Heng Shan Bei Pilgrimage

Heng Shan or Heng Mountain ( 恒山; Pinyin:Héng Shān) in Shanxi Province, is at 2,017 m, one of the five tallest peaks in China (outside Tibet). Heng Shan in Shanxi Province is sometimes known as the Northern Heng Shan, and the one in Hunan Province as Southern Heng Shan. Both mountains have the same pronunciation in Chinese, and the Southern Heng Shan is also one of the Five Sacred Mountains. 

What To See

From the mountain's base, a 30-minute walk up a switchback trail brings you to Hengzong Si, Heng Shan's primary temple. Another 40 minutes and you'll find yourself at Heng Shan's peak.

Note that temperatures are usually cooler on the mountain than elsewhere in Shanxi. 

The Hanging Temple at the foot of Heng Shan, Shanxi Province, is located some 5 kilometers south of the village of Hunyuan. Although Henshan Mountain is one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism/ Daoism, the Hanging Temple is a Buddhist temple, although it also pays homage to Confuciansim and Taoism, with sculptures of Confucius and Lao-Tzu alongside sculptures of  Sakyamuni Buddha. 

Construction of the original monastery on the the west cliff of the mountain, facing Jinxia Gorge, spanned the period AD 471-523, circa, during the Northern Wei  Dynasty (AD 386-533). The Hanging Temple as it exists today stems from renovations/ expansions undertaken during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The latest restoration of the monastery took place in 1900.

Suspended some 50 metres over the ground and consisting of 40 pavilions and halls, the Hanging Temple is constructed with the help of wooden pillars that are anchored into the cliff face. The temple is reached along a bridge and a stone staircase cut into the cliff face. The temple's main halls are linked by winding corridors, bridges, and boardwalks. The temple boasts a fine collection of statues in bronze, iron, terracotta and stone. 

Hours / Fees

Open: 0800 - 1800
Temples: CNY 35
Cableways: CNY30(up), CNY25(down), CNY45 (round-trip)
Yuemenwan: CNY 20 
Hanging Monastery: CNY 60 

Getting There

Heng Shan (officially open from 8am-6pm) is best reached from Datong's long-distance bus terminal, where you can take a bus to Hunyuan, lying 75km to the southeast. From there, frequent tourist buses depart for Heng Shan. 


Temperate semi-arid continental climate, with four distinct seasons. It features cold-dry winters, windy springs, short rainy summers, and short sunny autumns. There is extreme temperature difference between daytime and at night. Annual average temperature in Mt. Hengshan is 6.1 degree centigrade.

The Tao Holy Mountains

Tai Shan, Shandong province, 1545 meters.
Heng Shan Bei, Shanxi province, 2017 meters.
Hua Shan, Shanxi province, 1997 meters.
Heng Shan Nan, Hunan province, 1290 meters.
Song Shan, Henan province, 1494 meters.

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