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Zhengzhou

City of Yellow River

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  • General Information

    Other Name: Zhengxian, District: Henan, State: Central South, China
    Area: 8056 kmĀ²
    Languages Spoken: Mendarin
    Long Distance Code: +86371
    Importance: Zhengzhou has been one of the major industrial cities in The People's Republic of China since 1949
    Best Time to Visit: September to November and March
    International Access: Has biggest rail hub and is connected with most part of China.
  • Description

    Zhengzhou is a prefecture-level city, a huge city, and the capital of Henan province, People's Republic of China.
  • Location

    Zhengzhou is situated to the south of the Yellow River where its valley broadens into the great plain and at the eastern extremity of the Xionger Mountains.
  • Climate

    Temperate Climate
Song Mountain lies in Dengfeng city, in the heart of Henan Province and about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of its capital, Zhengzhou. Song Mountain, which is also known as Zhong Yue (middle mountain), is known as one of the Five Mountains of China. The others in this group are Tai mountain in Shandong Province, Hua Mountain in Shaanxi Province, Mount Heng in Shanxi Province and Mount Heng in Hunan Province.

Song Mountain has fine natural scenery. Its 72 mountains, grouped around the peaks of Mount Shaoshi and Mount Taishi, extend for about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from east to west. Besides these mountains, there are many valleys, caves, pools and waterfalls, each of which provides the visitor with a unique and wonderful experience. The landscape is so unique that it has been given the title of 'International Geological Park' by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The history of Song Mountain is as rich and interesting as its landscape. Its proximity to Luoyang, the ancient capital city of nine different dynasties, made it an essential place for emperors to offer sacrifices to their ancestors and the gods and to confer the crown to their heirs. This has left many sites of historic and cultural interest in this area. The beauty of the area's scenery also led to many scholars, eminent monks and famous Taoists chose this area as an important place to give lectures, explain Buddhist sutras and develop the teachings of different religions. Practitioners of the three faiths of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism absorbed ideas from each other, which led to their three belief systems growing closer together.

Song Mountain is the birthplace of China Zen Buddhism, and is the home of many wondrous temples, including Shaolin Temple, the largest pagoda forest in China, Ta Lin (meaning pagoda forest) and the most ancient pagoda in China, Songyue Temple pagoda. A visitor can also visit the oldest cypress, as well as the earliest star observation platform in China.

What makes Song Mountain different from the rest of the Five Mountains is its profound and extensive cultural history. For this reason, a visit to Song Mountain will be greatly rewarding for scholars of religion, physical culture, astronomy, archaeology, geology, art, and architecture, as well as for travelers with a passion for beauty and history.

Shaolin Temple, in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province, is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. The temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts such as Shaolin Cudgel. One can see wild flowers and pines on the mountain. With birds singing and a brook spattering, a beautiful scene full of life and vitality is revealed to the visitors.

Shaolin Temple embraces many exciting attractions, such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tianwangdian), the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Shaolin Temple Martial Art Training Center. Visitors may follow the virtual guide about the Shaolin Temple.

First we see the Shanmen Hall. Hung on its top is a tablet reading 'Shaolin Temple'. The tablet was inscribed by the Emperor Kangxi (1622 - 1723) during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Under the stairs of the hall crouches two stone lions made in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The hall enshrines the Maitreya Buddha. Two sides of the corridor behind the hall's gate are paved with inscriptions on stone steles made during several different dynasties.

Next we arrive at the Hall of Heavenly Kings. The gate of the hall is guarded by two figures depicting Vajra (Buddhist warrior attendants). Inside the hall are figures of the Four Heavenly Kings who are responsible for inspecting peoples' behavior, helping the troubled, and blessing the people.

Known as the mother river by all the Chinese people, the 5,464-kilometer (about 3,395 miles) Yellow River is the second longest river in China after the Yangtze River . The headwaters of this mighty river lie in Kunlun Mountains in northwestern Qinghai Province. It runs through nine provinces and autonomous regions on its way to the Bohai Sea. It is not exaggerating to say that Yellow River is a melting port, because there are more than 30 branches and countless streams feeding it through its course. The vigorous upper reaches of the Yellow River starts in Qinghai Province to Hekouzhen in Inner Mongolia. This magnificent river flows quietly, like a shy girl in this section, irrigating the farmlands and nurturing the people. Its middle reaches ends at Taohuayu in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. Here the Yellow River splits the Loess Plateau in half, forming the longest continuous gorge in the whole drainage area of the river. The Yellow River's lower reaches ends in a delta on the Bohai Sea.

It is agreed upon by almost all the Chinese people that the Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization, the spiritual home of the Chinese people. It is the waters of the Yellow River and its spirit that nurture the whole Chinese nation. For thousands of years, the Yellow River has been admiring by literary giants, artists, as well as by the common people. The Yellow River is not just several letters, nor is it just the name of a yellow-ochre-colored river. It bears special significance: the symbol of the Chinese nation, the spirit of the Chinese people and more importantly, civilization itself.

Neolithic (7,000 BC-3,700 BC), Bronze (3,700 BC-2,700 BC) and Iron Age Sites (770 BC), and so on can be found in the Yellow River's drainage basin, which had been the center of ancient Chinese culture since the Azilian (Middle Stone Age). Here, the story of three cultural heroes: Suiren-shi who taught the Chinese to make fire by drilling wood, Fu Hsi who was the inventor of hunting, trapping and fishing and Shennong-shi who invented agriculture, was spread. It was these three legendary individuals that began the development of civilization in the Yellow River basin. After that, many ancient Chinese emperors, like Emperor Qin Shi Huang , Genghis khan (1162-1227, grandfather of Kublai Khan who is the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)) pushed the Yellow River civilization to a wholly new level of refinement, grace and spirituality which drew the attention of the whole world.

Rich cultural relics, history and gorgeous natural sceneries make the Yellow River a fine place to visit. Along the Yellow River, there are dozens of worthwhile attractions. They are stretching arms and waiting for your visiting!

In 1899, in Xiao Tun Village of Anyang City, Henan Province, villagers found many tortoise shells and bones carved with letters and symbols, which unveiled to the world Yin Xu, an ancient city with a long history and splendid culture. Since then this place has become of great interest to worldwide archeologists, because those inscriptions have proved to be the earliest written characters of human beings, the Oracles.

About 3,300 years ago, one emperor of the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC) moved his capital city to Yin, which is today's Anyang city, and since then Yin has been the capital city for more than 250 years. Today Yin Xu has proved to be the earliest remains of an ancient capital city in written record.

Covering a grand area of 24 square kilometers (more than 9 square miles), Yin Xu had a palaces district, civil residences district, tombs district and workshops district, divided into two parts by the Heng river in the city. This rational layout clearly shows people a powerful country and a well-equipped ancient city.

The large-scale excavation in Yin Xu has been continued since the last century. Besides the 150, 000 pieces of oracles, abundant bronze ware has been excavated, and among them, Simuwu Ding, a 4-legged bronze cooking vessel is the biggest and heaviest bronze ware ever found worldwide. Apart from oracles and bronze ware, people have also excavated much pottery ware and jade. The excavation is still in progress and great discoveries come forth from time to time. Like a famous archeologist has said, in Yin Xu there are more treasures to be found.

Because of its great value in not only the historical relics of Chinese culture but also the human civilization of the whole world, Yin Xu topped the 100 Greatest Archeological Discoveries of China in the last century and it was listed in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Yin Xu is revealing its beauty to the world.