The Yangtze Three Gorges

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Yangtze Three Gorges
Yangtze Three Gorges
The Yangtze River

Three gorges comprise the most famous part of the Yangtze river. The three gorges stretch from nanjinguan of yichang in Hubei Province in the east to a village called baidicheng of the fengjie county in Chongqing Municipality. The three gorges are named Xiling, Wu and Qugtang gorge are altogether 193 kilometers long. The three gorges are not only the highlight of the Yangtze river’s scenery, but one of china’s scenic treasures as well. The gorges are as famous an America’s renowned Grand Canon and have been designated as a global landscape gallery. They have been appreciated by countless numbers of visitors, both from china and outside of china. The three gorges have also provided the setting for many poetic masterpieces written during all Chinese dynasties.

china-river-map
Yangtze river basin
Qutang gorge

The first gorge of the three gorges is called Qutang Gorge, which is also named the Kui Gorge. The Yangtze River suddenly narrows here and is only 100 meters wide in one place. There is Kui Gate(the entrance to the Qutang Gorge) at the Gorge;people said that the world’s most majestic place is Kui Gate. The Qutang Gorge is only 8 km long and is the most dangerous of the Three Gorges. The current velocity of the river here is 8 meters per second, 20 kilometers per hour. Navigation in the canyon lane is very tricky and people are usually astonished as the boat threads its way through the gorge. The Qutang Gorge has many scenic spots, including the Mengliang Staircase, Armor Hole, and wind Gorge. Although Qutang Gorge is the shortest gorge of the three gorges, its great beauty makes for a superb natural painting.

Fengjie

Fengjie is in the north bank of the Qutang Gorge and has a history of more than 1,000 years. Fengjie has been the political, military, economic and cultural center of East Sichuan. Here are the first territories of the ancient Ba and Yong Kingdoms. Yufu County was established here some 2,300 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty, making it one of the first counties established in China. In 222 Liu Bei retreated from Yiling ( now Yichang) to Baidicheng, where he renarued Yufu County as Yongan County. In the 32nd year of the Tang Emperor Zhenguan’s reign (649 A.D.), the emperor in order to commend Zhuge Liang for his patriotism and loyalty, gave this place its current name¨Fengjie“. The distinguished poets, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Shi, Lu You, and Liu Yuxi have all written lots of famous poems here. Thus Fengjie County is also known as ”the city of poetry“。 On a Mid-Autumn night, as the moon gradually rises from the Gap, you can also enjoy the famous scenery of the Three Gorges and the poetic tribute to it, ”The Autumn Moon of Kui Gate“.

Baidicheng

It is said the warlord Gongsun Shu built it in order to resist Eastern Han Dynasty Emperor Guangwu Liu Xiu. Baidicheng is surrounded on three sides by water and on one side by a steep hill. It is the best place to see Qutang Gorge. A winding trail passes through the hill gate, and the color statues of Li Bei, Zhuge Liang, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei are displayed in the temple. More than 80 pieces of stone tablets showcase a variety of written art. The poets Li Bai, Du Fu and Bai Juyi, Liu Yuxi, Su Shi, Lu You, and Fan Chengda paid visits here, and left many well-known poems, making Baidicheng also known as the6’Poetry City”. The Qutang Gorge gap originally had a huge reef in the middle of the Yangtze River by Baidicheng, which was called the Yanyu heap. Navigating this part of the gorge was especially difficult, as the slightest deviation from course could cause the boat to run over the reef am sink. Hence, according to one old song, “Yanyu is as large as a horse, you can’t get down Qutang; Yanyu is as large as an elephant, you can’t go up Qutang”. This obstacle was blown up by workers in 1958, making the gorge a much safer place for boat to pass through.

Daxi Cultural Sites

Daxi cultural sites, which are the junction of the Qutang Gorge in the East bank of the Yangtze and Daxi Rivers, about lf kilometers from Fengjie County. National cultural relics department excavated this 570-square-metei area three times, in 1958, 1975 and 1976. Some 208 burial graves were found and more than l,200 pieces of precious relics were unearthed. The history of these graves and objects stretches back about five thousand years and provide an invaluable record of the social and economic development of upper reaches of the Yangtze River during Neolithic period.

Wu Gorge

t is known as the Grand Canyon Gorge, for both its relatively along length and beautiful tranquil scenery. During the boat trip, the mountains sometimes suddenly appear and block your view. And the winding river and its beautiful scenery constantly, make you as if you were in a coiling gallery.

Wushan Ancient City

Wushan ancient city is located in the mouth of Daning river in the Wu Gorge and has a long history. As early as the Qin and Han dynasties, Wushan County was named Wu County, and this name was permanently adopted from Sui Dynasty onward. It is said that in ancient Yao Shun period, there is a royal doctor called Wu who died here, afterward this place was named wushan. There was another saying: the Nanling Hill faced wushan and took a shape like the Chinese character “巫” ( pinyin:wu ) , SO it got The name Wushan( Wu Hill)。 The most special feature of this town is that all of its streets, both big and small, are named after wushan9s twelve peaks. Finally and most importantly, in addition to its history, wushan ancient city is surrounded by beautiful scenery everywhere.

Daning River Small Three Gorges

Daning River was called Wizard Water in ancient times. It begins from the Daba Mountains at the junction of Sichuan, Hubei, and Shaanxi, and has a total length of nearly 300 km. It is the first tributary among Three Gorges tributaries. The Daning River has three small gorges along a 60-kilometer stretch running from Wu Hill to Dachang. These gorges are the Longmen, Bawu, and Dicui Gorges. This section of canyon is narrower and steeper than the Three Gorges of Yangtze River. It also boasts unique scenery, such as strangely shaped rocks, clear water, and many beaches. Tourists can hear the sound of boat trackers’ trumpets here.

