Zwillingstempel, Fanjingshan, China

8,800 steps lead up: the twin temples, which were built on a narrow rock needle


8,800 steps lead up a narrow staircase to the two Buddhist temples on the Red Clouds Golden Summit, a secondary peak of the 2572 meter high Fanjingshan Mountain in China. The ascent takes up to four hours, depending on your fitness level, and you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018.

Top view of the temple complexPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

Like the art and architecture magazine “My Modern Met“Writes, these and other temples in the area were mainly built during the Ming Dynasty about 500 years ago. How people managed to transport the required materials to the 100 meter high rock needle without modern technology is still a mystery to researchers today. So that the fragile temples could withstand the extreme winds and erosion, they were later rebuilt true to the original using more stable building materials, writes “Odditycentral“.

Twin Temple, Fanjingshan

Almost 9,000 steps lead up to the temples. There are some places along the way where you can rest and get snacks and drinks.Photo: dpa Picture Alliance

What visitors can expect up at the twin temple

If you want to save yourself the hassle of climbing stairs, you can also take a cable car to a ledge just before the summit. However, you would then miss the old inscriptions from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, which are carved along the thousands of steps and express the worship of the holy mountain by the locals. Once at the top, visitors first arrive at the Temple of the Buddha on the south side of the temple complex. You can then walk over a narrow stone arch bridge to the Maitreya Temple.

Twin Temple, Fanjingshan

Would you dare to go up there? In any case, you shouldn’t be afraid of heights.Photo: dpa Picture Alliance

Fanjingshan is a holy mountain for Buddhists. About 50 Buddhist temples are located on its slopes and on various secondary peaks. The area is now a popular destination for both Buddhists and tourists from around the world who want to enjoy the spectacular views.