As an AAAA-class scenic place, the Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor is not only a beautiful resort, but also an important national relic. The Yellow Emperor, with the name of Xuan Yuan and the surname of Gong Sun, was born in the matriarchal clan society. Mr. Simaqian (a famous historian of China) spoke highly of Yellow Emperor as “He was born of intelligence and could talk soon after he was born. Being a child, he was very clever. He was honest and hardworking when he grew up. He was also knowledgeable and distinguished. He was voted as the chieftain of the Xuan Yuan tribe at fifteen and then became the emperor when he was thirty seven years old. The greatest contribution of Yellow Emperor is that he experienced fifty three wars during which he defeated Wangyu Tribe, conquered the Yan Emperor and killed Chiyou Tribe, thus he uniformed the three tribes. Yellow Emperor led China from the savage time to a civilized and demonstrated country which promoted him as the first and the greatest emperor of the Chinese nation. He was so respectable that when he died at 110, people tried their best to keep him and then collected his utilities and buried them in his tomb in memory of him. That was the early Mausoleum. Later, people added something to the mausoleum and today there are the Xuan Yuan Temple, Hanwu Immortal Base, the ancient monuments, the cypress grown by Yellow Emperor, the General Cypress and some thousands of other ancient cypresses all of which was honored by mountains of Chinese people every year.
Xuan Yuan Temple
Located at the foot of the Bridge Mountain, this temple was built in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) and was expanded during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) where some sacrifices to ancestors were held even as a national activity. During the early Kaibao Time (a period of the Song dynasty), the emperor moved the temple from the west side of the Bridge Mountain to the east, where the Yellow Emperor grew the cypress by himself. People rebuilt the temple especially the gate, the passing pavilion and the hall. And again the emperor made the Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor Temple as one of the places to hold the ceremony to offer sacrifices. That is the Xuan Yuan Temple.
The Cypress Grown by Yellow Emperor
As we know, there is a Xuan Yuan Temple at the foot of the Bridge Mountain and there are fourteen ancient cypresses in the temple among which a surprising thick one was one the right with the branches coiling like snakes. It is the cypress grown that the Yellow Emperor grew five thousand years ago with partly bared root and dense leaves through the whole year which looks like a large green umbrella. Some people described the cypress on a tablet set ion a tablet pavilion as “It’s the king of cypress with the height of fifty eight chi (chi is a traditional unit of length, equal to 1/3 meter)”, the bottom circle of thirty one chi which has been thirty chi recently, the middle circle of nineteen chi and six chi of the top circle.” There is also a proverb said “A tree is extremely thick with some tree lumps in the trunk.” It is said to be the biggest and highest cypress of the country, called “king of cypress” as well as “the father of the world’s cypresses”. It is said that the Yellow Emperor once ordered people to cut down all the trees of the Bridge Mountain and also the trees around it to enforce the Bridge Mountain people who were living in the caves to live on the land and then cultivate them. Unfortunately, the flood washed away most of the people who lived in the middle of the bare mountain and their houses. The regretful emperor swore that he would never cut down any trees and grew one cypress immediately to show his decision. The other people all learned from him to grow trees and the Bridge Mountain became dense and green in several years. Therefore, growing trees becomes a traditional moral of China and is passed down generation to generation.
The Virtues Altar
As a conjunction of the mausoleum area, the Virtue Altar is located on the axis of the Mausoleum, with Xuan Yuan Temple to the east, the county to the west, the Inkpad Mountain to the south and the Mausoleum Road to the north. The subject of the Virtues Altar is to honor Yellow Emperor’s virtues and achievement. The structure of it is special as follows: the surface of the altar is a circle with the diameter of fifty four meters, consisting of the outer circle, the middle circle and the inner circle. There are the Heaven Tripod (tripod is an ancient cooking vessel with two loop handles and three or four legs), the Earth Tripod in front of the altar and the Human Tripod in the center of the circle. The tripods are thirteen inches high and they are so large in the circle that it seems available for ten Dan heap soil and also with all kinds of carved Gods, Goddess and animals in it. (Dan is a unit of dry measure for grain in China, roughly equivalent to one hectoliter). The relieves carved on the outer wall of the altar show the contribution of the Yellow Emperor and his descendants to the human.
The Chinese Home Centric Forest of Steles
The steles stand for thirty provinces, municipalities directly under the central government and autonomous regions, the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions which circle the altar from the east, west and north side.
With the total area of 1367.2 square meters and 42.75 for each, these steles stand from lower place to higher places naturally along the slope, circled with the cypress and pine trees. The whole forests of steles take on the scenery of home centric and promoting and became a meaningful grand scenic spot of the Yellow Emperor Mausoleum which embodies the unity and inspiration of the Chinese people, together with the virtue altar.
After visiting the Phoenix mountain, the Yang Family Ridge village, the Wang Family Patio village and the Date Garden village, you can go to the Yellow Emperor Mausoleum the second day and return in the afternoon. You can also take the north-line one-day-tourist buses at the railway station. Driving your car along the west Bronze First-class road for 196 kms, you can arrive there directly. Besides, this double-way road from Yao County to the Yellow Emperor Mausoleum is pretty good. The road toll (the cost of the road and the bridges) is 45 yuan.
Solo Adventure Tips:
Huangling County, Xi'an City.
How to Get There?
Take bus from Xi'an to Huangdi Mausoleum at Xi'an Bus Station, which takes about 4 hours.
Peak period(November 1-March 31): 90 yuan/person; Off season(December 1-February 29): 50 yuan/person
The best tourism time: it is in Tomb sweeping Day and Double Ninth Festival (the ninth day of the ninth lunar month) as there are some activities of memorizing the ancestors.