Xiangshan Mountain Park
Introduction to the tourist spot:
Xiangshan Mountain Park locates in the north of Xiangcheng. It covers an area of 100 hectares. Top Ten Scenic Spots in Xiangshan Mountain here include Xiangshan Temple, Wanzhang Stele, Fishing Mound, and Horse Drinking Pool. There are also zoo, skating rink, children’s park and Xiangshan Lake here. So it is a very good location for rest and travel.
Xiantong Temple (Xiangshan Temple)
The temple locates in the valley between the Dragon Hill and the Tiger Hill. It is called Xiangshan Temple or Xianji God Temple. It faces the mountain in three directions and is surrounded by luxuriant trees. When climbing up the tower built in this temple, tourists can have a panoramic view of the city. As recorded in the epigraphy in the Eighth year of Tongzhi Era in the Qing Dynasty, the temple was constructed by Guoqing from the State of Pei. In the first year of Yonghui Era in the Tang Dynasty, the temple was rebuilt. In the 24th year of the Qianlong Era in the Qing Dynasty, Gaojin, the Grand Coordinator in Anhui submitted a statement to allocate funds to repair the temple. It had also experienced repair in Republic of China. There are 22 inscriptions in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The most attractive ones are Qianlong Emperor’s writing “Hui Wo Nan Li” (Benefit the people in the south) and Gaojin’s writing “Sheng Shui Ya” (Seeping Water Cliff). The architecture in Xiantong Temple is very magnificent and the overall arrangement is in good order. There are four courtyards, where there are towering cypresses and gingkoes. There are totally 52 rooms in the temple including 3 rooms on the Shanmen Tower, 3 rooms in Treasure Hall, 14 rooms in the corridors, 7 guest rooms each on the east and west sides, 5 rooms in the Big Hall, 3 rooms in the Back Hall, 1 play stage, 1 six-angle pavilion and 1 newly-built inscription corridor. The exited buildings are in the Qing style. The Menkui Tower, Big Hall and Six-angle Pavilion have glazed tiles while other buildings have black bricks and tiny tiles. During the Huaihai Campaign, vice director Su Yu held a meeting here to study the battle tactics. He made the Fourteenth Order for the East China Field Army. In May of 1985, the People’s Government of Anhui granted it Key cultural Relic Protection Site.
Horse Drinking Pool
The pool locates on the southern foot of Xiangshan Mountain. It is a rectangular stone of less than 2 square meters. It is said that Gonggong Emperor in the Song Dynasty let his horse drink here. The water is as clear as the mirror. Although you can not find the source of the water, it never dries all through the year.
It locates in the west mountainside of the main peak of Xiangshan Mountain. The mound is a projecting rock on Huogang Hill. It is said to be the place where Jiang Ziya had fished. During spring and summer, the cloud and mist submerge the mountain. The mound looks like a reef extended to the sea. When standing on it, you can see the seething mists, looking like vast ocean.
It locates on the west of Xiangshan Temple. The terrain of the rock has clear layers, as if it was made by exquisite craftsmanship. The scene on the hill is different in different seasons. There are beautiful flowers in spring, green mountains in summer, maple leaves in autumn and towering pines in winter. The scene is too beautiful to be absorbed all at once.
It locates on the north of the crag rock carving, “Seeping Water Cliff”. Rare rocks stands in great numbers on this hill, as if a huge dragon lies at the bottom of the valley. Qifeng hill is the most prominent one among all the hills. It looks as if other hills are bowing to it.
Crag Rock Carvings
It locates at the bottom of the stone wall on the east mountainside of Xiantong Temple. The characters carved here have the same stamp as that in the temple. There are luxuriant trees here to cover the carvings. It has special value in the study of the culture of Xiangshan Mountains.
Located on western mountain ridge of Fishing Mound, the stele was about 2 meters tall. It was carved “Zhu Shan Wan Zhang” (Lofty Mountains) and “Nan Wu A Tuo” (Amitabha). It was a boundary monument of Jiangsu, Henan and Anhui Provinces. But it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
Ox-nose Cave (Niubi Cave)
It locates on the steep cliff of Tiger Hill mountainside on the northwest of Xiantong Temple. The name of the cave derives from the appearance of its gate. According to the legend, the cave is connected to the sea. Some one in the ancient had put a duck in the cave, then the duck came out in the East Sea. The cave is too deep to be fathomable. Bush grow thickly outside the cave and their leaves cover the gate of the cave.
Located in the East Hill of Xiangshan Mountain, it is also called Xiaoxian Cave. As recorded in Feng Yang Fu in the Guangxu Era of the Qing Dynasty, there are pill stove and drug well in Xiaoxian Cave, where it is said that Prince Jin had made pills of immortality here.
Located on the hillside to the north of the Children’s Park, it is also known as three-mouth spring. As recorded in the Annals of Suzhou, “The Snow Spring is at the foot of the mountain. When spring comes, the melted snow flows out. There are also three air-slaked stone holes near the spring. They are full in water all through the year, even in the dry season. The gaps between the holes are 30 meters and 17 meters respectively. The diameters are 23 centimeters, 32 centimeters and 39 centimeters respectively. In winter, ice and snow seal the mountain pass. When spring comes, melted snow flow out of the holes and produce the running Snow Spring.”
Win Battle Hill (Zhanjie Hill)
It locates on the northwest of the Wanzhang Stele. This hill was called Zhu Hill. Tianzhang Temple is in the south of the hill. During the Huaihai Campaign, the East China Field Army surrounded and annihilated Du Yuming’s Army in Qinglongji. General Su Yu climbed up the hill and watch the battle with his telescope. When the People’s Republic of China was founded, the residents here changed its name to Win Battle Hill.
The temple locates on the south foot of Zhai Mountain, which is on the west of Xiantong Temple. The brim of the Grand Hall in the temple is 4.95 meters tall, 11.88 meters long and 6.6 meters wide. It is ornamented with carved beams and painted rafters. The temple is surrounded by the mountains and a river, which add to its glory. There are three Buddha statues, namely, Sakyamuni, Wenshu Buddha and Puxian Buddha. The statues of Eighteen Arhats have different figures and are as natural as if they were living. There is a rockery behind the three Buddha’s statutes, where dragons and rocs listing to the preaching of Buddhism are painted. A Sakyamuni Statue is carved at the back of the rock. The statute is 3.96 meters tall. The Buddha closes his eye and put his palms together. The Grand Hall of the temple was already destroyed. There is a stone house in one-step distance. A natural stone Buddha statute is consecrated there. On the east of the house is a stone well. It is recorded that “In the Song Dynasty, a monk from west took a rest here. But he could not find any water. So he write two characters Tian Yi on the stone wall. When he leaved here, water came out from the place of his writing. The monks in the temple dug on the stone to make a well. Though the water in the well is not full, but it seems to be inexhaustible.” There is a rock cave not far from the well. A statue of Guanyin holding a baby was situated in the cave. There is a big gingko which is more than one thousand years old in the west of the temple. A folk song reads: “There is a temple on the tree. There is a well in the temple. There is another temple above the well. Two temples are in one-step distance. The statutes of the Buddha are very tall.”