Chongqing became China’s fourth municipality on March 14, 1997 when the National People’s Congress approved a motion by the State Council.
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Like the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, Chongqing now runs its own affairs under the direct control of the central government, instead of Sichuan Province. It administers 14 districts, 4 cities and 19 counties. Of 30.90 million people in Chongqing, over 24.4 million are farmers, accounting for 79 per cent of the total population of Chongqing; minority people number more than 1.7 million, accounting for 5.5 per cent of the total population in Chongqing.
As early as the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), Chongqing was the capital of the Ba State. It became the wartime capital of the Kuomintang government during the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945). In the early years after the founding of the Piople’s Republic of China, Chongqing was a municipality directly under the authority of the central government.
Because of its buildings on hillsides and mountains surrounding the city, Chongqing is nicknamed “Mountain City.” The central part of the city is located on a peninsular-shaped ridge, which is the result of an abrupt ending of the Huaying Montain Range at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. Commanding by Pipashan (Mount Loquat) and Eling , it is overlaid with buildings climbing the hills and roads snaking their way along the hills. Its altitude varies as much as 220 meters. The lowest is 160 meters above sea level at the tip of Zhaotianmen in the east and the highest is 380 meters by Futuguan in the west. Looking up from the riverside, visitors can See tall buildings in big blocks kissing the sky. On a commanding height, visitors can find distant surrounding peaks rising one higher than another. As the winding Jialing River meets the east surging river, the city is cut into Three parts, the middle part facing the waters on Three sides. Looking from afar, visitors can find the city resembling a goose floating upon the waters. As the sun shines, the buildings are all reflected in waters, offering a spectacular view of a mountain city as Chongqing is called.
Chongqing’s terrain varies in elevation. The Yangtze River flows through the city from southwest to northeast. The city proper is located on the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River; it is overlaid with buildings climbing the hills and roads snaking their way among the hills. Chongqing has a couple of names. Houses and apartment blocks built their way up mountains from an undulating pattern. Standing at the confluence of the Jialing River and Yangtze River, it is also nicknamed “the River Town.”
Chongqing is China’s important synthesized industrial city. Its heavy industry is of a big scale, especially as of iron and steel, machinery and automobiles. There is a balanced development of agriculture. Chongqing is famous for orange plantation area along the Yangtze River area, hence the “Golden Corridor.”
Endowed with a convenient communication in the water, air and land transportation, Chongqing has become an economic, commercial, financial centre and a communication hub on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Cheng-Yu (Chengdu-Chongqing), Chuan-Yu (Sichuan-Chongqing) and Xiang-Yu (Hunan-Chongqing) railways connect the city. Chongqing has a complete network of highways, of which the most significant one is the Cheng-Yu Expressway regarded as Chongqing’s main artery of transportation. In terms of the water transportation, the city is an important wharf on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, and ships and boats can now navigate their way on the Jialing River. The Jiangbei Airport is an important air transport hub in the southwestern part of China.
The city has a solid industrial foundation. The Three pillar sectors include machinery, chemical and metallurgical industries. And the food processing, building materials, real estate, electronic and tourism industries are developing rapidly.
The city is proud of its splendid natural scenery with a representation of hills, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. The city’s culture is a combination of Ba and Yu culture, migration culture and Three Gorges culture. Famous scenic spots and relics include the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, and the Dazu Grottoes, which was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List in 1999.
Chongqing boasts 25 colleges and universities and about 1,000 scientific research institutes, employing 560,000 scientific and technological personnel. The city has established economic and trade relations with more than 140 countries and regions. It has more than 2,000 foreign-funded enterprises. Chongqing is also the embarkation point for cruisers through the famous Three Gorges and on down to Wuhan, Yichang, Nanjing or Shanghai.
