Known as “the lungs of Changsha the Yuelu Mountain is blanketed with verdant trees in spring and dyed in the blaze of crimson maple leaves late in autumn and early in winter. A shot distance from the southern entrance to the park is the Lush Maple Valley, which affectionately embraces the autumn admiring Pavilion. This small building with a double-eaved,roof is known as one of the three most famous pavilions south of the Yangtze River, partly because it is rather exquisite in workmanship and partly because it is connected with Mao Zedong and men of letters at ancient times.Halfway from it to the top, the ancient Lushan Temple stands among old and towering maple trees. Built in 268, it is the earliest Buddhist temple in Hunan. As the couplet flanking the door of times its main hall complacently boasts, it became “the earliest sacred site in the Three Kingdoms Period(220-280)”and was”the first place in Hunan for Buddhist rites”. A wonder it presents is the old podocarpus tree before the main hall, which is said to have survived six dynasties.
A winding path to the southwest leads to the Cloudy Lushan Peak. It takes about a quarter to cover the distance, yet ascending the Cloudy Lushan Temple is rather rewarding. There on the top floor of that Taoist temple, you can have a panoramic view of the whole city and enjoy the magnificent scene of”southwestern clouds floating here from Mount Hengshan, and the Xiang River emptying day and night into Lake Dongting. Other attractions that must not be missed include the White Crane Spring, the Inscribed Monument to King Yu, the Sui Dynasty Dagoba, and the tombsof Huang Xing, Cai E and other revolutionary pioneers. At the Eastern Entrance, sight-seers can reach by cable way the summit, where they can also have a bird’s eye view of the whole city.