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SIGHTS AROUND CHONGQING


SOUTH MOUNTAINS PARK (NANSHAN GONGYUAN)Yangtze River
  Situated on the soothe side of the Yangtze, this park comprises a scenic group of five mountain peaks of between 400 and 600 meters (1,300 and 2,000 feet) high. On one of these, Yellow Hill (Huangshan), General Chiang Kai--shek, head of the Guomin-dang government, built his wartime residence. American, British, French and other allied powers also built ambassadorial residences, which are now used as guesthouses. The wife of the legendary founder of the Xia dynasty (2200--l800 BC) Emperor Dayu was said to have lived on another peak, Yu Mountain, in 2200 BC. Dayu, who gained eternal fame for his diligence in harnessing the rivers of China, laboured for 13 years without once returning home. During that time he was said to have 'passed his house three times and never entered', so dedicated was he to his task.

NORTHERN HOT SPRlNGS (BeI WENQUAN)
  The Northern Hot Springs are some 50 km north of Chongqing, by the bank of the Jialing onYangtze Cruise Wentang Gorge. Historical records reveal that the Warm Spring Temple existed on this site 1,500 years ago, but the present temple dates from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The four halls rise up the hillside on a central axis. The Guanyu Hall, with iron tiles and stone pillars, is flanked on either side by natural springs. Lotus and fish ponds, ancient trees, bath-houses, restaurants and a guesthouse complete this scenic spot. A days visit to the Northern Hot Springs may also include a visit to the Beipei Natural History Museum in which fossil remains of three dinosaurs are exhibited.

JINYUN MOUNTAlN
  Located near the Northern Hot Springs, the mountain is 1,030 meters (3,380 feet) high and is also known as Little Emei Mountain. Tourists should begin their ascent at Jinyun Temple and climb the 680 steps to Lion's Peak where they may view the nine peaks of Jinyun. The area is a natural botanical garden with l,700 species of plants and trees.

DAZU BUDDHIST CAVES
  For tourists staying more than two days in Chongqing, it is possible to make a trip to see the spectacular Buddhist Cheap Cruisecave carvings of Dazu County. 'Dazu' can be translated in two ways f as 'Great Plenty' or more mundanely as 'Big Foot'. Locals say that the Buddha himself left a huge footprint in a nearby pond, and hence the name. The remoteness of the location has protected the caves and the painted sculptures are in excellent condition. Forty sites have been discovered, with 50,000 carvings in 290 niches and grottoes. Seven sites are open to the public, but those at Beishan and Baodingshan are the most frequently visited. The earliest Sculptures date from the Tang dynasty (6l8--907), when the emperors Xuanzong (reigned 712--56) and Xizong (reigned 73--88) fled to Sichuan as civil war broke out in the north. With them came many monks, painters, sculptors and literati, who transformed Sichuan into a centre of culture. Bas-relief carvings of extraordinary grace and detail continued to be created up to the Ming dynasty (l368--1644).
  Figures and stories from the Buddhist pantheon dominate--a giant reclining Buddha, 31 meters (100 feet) long; a statue of Avalokiteshvara seated on a lotus flower, her 1,000 hands spread out over 88 square meters (950 square feet) of rock. An unusual feature here is the carving of scenes from everyday life executed with tender vividness. The most comfortable way to get to the caves is obviously to hire a car. Provided there is no major delay on the busy road, the return journey can be done hurriedly in one day.

ChongQing Introduction

History Of ChongQing

What TO See In ChongQing

• Sights Arourd ChongQing

The Bombing of ChongQing