Longmen Gorge

The Longmen gorge is only about three kilometers long. The narrow gap between two mountains here makes it seem as if they are facing each other. The cliffs are very steep and the terrain is dangerous than the Kui Gate. To visit the three small gorges, tourists generally travel from wushan County’s Daning river mouth by boat against the current. They go into Longmen Gorge., pass through the Bawu to the Dicui, and then return. On the way you can glimpse peculiar and beautiful scenes before going to the next destination, Xiling Gorge.

Xiling Gorge

The beautiful Xiling Gorge. Since the Gezhou Dam and Three Gorges Dam were completed, it has been known for its beautiful mountain and river scenery. Xiling Gorge stretches 76 kilometers, from Xiangxi River in west Zigui County to Nanjinguan, which is located east of Yichang. It is the longest among the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges. East of Nanjinguan, the Yangtze River suddenly becomes wider, going from 400 to 2,000 meters, and its currents slow considerably.Xiling Gorge contains three Beaches-Xie, Green, and Kongling Beach-and four gorges-Lantern Shadow, Cattle, Buffalo and Horse’s Lung, and War Book and Sword Gorge. The Gorge contains small gorges, and the beach contains small beaches. With the completion of the Gezhou Dam Project, the water level rose, causing the rapid water and beaches to disappear. But today we can still appreciate the mighty and beautiful scenery of Three Gorges Project and Xiling Gorge on both sides.

Nanjinguan

This is Nanjinguan, the starting point of the Yangtze River Three Gorges, the dividing line between upper reaches of the Yangtze River. There is a famous scenic spot gorge at the mouth of the Xiling which is national level scenic area and the provincial level tourist resort. Its main attractions are the Leizu Temple, Peach Blossom Village, White Horse and Three Swimming Caves, the Stream to Prison, Dragon Fountain Cave, Immortal River and Wuzhou Leisure Park. When passing through Nanjinguan, the width of the river suddenly narrows from more than 2,000 to about 300 meters.

The Lantern Shadow Gorge

After cruising about 10 kilometers west from Nanjinguan, we arrive at the Lantern Shadow Gorge. The Lantern Shadow Gorge is also known as the Moon Gorge. It is not long, but the landscape is remarkable. The gorge wall looks luminous, pleasant, and it is as pure as carefully polished gems. If you pass by this place in the evening, the moonlit western hill creates a special kind of scenery , too beautiful to express in words. Hence, the name “Moon Gorge”。 The Lantern Shadow Gorge is famous for its Horse Tooth Mountain in the south bank. It has four bizarre rocks, which look like pictures of the main characters in the early Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West. One rock is the Sun wukong-the monkey, with one hand in front of his forehead to shade light; another rock, resembling a man touching his belly is Zhu Bajie-the pig; The other two rocks represent respectively Sha Wujing-the monk who is carrying the load, and Tang Sanzang-the master who folds his palms. All four are vivid, lifelike and wonderful. And in the setting sun, when viewed from a distance, the gorge really resembles a shadow play game the locals call the Lantern Shadow game. Hence, its name, Lantern Shadow Gorge.

Zhongbao Island-The Three Gorges Dam Site

when we pass Xiling Yangtze River Bridge by ship, we arrive at the Three Gorges dam site. Initially rectangular in shape, the island became Zhongbao Island and was personally selected the Three Gorges Dam site by Zhou Enlai. Zhongbao Island is a magical island, and it has never been inundated by the Yangtze River’s great floods. The flood in 1870 submerged Huangling Temple whose position is. even higher than Zhongbao Island, but Zhongbao Island was not submerged. No convincing scientific explanation currently exists for this strange mystery. Now Zhongbao Island has disappeared for the construction of the Three Gorges Project and on this site stands the magnificent Three Gorges Dam. Kongling Gorge. After we pass through the Three Gorges Dam and then cruise another 10 kilometers west, our ship will enter a precipitous gorge that is approximately 2.5 kilometers long. This is the famous Kongling Gorge, which is renowned for its sheer cliffs. It is also known as the Air-cooling Gorge and originally had a reef rising above the water level, with the words, “come to me,” inscribed on it. In 1900 a foreign vessel entered the gorge and its captain could not read the sign .and also ignored his crew’s warnings. As a result, his ship sank on this reef. After the founding of New China and several changes in the river channel, the reef was blown up. The Gezhou Dam’s completion has caused the water level to rise, so the beach no longer poses any danger, Tourists can get here safely by ship, but it is not as exciting as before.

The Home of Famous Figures along the Fragrant Brook

After passing through Xiling Gorge, we come to Fragrant Brook and a wide valley. Fragrant Brook is full of water. Two well-known historical figures hail from here, one is the great patriotic poet Qu Yuan, and the other is the Han Dynasty heroine, Wang Zhaojun. A legend exists about the latter and goes like this. One day Zhaojun was washing at the stream and intentionally scattered a necklace of pearls in the river. Because of this, the stream became clear, and water smells fragrant, so it is called Fragrant Brook, Fragrant Brook is like a stream of ribbon, which serves as a bridge to magical forests of Shennongjia. With the completion of the Three Gorges Project, tourist can directly reach Zhaojun village by ship and may then visit the poet Qu Yuan’s ‘hometown of Lepingli.

 

Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam