Last updated by peggie at 2014/4/23
Xiling Gorge is located in Zigui Country and the Yiling District in the western part of Hubei Province. The place is named after the Mt. Xiling, a mountain peak found at the eastern end of the gorge. The gorge was christened way back in the Three Kingdoms Period and was even recorded in the geographical treatise of Shui Jing Zhu.
It forms nearly half the length of the entire Three Gorges Region and spans 66 kilometers, which is significantly larger than the Wu Gorge, at 44 Kilometers, and the 8-kilometer Qutang Gorge. Due to its size, the Chinese also consider the Xiling Gorge as made up of four different gorges, namely Shadow Play Gorge, Soundless Bell, Precious Sword, and the Horse Lung and Ox Liver gorge.
In ancient times, the traders and sailors used the Xiling Gorge as a regular waterway. Until now, although no longer widely used, the Xiling gorge is renowned for its winding waterways, which suddenly transcends into narrow treacherous water rapids or skirts over dangerous shoals laid with hidden whirlpools. The Konglingtan, Xietan and Qintan shoals used to be the most treacherous and dangerous shoals in the navigation history of the Three Gorges, giving the Xiling Gorge the nickname, “Death Passage”.
Over time, dams were constructed at Sandouping in the middle of the Xiling Gorge; these were called the Three Gorges Dam and the Gezuba Dam. Since the construction of the dam, the river’s depth increased from 3 meters to well over a 100 meters throughout the reservoir’s length, thus allowing a less terrifying cruise for tourists and alike.
The Xiling Gorge is also popular for its spectacular and breathtaking scenery. Filled with streams, stones, and Karst caves, the gorge boasts of a natural beauty.
What’s more to see around Xiling Gorge?
scapes, the entire gorge stretch is laid with gorgeous views and historical architectures that include:
• Huangling Temple (Yellow Ox Temple) – Located at the foot of Huangniu Mountain, the temple marks the southern bank of the Yangtze River in the Xiling Gorge area. It is the largest and the oldest ancient relic and architecture among the three gorges. The temple was built between 770 B.C. – 476 B.C. to commemorate Da Yu, an ancient hero who controlled the flood in Chinese history. The temple was primarily used for prayers and devotions but was destroyed by wars and has been rebuilt repeatedly. The temple’s most prominent features are the Temple gate, Yuwang Dian (The Hall of Da Yu) and the Wuhou Temple (Zhuge Liang Memorial Hall). The Yuwang Dian is admired because of its 36 magnificent poles carved with nine lifelike dancing dragons.
• Lantern Shadow Gorge (Deng Ying Xia) – This is located ten kilometers west of Nanjin pass in Yichang City of Hubei province. Envisioned as a gate of paradise, it is accentuated by two limestone formations and famous four rocks shaped in the form of well-known figures in Chinese History, the San Zang Monk and his three disciples.
• Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge (Bingshui Baojian Xia) – This is a three-mile long small gorge in Xiling Gorge. It resembles the roll of military books, while a stone under the book resembles a relic precious sword found on the northern bank of the gorge.
• Nanjin Pass – This is a slim bottleneck-like pass and is said to be the narrowest part of the gorge. Scenic views of erect mountains alongside the pass are visible from here; these resemble a huge gate blocking the Yangtze River.
• Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge (Niugan Mafei Xia) – These lie between the Xintan Shoal and Kongling Shoal that runs for 2.8 miles in length. These gorges can be imagined as “a smooth lake rising in the narrow gorge”.
If you want to visit Xiling Gorge, China Travel can tailor-make a tour including Xiling Gorge, which can save your time, money, and trouble. Please feel free to tell us your tour ideas!
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How to Get There?
Yichang is located in the western part of Hubei and at the eastern part of Xiling Gorge. From Beijing to Yichang, the distance is around 1,432 kilometers. Tourists can therefore get to Yichang by taking a Train from Beijing; the trip costs anywhere between 180 Yuan up to 478 Yuan. From Yichang, visitors can look for a a bus tour to see parts of the gorge; these will cost 280 Yuan per person but already includes transportation from the Hotels and back, an evening tour of the city center, a morning river cruise, as well as lunch and entrance to the Three Gorges Dam viewing pads and spots.
To enjoy the Three Gorges for four nights, a river cruise with VIP amenities and offers plus an upgraded meal are also available from US$880 to $2,300 per person.
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