Mountains, there are many celestial beings having different expressions on their faces and holding their own tools that show their different duties. Behind the Hole, there is a natural spring streaming all the year, cool in summer, warm in winter and having a sweet taste. so it is also called Supernatural Spring.