The rock named 'Celestial Basking Boot' in Mount Huangshan
Mount Huangshan has numerous odd-shaped rocks, which resemble either human beings or animals or birds. Even the same rock or rock combination can assume different shapes when looked from different angles. Over time, people have given names to roughly 1,200 rocks, with each name carrying a fascinating legend.
The two rocks named “Celestial Basking Shoe” and the “Celestial Basking Boot” have a very sad romance story behind them.
Once upon a time, in the Celestial Heaven Taoist Temple on Zuoshu Peak lived an old Taoist priest Dao Xuan and his disciple Tai Qing; while in the Purple Cloud Temple on Pine Forest Peak lived a Taoist nun Lian Yu and her disciple Miao Zhen. The two temples were separated by the wide West Sea Valley and their dwellers were forbidden from visiting each other.
Then, one winter day, the kindling in the Celestial Heaven Taoist Temple ran out and Daoxian sent Tai Qing to borrow some from the Purple Cloud Temple. When Tai Qing came to the Purple Cloud Temple and met Miao Zhen for the first time, the two felt like old friends and were very into each other. From then on, they collected firewood and fetched water together.
However, they were so engaged in their conversations that they worked no longer as hard as they used to do, and their relationship was eventually discovered by their masters who told them off. They were banned from going beyond the boundaries set by their masters and would be beaten if they disobeyed. They missed each other so much that they went on a date secretly when both their masters were away from home. In order to date whenever possible, they decided that Tai Qing would place a boot and Miaozhen would place a shoe in front of the their respective gates to tell each other that his or her master was out and they could go on a date.
However, one day when they were seeing each other, their masters both returned suddenly. Knowing that they would be severely punished, they decided to die together and jumped off the cliff into the surrounding sea of clouds, holding each other’s hands. The boot and shoe the two left at the gates turned into two rocks over time: the “Celestial Basking Shoe” and the “Celestial Basking Boot.”