Comments on Qingcheng Mountain & the Dujiangyan Irrigation System by the World Heritage Committee
The Qingcheng Mountain is one of the birthplaces of Taoism in China. The Jianfu Palace, originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is of extremely large scale. The Natural Picture is a pavilion built during the Qing Emperor Guangxu reign (1875-1909). The Celestial Master’s (Tianshi) Cave houses the portraits of the Celestial Master Zhang Daoling (34-156) and his grandson of the thirtieth generation called the Xujing Celestial Master. The existing buildings date back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and are simultaneously grand and exquisite. There are also many precious cultural relics and ancient trees.
The Dujiangyan Irrigation System, located on the Minjiang River in the western part of the Chengdu Plain in Sichuan Province, was constructed under the leadership of Magistrate Li Bing and his son in the 3rd century BC. It is the oldest extant grand irrigation project featuring the method of drawing water without a dam. For over 2,200 years it has been irrigating the fields and benefiting the local people. It is a truly great masterpiece of agricultural engineering and as such is celebrated throughout the world.
The Qingcheng Mountain is located in southwest Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, with the snow-covered Mingshan Mountain in the back and the Chuanxi Plain in front. It gets its name from the fact that the peaks are evergreen and somewhat resemble the structure of a city wall. The mountain has been referred to as “the most tranquil place under the heavens”. Its main peak, named Laoxiao-ding, has an elevation of 1,260 meters. In all there are 36 peaks, eight large caves, 72 further caves and 108 scenic spots.
In 143, the second year of the Han’an reign the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), Celestial Master Zhang Daoling came to the Qingcheng Mountain in order to give lectures. The Qingcheng Mountain thus became one of the birthplaces of Taoism and was accorded the status of “the fifth fancinating place” by Taoist followers.
The buildings on the mountain, taking the Celestial Master’s Cave as their core, include the Jianfugong Palace, Palace of Celestial Freshness, Hall of the Ancestral Masters, Yuanming Palace, Senior’s Pavilion, Yuqing Palace and Cave Facing the Sun, the majority of which are located in the Front Mountain. Covering some 15 square kilometers, this is the main scenic area of the Qingcheng Mountain and offers the visitor many beautiful sights. The magnificent Back Mountain, with a total area of 100 square kilometers, has many fine scenic spots such as the Heavenly Storehouse with Golden Walls, Goddess’s Cave and Caves in White Clouds.
The famous Dujiangyan Irrigation System, located to the west of Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, is recognized as an exceptionally ingenious piece of agricultural engineering. It was constructed under the leadership of Magistrate Li Bing and his son in the 3rd century BC and is the oldest extant grand irrigation project featuring the method of drawing water without a dam. For over 2,200 years, it has been irrigating the fields and benefiting the local people. The principal part of the irrigation system lies in its head, mainly comprised of the Fish-Mouth Diversion Dam, Baopingkou Aqueduct, and Feishayan Flood Convergence Route. The Baopingkou Aqueduct surrounding the gorge boasts magnificent natural sights, and is historically one of the most famous man-made structures in Sichuan.
There are special tourist buses that depart from the square of Chengdu Railway Station and Ximen Bus Station for the Dujiangyan Irrigation System and the Qingcheng Mountain. One can take the public bus No. 101 to the Jianfu Palace in Front Qingcheng Mountain or the public bus No. 102 for Daguan Town south of the Qingcheng Mountain from the Dujiangyan Passenger Transport Center.
The Ren’s hand-made mixed sugar and red plum are famous local snacks in Dujiangyan City. The “four wonders of Qingcheng Mountain”, namely the Dongtian Milk Punch, the Qingcheng Tea, the Chicken Stewed with Gingko, and the Qingcheng Pickles, as well as the Qingcheng Preserved Ham are all highly recommended. The Palm-Shaped Braised Chicken Meat is also a well-known Dujiangyan delicacy.
Admission of Qingcheng Mountain: 90 yuan for the Front Mountain, 40 yuan for the Rear Mountain.