Located at the foot of Mount Hengshan and built in the steep cliff on the west side of the Jinlong Gorge that is five kilometers to the south of the downtown area of Hunyuan County is Hanging Mountain, which is also called Hanging Temple (different in Chinese characters). It is China’s only well-preserved temple featuring a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Built in the 15th year of the Taihe Period of the Northern Wei Dynasty (491 AD), it boasts a history of over 1,400 years. With Mount Hengshan in the front, extending green mountains in the back, precipitous rocks above it and deep gully beneath it, the unique structures of Hanging Temple look like a mansion among mountains. Although it has an area of 152.5 square meters, it has 40 rooms. In the early days of construction, its highest building, the Sanjiao Palace, was 90 meters above the ground. As the soil coming from the river filled up the ground it decreased to 58 meters above the ground. It was listed as a cultural heritage site under province protection in 1957, and later a cultural heritage site under state protection in 1982. Inside the temple are architectural structures such as yards, rooms, halls, Sanfo Palace, Taiyi Palace, Guandi Temple, drum tower, bell tower, Jialan Palace, trestles, Guanyin Temple, the Palace of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, Thousand Hands Guanyin Palace, Shijia Palace, Leiyin Palace, Sangong Palace, Chunyang Palace, Sanjiao Palace, Wufo Palace, and so on.
Hanging Temple is not only unique and magnificent in shape, but also special as an architectural structure. Its architectural styles vary: there are single, double and triple eaves; there are lifting, flat-topping and corbel structures; there are flat, vertical, crossing and sunken hips. Looking at its general structure, it is built layers on layers, giving rise to a unique style of grottos beyond mansions and mansions beyond caverns. This style is characterized by its perfect combination of grottos and mansions. It absorbs the architectural style of Chinese gardens and maintains the traditional layout simultaneously. Most of the bronze and iron wares, clay figurines, stone inscriptions and statues that are featured by the style of the early years correlate with the introduction of Buddhism in China. Thus, they are precious items and rich in historical, as well as artistic value.