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  The tomb of famous Chinese Muslim Ming--dynasty Admiral, Zheng He (1371--1435),whose Yangtze Riverships sailed the seven seas in the 1sth century, is here. Take Zhongshan Nan Lu to Yu Hua Xi Lu travelling out of the city heading south. When Yu Hua Xi Lu forks into two directions, take the left fork onto Ning Dan Lu and follow this across hills to Niu Shou Shan.

  The 12th--century fortifications of Yue Fei stretch from Hanfu Shan to Niushou Shan, south of the city. Yue Fei (1103--1141) was a famous southern Song general who wanted to recapture the north after the Song had been driven south to their new capital in Hangzhou. In 1129 he recaptured the Nanjing area and held a front line along the Yangtze. In 1136 he advanced to the Yellow River. By 1139--1140 he raided Henan Province and the old Song capital at Kaifeng. However, at that point he was ordered to withdraw from North China by the Song Emperor Qin Gui who preferred reaching a diplomatic solution with the Jin invaders. Yue Fei was recalled to the capital at Hangzhou and imprisoned, dying a mysterious death in 1141. A popular temple is devoted to him in Hangzhou on West Lake.

  Located on the southern slope of Zutang Shan are the tombs (Nan Tang Er Ling) of two Southern Tang-dynasty emperors, Li Bian (Li Sheng) (937--943), and LiJing (943-961). The two underground tombs are well lit and can be entered on foot without a guide. This place is nearly deserted as it is well off the tourist track.Located to the right of Li Jing's tomb, the tomb of Li Sheng is more impressive.Inside you will find three main rooms with domed ceilings, marble columns, detailed bas relief rock carvings of warrior guardians armed with swords, and other decorations such as dragons and stone tripod roof brackets just like those used on traditional wooden Chinese buildings today. Notice the ten side chambers where his wives and retainers were buried alive with him.

  Near the entrance gate, there is a small museum displaying (with Chinese captions) some of the 640 artifacts discovered in the tombs when they were first opened in 1950. Over the wall behind the museum, you can see three stone statues overgrown with vines--two soldiers are facing each other and one scholar. This is the remains of the Sacred Way leading to these tombs.

  For visitors spending more than a few days in Nanjing, a visit to these sites on Qixia Hill are strongly recommended. Seventeen kilometres (10.5 miles) east of Nanjing,the drive to the Buddhist grottoes and temple of Qixia takes the visitor through an area rich in tomb sites of the nobility of the Liang dynasty (502--57). In particular there are stone figures from the tombs of three of Emperor Wudi's brothers, Xiao Dan, Xiao Hui and Xiao Xiu. Xiao Dan's tomb includes a well-preserved stele on the back of a stone tortoise and two large stone winged lions. Xiao Xiu's tomb figures include wonderfully carved winged lions, tortoises and columns.

  First built in the fifth century, this temple has repeatedly been destroyed and restored thereafter. The present temple buildings date from the early 20th century. Serving as headquarters of the Jiangsu Branch of the Buddhist Association of China, the temple is an active centre of worship where the monks hold regular sevices. The temple also boasts an exceptional library of 7,200 volumes of Buddhist scriptures.Behind the temple is the Shcli Pagoda, one of the oldest stone pagodas south of the Yangtze River. This l5-metre (50-foot) high, five-storeyed pagoda was built in 601,and is embellished with detailed carvings of Buddha's life.
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  There are 294 shrines and 515 rock carvings in niches and grottoes in the clubface near the temple. The earliest date from the fifth century, and they continued to be carved until the Ming dynasty (1368--1644). Many of their heads were defaced or lopped off during the Cultural Revolution (1966--76). One figure is a 13-metre (43-foot) high Buddha, said to have been carved by Zhongzhang, son of the magistrate-turned-hermit, Ming Sengshao, who donated his home as the origina Qixia Temple.

Nanjing and Its History

What to see in Nanjing (1): Sights Within The City

What to see in Nanjing (2): Sights Within The City

What to see in Nanjing (3): Sights Outside The City Centre

What to see in Nanjing (4): Sights Outside The City Centre

• What to see in Nanjing (5): Sights South & East of Nanjing