- Peak of Mt. Wushan
- Peaks of Wu Gorge
- Mt. Wushan
As the starting point of Wu Gorge, Mt. Wushan is famous for peaks of all shapes, and the Twelve Peaks are the best representatives. Located at the border between Sichuan and Hubei Provinces, Mt. Wushan joins Daba Mountain from the north. The main peak of Mt. Wushan, Wuyun Peak, has an elevation of 2,400 meters (7,874 feet). Since it is made of limestone and in one of the areas that have the heaviest rains in China, Mt. Wushan has long been eroded by wind, rain and the Yangtze River. Therefore, a forest of peaks of piercing shapes has been formed in Mt. Wushan, and the Twelve Peaks are the highlights.
The Twelve Peaks are located on the banks of Yangtze River about 10 to 30 km (6.2 - 18.6 miles) away from the Wushan County. Six of them are on the northern bank: Denglong, Shengquan, Zhaoyun, Wangxia (Goddess Peak), Songluan, and Jixian. The other six peaks are on the southern bank: Jingtan, Qiyun, Shangsheng, Feifeng, Cuiping, and Juhe. Due to frequent rains and lack of sunshine, the Twelve Peaks are sometimes surrounded by mist and clouds. Cruising along the Twelve Peaks, you seem to "enter” into a fairyland.
The Goddess Peak stands on the northern bank of Yangtze River about 15 km away from Wushan County. Looking at it from a distance, it is just like a slim and graceful young lady, hence the name Goddess Peak. The peak is so high that it is the first peak that sees the rosy dawn, so it is also called Wangxia Peak (the peak watching the morning clouds).
Legend of Twelve Peaks
Once upon a time, there lived twelve evil dragons in the Wu Gorges of Yangtze River. One day, they ran out of their cave and brought storms, heavy rains and thunders to the Wu Gorge. People were blown by wind and villages and fields flooded. Yao Ji, the little daughter of the Heavenly Queen Mother, was passing by and saw what the dragons did. She was very angry and killed the evil dragons. The dragons’ bodies fell on the ground and turned into towering mountains which blocked the watercourse of the Yangtze River. The water rose and submerged the whole Sichuan area. Yao Ji asked her eleven sisters and Yu the Great (the hero who controlled floods) to help her split the mountains and dredge the river. Villages and people in Wu Gorge were saved at last.
After the flood was controlled, Yao Ji was going back to the Heavenly Palace with her sisters. When she saw that the dragons’ bodies in the Yangtze River formed hidden shoals and dangerous reefs which could sink many ships, she and her sisters decided to stay and navigate passing ships. After many years, the twelve fairies turned into twelve peaks standing on the banks of Wu Gorge, and Yao Ji was said to turn into the Goddess Peak.