Daning River Excursion: The Three Little Gorge 长江小三峡
This breathtakingly beautiful area has only been open to overseas tourists since 1985 and for this reason it remains largely unspoilt. A day trip up the crystal-clear Daning River 大宁河 (a 300-kiolmeter-long tributary joins the Yangtze River at the mouth of the Wuxia Gorge), through its magnificent Three Little Gorges---whose total length is 50 kilometers—is to experience the excitement and awe of bygone days of River travel in China. The excursion is undertaken in long, low, wooden motorized sampans (a light flat-bottomed boar used along the coasts and rivers in China, Japan, etc.), whose strong experience boatmen pole with all their might when the River is too shallow for the engine to be used, heaving their bodies forward as they thrust long iron-tipped bamboo poles into the riverbed, and following through until they are almost lying on their backs in their struggle against the current. Few of the local boats encountered are motorized and the boatmen must tow the boats—laden with local merchandise and coal—upriver, using a long bamboo rope and tracking in harness, along the water’s edge or along cut pathways along the rock face, chanting as they go. Negotiating a rapid may take several exhausting attempts before the boat is finally hauled over.
Approximately 40 minutes from the mouth of the Daning River, at its confluence with the Yangtze River, the entrance to the Dragon Gate Gorge 龙门峡---the first of the gorges—is reached. The Gorge is 3 kilometers (2 miles) long. On the cliff face to the right is the 1981 flood mark, over 40 meters above River level. The mouth of the Gorge is like a massive gateway through which the River rushes like a green dragon, hence the Dragon Gate Gorge. The gateway appears to shut once the visitor has passed through. On the east side is Drahon Gate Spring and above it Lingzhi Peak, topped by Nine-Dragon Pillar. On the peak, one legend has it that strange plants and the lingzhi fungus of immortality are grown and guarded by nine dragons. On the western bank, two rows of 15-centimetre square holes, continuing the entire length of the little Gorges and numbering more than 6,000 are all that remain of an astonishing plank walkway, which was first constructed in the Han Dynasty and recorded in the Annals of Wushan County in 246 BC. Wooden stakes inserted into these hand-hewn holes supported planks and large bamboo pipes, which stretched for 100 kilometers (62.1 miles) along the Daning River. This pipeline conveyed brine, while the planks provided an access for maintenance. In the 17th century, the peasant leader Li Zicheng (1606-1645) and his army used the pathway in their uprising against the Ming Dynasty, was destroyed by the imperial army.
After leaving the Gorge the boat passes the Nest of Silver Rapid. In the past, rich merchants trading in the hinterland often came to grief here; perhaps there are caches of silver under the bubbling surface still! In 1958 work began on clearing major obstacles from the river.
The Daning River then meanders through terraced hillsides before entering the 10-kilometer (6.21 miles) Misty Gorge, with its dramatic scenery of rocks, peaks and caves, including Fairy Maiden Cave, Fairy Throwing a Silk Ball, and Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) Seated on a Lotus Platform. A long layered formation, like a scaly dragon, can be Seen on the eastern cliff. Suspended upon the precipice is a relic of the ancient inhabitants of eastern Sichuan 2,000 years ago, an ‘iron’ coffin (which is actually made of wood that has turned black with age),hence the Iron Coffin Gorge.
The village of Shuanglong or Twin Dragons in Chinese (population about 300), above Bawu Gorge 巴雾峡，is the halfway point. Lunch is provided at the reception centre, which also has ten rooms for overnight accommodation.
The 20-kilometers-(or 12.42 miles-) long Emerald Green Gorge 滴翠峡 is inhabited by wild ducks and covered with luxuriant bamboo groves from which rises a deafening cacophony of bird-song. There are also many types of monkey still to be Seen if you are lucky enough. Once their shrill cries resounded throughout the Yangtze gorges, but today they can be heard only in Emerald Green Gorge. River stones of an extraordinary variety and colour can be gathered. These are painted and sold as artistic souvenirs in local shops.
At the end of the Gorge the tourist boat turns around and rushes downstream, arriving at Wushan in half the time it took to get here, aided by the skilful use of the long yuloh, which is weighted by a stone to steady the boat.
