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Wuding County History

The History of Lion Mountain

Mt. Lion Scenic Spot, about three kilometers west from Wuding County, is a well-known place of interest in the middle of Yunnan.


It is about 88 kilometers from Kunming by taking the second grade highway. The elevation of the main peak is about 2,420 meters, enjoying long spring and autumn and short winter and summer with an annual average temperature of 13.2¡æ, an annual rainfall of 1,160 mm and a forest coverage of 75.6%. With an area of 166 square kilometers, the resort is divided into four areas of 119 scenic spots, including Mt. Lion, the Xincun Lake, the Xiangshui Valley, and the relics of the Feng’s chieftain; It is actually a scenic resort combining one mountain, one lake and one valley as the main body and integrating landscapes, cultural relics, humanistic geology and ethnic customs.


The area has been well known in Yunnan Province and received tourists ever since the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. Regarded as an ideal land for taking a closer touch to nature, it is now full of cloud-capped ancient trees——a sea of forest that shadows the sun, the towering crags, the strangely-formed rocks, beautiful flowers such as peony, attractive landscapes and sweet spring. The relics and the legends about the Emperor Hui of the Ming Dynasty who shaved his own hair to become a reclusive monk at Mt. Lion make the resort even more interesting. The ancient Zhengxu Temple shows features of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and the imperial palace, teeming with monument inscriptions£¬poems and couplets which add up to more interests. The meditation master Zhikong’s feat of constructing the Zhengxu Meditation Temple made it the sacred place for worship among the Buddhists from South Korea.


Since 1986, Mt. Lion has been restored, developed and constructed with a total investment of over RMB 27 million yuan and its landscapes have been greatly improved.  The large-scale Peony Garden sends forth scent to southwest China and the Zhengxu Meditation Temple resumes a highlighted spot and becomes a multi-functional scenic resort for traveling, summering, spending holidays and scientific investigation. It receives 200 thousand people annually from home and abroad. It is also designated as the base for teaching and scientific investigation of the Geological Department of the Kunming Technical Institute and the Geographical Department of Yunnan Normal University. Experts attending the “Fourth International Conference on Fishes during the Devonian” came here and made investigation and academic exchanges.


In 1988, it was listed in the first group of the scenic resorts of Yunnan Province. Then, upon the approval of the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government, it was reported for being granted the title of the national scenic resort.

 The Lion Mountain Scenic Area is mainly composed of tourist sights such as Zhengxuxian Buddhist Temple, Peony Garden, forests and grotesque rocks etc. Known for its magnificence, wonderfulness, antiquity and elegance, the Lion Mountain is dubbed as “the first mountain in the southwest”. (1)-Zhengxuxian Buddhist Temple Originally erected in 1331, the temple was once enlarged by an Indian Buddhist master named Zhi Kong. The Majestic Hall of the temple looks quite magnificent with an ancient cypress in the front. Couplets and inscriptions on the pavilions and stone steles around enrich greatly the cultural connotations of the temple. Zhu Yunwen or Jianwen Emperor (1377-?), the grandson of Zhu Yuanzhang who is the founder of the Ming Power, is said to be a monk in the temple after his throne was stone by his uncle Zhu Di. Zhi Kong master chose the Lion Mountain for preaching and sponsored enlargement to Zhengxuxian Temple. He then went to South Korea for further preaching hence is worshiped by South Koreans. (2)-The Peony Garden The Peony Garden covers an area of more than 100 Mu (Chinese acre). Since the 1990s when peonies were first introduced to the Lion Mountain from Luoyang and other places of China, the Peony Garden has been grown with over 10,000 peony plants of over 60 kinds. A theme festival for peony flowers is annually held from April 20-May 10.

How to get there:

If you take a bus from the Kunming long distance bus station, the 100 kilometers distance will cost you RMB15. If you go from Chuxiong to Wuding, it will be RMB20. The minibus from Wuding to Mt. Lion costs RMB10.

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