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Bashu Culture

Bashu Culture

Bashu Culture is a branch of the Chinese culture and represented by Shu culture of the Sichuan region and Ba culture of Chongqing area in Sichuan Basin. Bashu culture took shape over thousands of years ago, dating back to the late Neolithic Age.

Ba-shu Culture is a branch of the Chinese culture and represented by Shu culture of Chengdu city and Ba culture of Chongqing city in Sichuan Basin. Shu culture took Chengdu city as its center, including western Sichuan Basin and Shanxi and Dianbei region. Legend has it that a local authority had been erected long ago and destroyed by Qin dynasty in 316 BC. According to archeology, from Shang dynasty to West Xi dynasty, the Shu people and People around Yellow River had cultural exchange with each other. The excavated pottery of last Shang dynasty, such as phaseoliform pottery, long handle bean pottery and alms bowel with flat bottom possess unique local flavor. While, the unearthed copper arrowhead and copper spear and copper pike resemble those appear in the Yellow River Region. The jade and precious stone and ritual vessel are similar with those excavated in the central plains of China.

Ba culture first originated from the Qing River region of the southern west Hubei province and spread to the eastern part of the Sichuan Basin and nearby regions. In the times of West Zhou dynasty, Ba state was built and had high-level agriculture because of the influence from Shu culture. Later, it was destroyed by Qin dynasty with Shu. The representatives of Ba culture are the excavated round blade battle-axe, spear, rice pot, kettle and assorted potter receptacle of iron pot.

Ba and Shu enjoy a near distance, therefore a convenient communication. The boat coffin burial and Astragalus plain lance and the tiger line appeared in the copper emblazonry represent the common features of the Ba-shu culture. The signs carved on the copper weapons and copper seals may be a kind of local language. Ba-shu culture is influenced by the culture originated from the central plains of China and Chu state while exert impact on the minority people in the South Western border area.

Since Qin dynasty, the quick infusion between Ba-shu culture and central plains culture prompt new development. After Libing and his son built the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, The Chuanxi Plain (or Chengdu Plain, situates at western Sichuan Basin) is favored by irrigation and developed into the land of abundance with fertile land, and rich populace. Through history, Sichuan is famous for raising silkworm and second to none in weaving silk. Even in the Han dynasty, Chengdu had already become the pivot of brocade. The brocade is become so popular that "the city of brocade" had become the nickname of Chengdu. Since long ago, the Sichuan people had invented the way to elicit crass from salt well, gas from gas well and salt from boiling the crass. It initiated the technology of digging wells as well. In the past, People knew little about Shu due to its poor road. Nevertheless, the plank road built along the cliff is a miracle. It is a part of the southwestern Silk Road, connecting Ba-shu with the central plains of China.

Ba-shu art is characterized by unique features. Sichuan opera exclusively belongs to the Ba-shu art. It is well known for its lively atmosphere, humorous language and harmonious combination of percussion and singing. Sichuan opera with high pitch especially lies in this category. Sichuan people are experts about cuisine. In Sichuan dishes, particular attentions are paid to season in which chili, pepper, broad bean, ginger, onion and garlic are must. Therefore, people say "every dish has its own character; one hundred dished have one hundred flavors". Meanwhile, the sweet-scented and full-bodied Sichuan wines are well complemented with the famous brands of Wuliang ye, Luzhou liaojiao wine and so on.

The Sichuan Basin is "blocked by four sides" geologically, suffering tough transportation in the ancient time. Therefore, the ancient Chinese famous poet exclaimed" It is easier to climb onto the heaven than to the Shu road." The biggest hindrance prevents the Ba-shu culture from communicating with the Qin and Gansu culture is the huge mountain—Qinling Mountains. However, the ancestors of Ba-shu displayed astounding courage and created high-level technology of building the plank along the cliff, breaking the blockage of the Sichuan Basin and the narrow mind of the people. A legend, which narrated about the Emperor of Shu, sent five Hercules to greet the gold cattle and five beauties given by the Emperor of Qin Dynasty is the vivid embodiment of the cultural exchange through getting through the mountains and roads in the old times. Plank built along the cliff is one of Ba-shu people's big inventions. Sima Qian(about 140 BC~ about 90 BC. China's great historian, writer, ideologist in Western Han Dynasty)) who wrote <<The Book of History>> stated that the confinement of the country, which was "blocked by four sides", are smashed by the plank "which directed to anywhere you want to go". That is exactly the wise perspective.

The mountains of Ba-shu are distinguished for their magnificence, steepness, serenity and elegance: E'mei Mountain is famous for its elegance, Qing city for its serenity, Jiange for its steepness and Kui Gate for its magnificence. Modern exploitation added "miraculous and romantic" flavor to them. The travelers nowadays are charmed by the miracle of Jiuzhaigou landscape, the romance of Huanglong scenery, and the fun of the panda world and the peculiarity of the dinosaur kingdom. Ba-shu tourist sites scatter around the whole area with every single county has something exquisite to provide. In the northwestern itinerary, Jiuzhai, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon), the fourth Daughter Mountain and Gongga Mountain match beauty with others. In the North itinerary, Shu Road and Jian Gate can let the tourists feel the difficulty of transportation in the past. In the Eastern itinerary, the Three Gorges can show you the perfect combination of human project and natural beauty. The bamboo sea landscape and adventure to Lugu Lake in the southern Shu of the southern itinerary definitely can delight the tourists.