Dazu Rock Carvings 大足石刻
In scribed by UNESCO on the list as one of the World Cultural Heritages in December 1999, Dazu (“Great Plenty” or more mundanely as “Big Foot”) Rock Carvings lie 163 kilometers away from Chongqing Municipality, which was established in March 1997. The carvings started in 892 and completed by the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) lasting more than 250 years. They are the excellent works of rock carvings produced during the later period of grotto arts in China.
More than 50,000 pieces of carved rock figures are scattered 75 major sites in the 1,390-aquare-kilometre county. Those carved out of the rocks at Beishan (North Hill), the Baodingshan (Precious Peak Hill) and Nanshan (South Hill) are the most concentrated in number, the largest in scale, the finest in craftsmanship and the richest in contents. In 1961, they appeared on the list of the first group of important cultural relics under the state protection as announced by the State Council.
Dazu Rock Carvings are in no way less important than other big-name Chinese grottoes such as Dunhuang, Yungang and Longmen in Northern China.
The Dazu Rock Carvings, mainly consisting of Buddhist images, are the commented as the “Oriental Carved Bible.” However, there are also separate areas of Confucian and Taoist images, and caves in which the founders of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism are placed together. Besides, there are statues of a commemorative nature of historical personages. What makes Dazu rock carvings unique is the large amount of statues, the refined carving techniques, the diversified subjects, the rich content and the excellent conservation.
Cliffside Carvings at Beishan (North Hill) 北山摩崖造像
Fowan, on the top of Beishanm, is only two kilometers away from Dazu County (population 950,000) seat. Arranged in order of 290 numbers, there are 264 caves and niches of images, 6 inscriptions, 55 descriptive notes and accounts about the making of the images, 8 pillars inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and one picture carved in Intaglio. Most of the images are the statues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisttva (Guanyin) 观音, Ksitigarbha Bodhisttva (Dizang) 地藏, and Amitabha (Amida Buddha ) 阿弥陀佛. It is acclaimed as “a gallery of Chinese Avalokitesvaras” because of the numerous, stylistic statues of Avalokitesvara.
Situated in the southern section of Fowan, the figures were generally carved in the period 892 to 960, while those in the northern section were mainly chiseled in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). These works are characterized with rotund and stately appearance, unsophisticated disposition and simple garments. The carvings in the middle sections are most attractive. For instance, the figures in Cave 136 have the features of well-proportioned bodies, exquisitely luxurious garments and distinct characters. Manjusri, a well-learned and eloquent Boddhisattva was carved into a vigorous figure, sitting on a roaring lion, with a tint of self-conceit. As a match for Manjusri, Samantabhadra was carved as a female Boddhisattva. It possesses the beautiful and healthy features peculiar to oriental females, so it is often called “Venus of the East.”
The one in Niche 125 popularly known as “Charming Guanyin (Avalokitesvara)” 数珠观音 （亦称媚态观音），claims to be the crown of the carvings at Beishan (North Hill), and another statue of Avalokitesvara in Niche 113 is also a masterpiece.
In carving Mayurasana-raja in Cave 155, the Chinese ancient artisans inherited the earlier column-grotto technique and chiseled the major image at the centre of the cave, making it serve as a pillar to support the rock ceiling on top. Their bold touch made Ksitigarbha in Cave 177 another attraction with unique style.
The pagoda standing on top of the hill opposite Fowan is a unique architecture with 12 eaves outside and 7 floors inside. It was built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). On the walls of the 33-metre-high pagoda, about one hundred stone reliefs were embedded. Entering the south door and going upstairs, tourists can get to the top of the pagoda.
Cliffside Carvings at Baidingshan (Treasure Peak Hill) 宝顶山摩崖造像
Situated 15 kilometers away from northeast of Dazu, Baodingshan is famous for its comprise of more than 10,000 magnificent sculptures, which were created under the direction of a sistinguished local, Buddhist monk Zhao Zhifeng 赵智凤 in the period 1174 to 1252 in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). They have a history of over 800 years. Those located in Dafowan 大佛湾 are best preserved and most numerous. Besides, there 7 inscriptions descrbing the origin of the carvings at Baodingshan and the historical records of Buddhism,,17 descriptive notes and 2 Sarira pagodas. The carvings in Dafowan depict almost every story recorded in Buddhist scriptures. The skilled carving workmanship and beautiful artistic style create life-like human images with various expressions. The carvings are patterned in accordance with the terrain of the hills, resulting in natural, magnificent structure. The well-designed groups of 19 grand reliefs cover a wide scope of artistic themes, and most of them are coloured with secular tints.
The major reliefs in Dafowan include : “Temple Guardians 护法神像” “Picture of Transmigration in Six Ways六道轮回,” “Pavilion of Extensive Treasures广大宝楼阁,” “Three Saints of the Avatamsaka School华严三圣像,” “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with Thousand Arms or Thousand-Armed Guanyin千手观音”(a statue of Avalokitesvara seated on a lotus flower, her 1,007 hands spread out over 88 square meters of rock. An unusual feature here is the carving of scenes from everyday life executed with tender vividness.), “Sakyamuni Entering Nirvana释迦耶磐圣迹图,” “ A Story from the Mayurasanasutra孔雀明王经变像,” “A Story from the Scripture on the Kindness of Parents父母恩重经变像,” “The Voice of Cloud and Thundering云雷音图” “A Story from the Scripture on Nahopaya Buddha’s Requital of Kindness大方便佛报恩经变像” “A Story from the Amitayus-Buddhadyana-sutra观音无量寿佛经变像” “A Picture of the Six Animals六耗图” “A Scene of the Hell地狱变像” “Master Liu’s Religious Centre柳本尊行化道场” “Image of the Ten Great Vidyarajas十大明王像” “The Cave of Hull Enlightenment圆觉洞” and “The Cowherd’s Pasture land牧牛道场.”The images associated with inscribed Buddhist texts and eulogistic expressions look very much like an ancient picture-story book with ample explanations. Dafowan is the only place among groups of sculptures where this technique of expression is employed. The images such as the patents and children in the “Story from the Scripture on the Kindness of Parents”, the flute girl in the “Sutra on Mahopaya Buddha Requiting the Kindness of His Parents” and the hen wife 养鸡女 in the “Scene of the Hell ” depict a vivid picture of the people in the Song Dynasty.
The carvings in Dafowan are full of imaginations. To show the greatness of Sakyamuni Buddha, founder of Buddhism, only the upper part of the body was chiseled and thus left plenty room to people for the imagination of the lower part. The breathtaking Thousand-arm Avalokitesvara Bodhisttva is really a manmade wonder. The 3-meter high figure with 1,007 arms stretching out like a peacock’s tail covers an area of 88 square meters.
Dafowan is a U-shaped range of hills about 15 to 30 meters high and some 500 meters long. The statues carved on the eastern, southern and northern cliff-sides of the valley are arranged in 31 serial numbers.
In other sites such as Nanshan and Shizhuangshan of Dazu County, there are statues that integrate Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, representing the interplay among different religions in China during the Song Dynasty. Previous grotto art in China seldom touched on Taoism and Confucianism. But here, Confucius (551-479 BC), Lao-tse or Lao Zi (c.604-531 BC) and the Buddha are even built together in the same niche, which is rare. That indicates the inclusive nature and powerful vitality of Chinese culture. The best way to experience the grandeur and beauty of Dazu rock carvings is to visit them on the spot.
On June 22, 2000, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO presented Dazu the title of “World Heritage Site” at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Dazu used to be a prosperous county in the early Tang Dynasty. As Buddhism grew throughout Chima, people showed their faith through stone carvings. Even as constant warfare weakened Northern China after the Tang Dynasty (618-907), stone carving was able to continue in the Dazu area. With the support from local affluent families, temples and religious devotees, artisans continued working in Dazu until the late Qing Dynasty with the work peaking during the Song Dynasty.
The Dazu Rock Carvings in the steep hillsides of Dazu County contain an exceptional number of rock carvings dating from the 9th to 13th centuries. Material released by UNESCO’s Beijing Office said that the rock carvings “are remarkable for their high aesthetic qualities, their rich diversity of subject matters, both secular and religious, and provide a glimpse into the life of China during this period.”
