Tongguan Pass

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/10/28

1 A general View

There are many cultural sites and myth tales related to Tongguan Pass. Primitive man lived in Tongguan 5-6,000 years ago, as can be seen from what have been excavated in Yangshao Culture Ruins (Mainly distributed in Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, southern Hebei and Eastern Gansu provinces, it is an ancient culture that dates back 7,000 to 5,000 years and lasted for more than 2,000 years). Other historic sites include the Nei Musoleum of Nvwa (the goddess who patched the holes in the sky with stone blocks in Chinese mythology), Valley of Kua Fu (a giant who decided to chase and catch the sun to find out the whereabouts of the sun at nights and died of extreme heat and exhaustion), Yellow Emperor’s Temple (Located in Guandong Township. Yellow Emperor is regarded as the central god among the five gods in the heaven in Chinese mythology and the ancestor of the Chinese race. He is the founder of Chinese civilization as he enlightened the inventions of characters, ships, carts, medicine, music, sericiculture, and some daily utensils), Emperor Shun’s Temple [Located in Beitou Village. In Chinese history, Yao, Shun and Yu (all lived more than 4,000 years ago) are the three emperors who established a system of abdication and built a unified and hierarchical system of government in a transition period to the patriachal feudal society]. There are also the historic sites of ancient battle fields, ancient towns, ancient canals, villages and ancient tombs of famous people, etc.

2 The scenic spot

Tongguan Pass was built against huge mountains. Only a narrow path leads through the sheer cliffs. Standing on the path and looking forward, you can see the Yellow River roaring to the pass from afar and winding south to Mt. Huashan.

As a military strategic pass, Tongguan began to play an important role since the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) when Kingdom Qin captured Tongguan Pass from Jin and began its course of unifying China.

The pass remains basically what it was after experiencing numerous battles in the past centuries. There remains a 5-kilometer-long city wall. The northern and northeastern part of the pass is 16 meters high and 8 meters wide with the rammed earth wall coated with grey bricks. Battlements built in the south and southeast are as high as 30 meters. There are altogether 6 gates and two water gates along the city walls. Unfortunately, many bricks were taken down to build Sanmenxia Reservoir in the 1950s.

Nowadays, many local villages are named with “army corps” or “army camps”.

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How to Get There?
Longhai and Datong-Fenglingdu railroads and National highway G310 pass Tongguan County. Tourists can take a train or take a bus from Xi’an to get to Tongguan County first and then go to the pass.

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