The most special character of the Ba-shu itinerary lie in that profound culture are imbedded in the magnificent, steep, serene and elegant natural sites. For example, Sword Gate -- Shu Road itinerary has an abundant culture of Sichuan and Han majority during the Three Kingdom period, Wen chang culture in Zitong County (It originated in the Southern China and enjoyed equal status with the Confucianism in the North. It contained six parts, including ethnics, imperial examinations education, and the history of the hometown of China's first woman Emperor—Wuze Tian. The Jiuzhai—Huanglong(Yellow Dragon) itinerary possesses stone blockhouse of Qiang nationality, Xiayu(a legend figure. he successfully led the populace control the flood and therefore is endorsed by offspring) culture, Min Mountain culture during the ancient Shu, Shu and Han nationality culture during the Three Kingdoms culture. Lugu Lake is bestowed by the culture of "maternal kingdom". The Three Gorges line even outshines as the treasure house of the ancient culture. That's the reason why Ba-shu region can attract tourists year in and year out.

The central relic of Shu and Han culture during the Three Kingdoms is the memorial temple of martial marquis. The memorial temple of martial marquis is originally a combination of the tomb of Liubei (one of the Emperors in the Three Kingdom period), the Hanzhao Lie tomb used to worship Liubei and the marquis tomb of Zhuge Liang. Now, people use the name "memorial temple of martial marquis" to represent these relics. As the embodiment of wisdom, Zhuge Liang get revere from the people at that time and their offspring.

The name "memorial temple of martial marquis" renders us experience the cultural essence and sediment. Setting off from memorial temple and trekking along the road by which Liubei come into Shu state, the tourists can successively pay homage at Zilong(a heroic general served for Liubei) temple in Dayi, Pangtong temple in Deyang, Zhuge temple in Mianzhu, Fule Mountain in Mianyang, Jiangwan tomb, Feiwei temple in Zhaohua, and Cuiyun porch in Jiange. Starting from Hanzhong, the travelers may worship Zhuge Liang tomb on Dingjun Mountain, and memorial temple of martial marquis in Mian county. Along the journey, we can get enlightenment and reflection from the cause of history and the extraordinary life experience of the heroes.

The earlier and later periods of Shu state is another peak of Ba-shu culture for its prosperity and richness and flourish culture. Yongling (the tomb of Wangjian<lived in Northern Wei Dynasty (386AD—534AD)>) left us with the historic testimony of this period. The music lines curved on the stone coffin of Yongling is the masterwork for us to understand the mucic in Tang dynasty and taste the infusion of Qing music and Guizi music and the wide spread of the famous music played by Lilongji and Yangyuhuan (one of four most beautiful women in ancient China). There is a pistil madam (a woman's name) in both the earlier and later Shu state. Then who is the author of the <<Poem of Palace>> which is famous in all ages? These mysteries will definitely arouse interest of the tourists to explore. Yongling Tomb is the only tomb that built above ground and scientifically excavated and welcome visit. This may give rise to more curiosity to the secrets of the royalty.

The Three Gorges is world-renown for its magnificence and splendor and the serene and mysterious "mini-three gorges" in the tributary of Yangtze River—Daning River make it even more charming. Experiencing in person in the attractive scenery, one cannot help wondering whether they have plunged in to a fairyland. According to the archeological excavation, The Three Gorges is probably the cradle land of human beings. The primitive Daxi culture (culture in the middle reach of Yangtze River in New Stone Age) we experienced will definitely inspire us to meditate the remote antiquity. The historical relics along the river banks, upper and lower reaches, such as the haunted city in Fengdu, Shibao stockade in Zhong County, the white crane beam of roof on the hydrographic and stone treasury house in Fuling, the Baidi city where Liubei request Zhuge Liang to attend to his son can enrich our knowledge and enlighten our mind. The vigor which helps Ba-shu people to get rid of the boundary of the Basin to embrace the outside world is included in the great rivers. When we perambulate along the Three Gorges, we can give spiritual illumination about why on earth the Ba-shu people persisted in coming out of Kui Gate (The west gate of Qutang Gorge).

Situated in the Changning county and Jiang'an county, the bamboo sea in the south Shu covers an area of more than 60 thousand acres. Such cultural sites as Xianyu cave and Longyin(moaning of the dragon) Temple are natural wonders as well as the masterpiece of the ancestors and their off springs living in Shu land, such as, Qiongzuo people and Bo people. Min Mountain is one of the origins of ancient Shu culture. The Min River which originated from Min Mountain is deemed as the "origin of rivers" since ancient time and it is the place where Shu culture began to flourish. Countless tourist sites are gathering here. For instance, the fairyland on Earth—Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong(Yellow Dragon) scenic spot ,prairie, lofty Siguniang (the fourth daughter) Mountain and the famous panda reserve and reproduction base, the unique Qiang culture and huge amount historical relics of ancient Shu culture. Strolling on the Min Mountain, we can not only vow for the splendor of the mountain, but also experience the diverse features of the ancient Ba-shu culture. As long as we merge mountain traveling with cultural traveling, we will surely gain a new and exceptional experience.

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