More than 50,000 stone sculptures have so far been discovered in 75 sites in mountainous Dazu County. They are primarily sculptures reflecting themes from Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
E-ling Park 鹅岭公园
E-ling Park crowns the E-ling Ridge of Chongqing peninsular. It commands a panoramic view of the Yangtze River to its south, the Jialing River to its north, the city proper to its east and the Futuguan to its west. Built in the period 1909 to 1911, it used to be a villa of a wealthy merchant. As the terrain is like the head of a goose, a Qing Dynasty imperial aide Zhao Xishu, who was a friend of the merchant, once inscribed two Chinese characters E-ling (goose ridge), which is now carved on a stone tablet.
Inside the bonsai garden if the park, there are more than 100 varieties of rare potted plants and miniature landscapes. Not far from the garden is a man-made lake called Ronghu. The stone handrails on the bridge are uniquely carved in the form of a rope. Nanyuan Garden in the park is densely shaded with trees such as camphor trees, ginkgo, pine trees, winter sweet, cassia trees and crape myrtle. With weird rockery under trees it has a flavour of pastoral life. The newly-built tower Liangjiang Ting has eight storeys. Standing on the top, visitors can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city at daytime, and a magnificent view at night. The chrysanthemum show of the city, held in the park each year, displays hundreds of rare species of chrysanthemums.
Shibaozhai (Precious Stone Fortress) 石宝寨
Situated on the north bank of the Yangtze River near Zhongxian County, Precious Stone Fortress, standing on a huge crag over 10 meters high, represents the first gem of Chinese architecture to be encountered on the downstream journey. From afar, the protruding 220-meter hill on the north bank can appear to resemble a jade seal, and therefore it is also called a “Jade Seal Hill” as its rectangular shape is like that of a huge seal. Legend tells that it is a rock left by a legendary figure by the name of Nuwa, a creator-goddess who patched with stone blocks the holes in the sky made by Gonggong 共工，the Spirit of Water, in a conflict with Zhuanxu颛顼，the spirit of fire. A red pavilion hugs one side of the crag. Its tall yellow entrance gate is decorated with lions and dragons and etched with an inscription inviting tourists to climb the ladder and ascend into a “Little Fairyland.” Atop the hill is a temple called “Lanruodian兰若殿” built during the early reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) in the Qing Dynasty and access to it is by an iron chain attached to the cliff. A 12-storey pagoda-shaped wooden pavilion was added in 1819 during the reign of Jiaqing (1796-1820) in the Qing Dynasty so that monks and tourists to the temple would not suffer the discomforts of the chain ascent. In 1956 Three more stories were added to the building. Each floor if dedicated to the famous generals of the Three Kingdoms period, local scholars and renowned Chinese poets. The building contains a staircase leading up the way from ground to the hilltop, which is otherwise difficult to reach. The panoramic view tourists get when atop the hill is very much like a traditional Chinese painting.
In front of Ganya Palace at the top of Jade Hill is the Duck Hole. Legend continues that as spring turns to summer, if the tourist takes a live duck and drop it through the hole, it will quickly reappear swimming in the Yangtze River. In the past the monks apparently drew their drinking from this hole by using a pipe made of bamboo.
The spirit wall in the temple’s main hall is constructed of excavated Han-dynasty bricks. The hall behind is dedicated on the right to Generals Zhang Fei (?-221) and Yan Yan of the Three Kingdoms, on the left to General Qin Liangyu (1576-1648) who fought bravely against the Manchu forces. A mural shows that the goddess Nuwa repairing the sky. Two side corridors and a back hall display archaeological finds and portraits of local Qing-dynasty officials. Fossils of fish and a tail section of a dinosaur discovered by the river’s edge can also be seen.]
In the rear hall are the remains of the Rice Flowing Hole. It is said that long time ago just enough husked rice would flow up from the small hole each day for the needs of the monks and their guests. One day a greedy monk, thinking he could become rich, chiseled a bigger hole, and the rice flow ceased forever. Most of the tourist cruise ships dock at Precious Stone Fortress for a few hours’ visit.
