Zhōngyuè Temple

Taoist Temple in Song Shan & Dengfeng

A few kilometres east of Dēngfēng, the ancient and hoary Zhōngyuè Miào is a colossal active Taoist monastery complex that originally dates back to the 2nd century BC. The complex – embedded in a mountainous background, its monks garbed in traditional dress and sporting topknots – is less visited and exudes a more palpable air of reverence than its Buddhist sibling, the Shàolín Temple.

Besides attending the main hall dedicated to the Mountain God, walk through the Gate of Three Changes and expunge pengju, pengzhi and pengjiao – three pestilential insects that respectively inhabit the brain, stomach and feet. Drop by the four Iron Men of Song, rubbed by visitors to cure ailments, and stop by the Sixty Gods Hall, where visitors pay respects to the god corresponding to their birth year. From Dēngfēng, take the green bus 2 from Songshan Lu in town.