The three Gorges of the Yangtze River 长江三峡
The Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, a world-renowned tourist attraction, start at Baidicheng (White Emperor City) in Fengjie County (population 990,000) in the west and end at Nanjingguan (Southern Crossing) Pass in Yichang to the east, passing through Badong, Zigui counties and Yichang City in Hubei Province. The total length of the Gorges extends 193 kilometers. Except the Daning River Valley and the Xiangxi (Fragrant Stream) Valley, the Gorges themselves are 93 kilometers long. The first Gorge of the Three from west to east, known as Qutang Gorge 瞿塘峡is 7 kilometers, Wuxia Gorge巫峡，he second one, runs west to east for 44 kilometers; Xiling Gorge西陵峡，the last of the three, covers a distance of 42 kilometers.
The steep mountains, the dangerous rugged shoals and the turbulent waters are characteristic of the gorges. The perpendicular cliff and grotesque peaks with clouds wrapping them in a blanket of mist create one of nature’s most majestic sights.
The area of the Gorges was also the cradle of culture of the ancient Chu State. It has a long history with a galaxy of talents. Here were born two famous characters in Chinese history; Qu Yuan 屈原 (c.340-c.278 BC), a great patriotic poet and statesman of the third century BC and Wang Zhaojun in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 23), who did her bit for the promotion of the national unity. A host of great historic poets, such as Li Bai (701-762), Du Pu (712-770), Bai Juyi (772-846), Lu You (1125-1210) and Su Shi (1037-1101) greatly admired the beautiful and charming landscape and wrote down quite a number of emotional poems.
The Gorges themselves are a long poem, a mysterious natural gallery. Qutang Gorge famous is for its magnificent precipices 以雄伟闻名， Which form a colossal, nearly perfect gate over the river. Wuxia Gorge, with soaring fascinating mountain peaks rising from the riverbanks, is severe and secluded, and presents a panorama of lovely scenery以秀丽见长。Xiling Gorge is noted for its numerous hidden rocks and perilous shoals以险峻著称。The picturesque scenery along the river, which never fails to appeal to visitors, will surely make them admire the mysterious creative power of nature.
Qutang Gorge 瞿塘峡
Originating on the Qinghai Highland, the 6,300-kilometer-long Yangtze River, the longest River in China, sweeps east. When the River reaches eastern Sichuan, it cuts through the Wushan Mountain. There the River course suddenly narrows and the waters become turbulent. Craggy mountains rise on either side, creating the Three Gorges—reputed as on of China’s greatest natural wonders. The first Gorge is named Qutang Gorge, which extends from Baidicheng in the west to the town of Daqizhen in the east. With precipices towering over the two banks only 100 meters apart, the mighty Yangtze River waters are suddenly constricted in front of Kuimen Gate, the Gorge entrance. Waves billow, currents whirl and the River roars angrily. Sailing through the 7-kilometer-long Qutang Gorge, the tourist occasionally sees narrow paths carved on the riverside cliffs. In ancient times these were the only roads for troop movements, mercantile transport and boat towing. The boat haulers, prostrating themselves almost to the ground, would plod on and on while singing sad “work songs” to synchronize their movements. If any of them dropped from illness or exhaustion, the boat owner, however hind-hearted he might be, couldn’t steer to the shore to pick him up. He had to be left to his fate on the towpath. It is the shortest, but the most magnificent of the Three Gorges. It is also known as the most fearsome waterway.
Qutang Gorge is also known as Kuixia Gorge. It controls the flow of the Yangtze River and is the gateway between Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province.
Wuxua (Witches) Gorge 巫峡
Flanked by craggy peaks and grotesque rock, it forms a meandering scenic gallery, totaling 44 kilometers in distance. Sometimes there seems no way ahead, suddenly an unimpeded path is in front while the water winds along mountain ridges. The beautiful scenery on both banks is too capricious to take them all in.
On a cruise down the Wuxia Gorge, the tourist’s mind is on twelve peaks. Six of the 12 sentinsl peaks line the north bank: the Shengquan (Sage Spring) 圣泉，jixian （Congregated Immortals） 集仙， Songluan （Fir Tree Cone）松恋，Shennu （Goddess）神女，Zhaoyun （Facing Clouds）朝云and Denglong（Climbing Dragon）登龙。Of the other six peaks on the south bank, three are visible: Juhe (Assembled Crains) 聚鹤, Cuiping (Misty Screen) 翠屏 and Feifeng (Flying Phoenix) 飞凤. The other Three of Jingtan (Clean Altar) 净坛, Qiyun (Rising Cloud) 起云 and Shangsheng (Mlounting Aloft) 上升 are hidden behind the peaks on the right of Qingqi Stream, a tributary of Yangtze River. That is why great poet Lu You 陆游 (1125-1210) of Southern Song Dynasty wrote: “ Nine out of twelve mountain peaks are visible十二巫山见九峰.”All the peaks are given their names by their different shapes. Varying from seasons and weathers, their pretty scenery is the everlasting appeal to tourists.
The Daning River, a 300-kilometer-long tributary joins the Yangtze River at the mouth of the Wuxia Gorge. It is full of shoals and whirling pools. With precipitous peaks standing on two sides and turbulent currents smashing against rock-sides, the scenery there is just like a landscape painting, and in many ways like those of the Yangtze Gorges, hence the name “the Three Little Gorges.”
Xiling Gorge 西陵峡
Xiling Gorge begins at the Xiangxi (Fragrant Stream) in the west and ends at Nanjingguan Pass in the east. It is known for its numerous hidden rocks, dangerous shoals and turbulent rapids. Xiling Gorge consists of 4 small Gorges and weveral dangerous shoals: the Gorge of the Sword and Book on the Art of War, the Gorge of the Cow’s Liver and Horse’s Lung, the Kongling Gorge and the Gorge of the Shadow Play; The Blue Shoal, the Discharge Shoal, the Kongling Shoal and the Yaocha Shoal. Since the Gezhouba Dam Project was completed, the turbulent has been smoothed down while the scenery along the Gorges remains intact.
It is said that the Gorge of the Sword and Book on the Art of War was the place where Zhuge Liang (a statesman and strategist in the Three Kingdoms period (220-228), who became a symbol of resourcefulness and wisdom in Chinese folklore), Prime Minister of Shu State of the Three Kingdoms period, had stored his grain and a book on the art of war. The Gorge of the Cow Liver and the Horse’s Lung is on the north bank of the Yangtze River. On the cliff there are 4 to 5 yellow stone slabs shaped like cow’s livers. Above them visitors can See half of a rock there in the form of a horse’s lung. The Kongling Gorge used to be full of hidden rocks, which result in rapids. On the riverbank of Kongling Gorge stands a set of rocks, which looks like a person leading a cow. This small section is called the Cow Gorge with the person coloured black and the cow coloured yellow. The Shadow Play Gorge is situated on the south bank of the Yangtze River. The four rocks jutting up into the sky resemble four characters in the Chinese mythological novel “Pilgrimage to the West《西游记》” When viewed from a distance, Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and the Buddhist Monk silhouetted against the setting sun are really in a natural shadow play, hence the name.
Crashing through narrow Nanjinguan (Southern Crossing) Pass, the eastern Gorge exit, the River suddenly widens to approximately 2,000 meters and a vast plain comes into view. Passengers will flock to the sides of the boat to See Gezhouba, the first dam built on the Yangtze River. The project, completed in 1981, was China’s largest hydropower installation. Tourists will admire the mammoth structure and watch the steamer enter the ship lock, lowering it scores of meters and then sailing on.
Zhang Fei Temple 张飞庙
A 1,700-old-year temple on the banks of the Yangtze River has been perched high above the flow after it was moved 32 kilometers into the hills to make room for the Three Gorges Dam Project. This state-level-protected Zhang Fei Temple, located in Yunyang County of Chongqing Municipality, is dedicated to an ancient renowned hero—General Zhang Fei—who lived in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). The temple used to be at the foot of Feifeng Mountain and has been moved to its new place in Panshi Township of Chongqing. At a cost of about 70 million yuan (US＄8.5 million), the relocation was the largest building movement associated with the Three Gorges Project, which entails construction of the world’s largest hydropower station. The ancient temple underwent several renovations during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties (960-1911). Its combination of architectural styles, such as Jieyilou, Wangyunxuan, and Deyueting, is regarded as a historical masterpiece. Moreover, the temple houses a number of valuable relics, including inscriptions, sculptures, paintings and calligraphies by famous ancient figures such as Yan Zhenqing and Su Shi. The relocation project technicians would first record the exact position of every component of the temple, disassemble them and then reassemble the temple, faithfully recreating its ancient appearance, at the new site. At the same time, 126 ancient trees at the old site have also been moved and replanted according to their previous layout. Experts from prestigious Tsinghua University and other institutions said that the project would try to retain the precious cultural and historic value of the temple, as well as that of the landscape around it, although the original location was destroyed. The relocated Zhang Fei Temple, on the southern bank of the Yangze River as before, opened to the public in July 2003. The moving of the temple started on October 8, 2002.
More About The Administrative Division Of China
- Anhui Introduction
The history of the Anhui province can be traced to the Spring and Autumn period more than 2,500 years ago.
- Chongqing Introduction
Chongqing became China’s fourth municipality on March 14, 1997 when the National People’s Congress approved a motion by the State Council.
- Fujian Introduction
According to new archaeological findings, the history of Fujian dates back to about 10,000 years.
- Gansu Introduction
Most of the rivers in the Gansu province belong to the Yellow River water systems.
- Guangdong Introduction
The history of Guangdong Province dates back to the Spring and Autumn period, more than 2,500 years ago.
- Guangxi Introduction
An Introduction to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
- Guizhou Introduction
An Introduction to Guizhou Province.
- Hainan Introduction
The Hainan province has the smallest land area but the biggest ocean area of any province in China.
- Hebei Introduction
Hebei surrounds Beijing and Tianjin, two of China’s four municipalities under the direct leadership of the Central Government.
- Heilongjiang Introduction
Heilongjiang Province has the largest area of wetlands in China.
- Henan Introduction
Henan is the cradle of Chinese culture. It is home to capitals of more than 20 dynasties and kingdoms in China’s history.
- Hong Kong Introduction
Hong Kong is acknowledged as a shopping paradise, dietary world, leisure summer resort, and culture window as well.
- Hubei Introduction
Hubei Province is situated in the central part of China with the Yangtze River winding its way through the province.
- Hunan Introduction
Hunan Province has a history of nearly 3,000 years.
- Inner Mongolia Introduction
Inner Mongolia has started to speed up its economic development since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
- Jiangsu Introduction
Jiangsu is the birthplace of many of China’s important national industries.
- Jiangxi Introduction
Located at the south flank of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Jiangxi Province is the hinterland of the Pearl River Delta.
- Jilin Introduction
An Introduction to Jilin Province.
- Liaoning Introduction
Liaoning is also a powerhouse of China’s industry.
- Macao Introduction
Macao, a tiny place with a total land area of 23.8 square kilometers including a peninsular, and two islands, is a strange mixture of tranquility and motion.
- Ningxia Introduction
An Introduction to Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
- Qinghai Introduction
An Introduction to Qinghai Province.
- Shaanxi Introduction
According to new archaeological findings, the history of Fujian dates back to about 10,000 years.
- Shandong Introduction
An Introduction to Shandong Province.
- Shanghai Municipality
An Introduction to .
- Sichuan Introduction
An Introduction to Sichuan Province.
- Tianjin Municipality
An Introduction to .
- Tibet Introduction
An Introduction to Tibet Autonomous Region.
- Xinjiang Introduction
An Introduction to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
- Yunnan Introduction
An Introduction to Yunnan Province.
- Zhejiang Introduction
An Introduction to Zhejiang Province.