"Here I come, the Monkey King!" This is Sun Wukong’s classic line in the TV series, The Journey to the West. So where did Sun Wukong come from, and where is his homeland? In this article, Youlin will give you an introduction to Sun Wukong's hometown – the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit (Huaguo Mountain).
The Mountain of Flowers and Fruits, as described in Monkey King’s homeland in The Journey to the West, is famous at home and abroad. Upon opening the book The Journey to the West, you’ll find it easy to have a picture of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits (Huaguo Mountain), as it is described: “Purvavideha has a neighbor country named Aolai. The country is close to the sea, in which lies a famous mountain called Huaguo Mountain…” in Chapter 1 of the book. Huaguo Mountain Scenic Area is a national key scenic spot and 4A-class scenic attraction in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, which enjoys its scenery of rocks, seaside, ancient sites and myth, and has a high value of view, visit and scientific research. Those who travel there are amazed by its natural landscape.
Since ancient times, the scenic spot has been enjoying people’s compliments as a "Top Scenic Spot of East Sea" and "One of the Top Four Buddhist Holy Mountains”. And after reading the masterpiece, The Journey to the West, many people yearn to pay a visit there. Up to the door of Huaguo Mountain, the atmosphere as it is described in "The Journey to the West" will be blowing. The door is a type of traditional ancient city gate, using modern techniques to render the head statue of Sun Wukong, the Golden Monkey King. Through the middle of the door, it is not difficult to see the statue of Wu Chengen (the author of the novel, The Journey to the West) in the pines.
Entering the gate and walking through the "Fairy Bridge", it is a stretch into the scenic area. In the novel, the Monkey King was born from the crevice of a huge stone. During your visit, you will be accompanied by the beauty of not only his birth place – the magic stone left by Nv Wa, the Goddess in the ancient myth of China – but also all the rocks along the path. On the way are “Monk Tang Stone”, “Zhu Bajie Stone”, and “Monk Sha Stone”, which are all vivid and lifelike; from the “Monk Tang Stone” in the east of the scenic park is a stone path leading to a terrace where people can overlook “Shen” character king – a huge stone inscription of a Chinese character(Shen) on the rock. Along the path are all kinds of stone inscriptions of Chinese characters (Shen), differing widely in type, size, and style of calligraphy by many famous calligraphers just on the cliffs.
After crossing the “18 Twists” and “Fengmen Pavilion”, around a corner is a path leading to an exquisite pagoda standing halfway to the mountain. Looking down from the pagoda, it is faintly visible to the “Zhu Bajie Stone”, full of wit and humour. Over the “Path with Ink Fragrance” and across “Sanyuan Palace” is the Tripitaka Sutra Pavilion leading to the Water Curtain Cave.
Water Curtain Cave, Sun Wukong’s shelter cave, is the most distinctive and representative scenic spot in Huaguo Mountain. As far back as when The Journey to the West came into being, Water Curtain Cave had become well-known. It is also the most attractive place for tourists at home and abroad. Inspired by the cave, Wu Chengen, the author of the masterpiece “The Journey to the West”, depicted this place full of myths for Sun Wukong in his book.
Coming to the front of the cave, it is amazing to see a splendid waterfall straight down the hill. Along the stone path is a stretch into the cave. The cave is very spacious, and some big and small stone tables and chairs in lights are in partly hidden and partly visible. In addition to Water Curtain Cave, there are many other caves in Huaguo Mountain generally called "72 Caves”, which were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago out of an organic movement. These famous caves include “Sea and Heaven Cave”, “Twin Fairy Cave”, “Ten-Thousand-Buddha Cave”, “Chaoyang Cave”, “Xiaoyun Cave”, “Huayan Cave” and “Lotus Cave”, etc.
It is the climax of Huaguo Mountain tour to climb Yunwu Peak (Cloud-Fog Peak). The Jade Emperor Pavilion is just standing at the foot of the peak over the cliff, spectacular and splendid. Those octagonal caves ring the bell with melodious sounds in all directions.
When you keep climbing the mountain, it is lovely to catch Yunwu Peak in sight. The peak, an altitude of 624.4 meters, is the highest one in Jiangsu Province, with many spectacular cliffs. In the distance, the mountain range, hillside surrounded by fog and a wild profusion of vegetation is very beautiful. If you’re lucky enough, it is possible to catch the top two spectacular sceneries – sunrise over the sea of clouds, and the terrace above the sea of clouds, which are rolling like the sea waves. Those exposed peaks seem like a celestial island of Penglai, a fairy land in Chinese myth, fairy feeling with mountains and criss-cross paths.
Wandering on Yunwu Peak, from time to time it is possible to come across a few monkeys. Amidst the woods on the Peak of Huaguo Mountain live more than 300 lovely wild macaques. These wild monkeys not only enjoy harmony with visitors across the summer and become an interesting “landscape”, but also add some Reiki here.
A visit to Huaguo Mountain is worthwhile in any season, with birds singing and flowers in spring, waterfalls in the summer, picturesque views in autumn, and snow in the winter. Mount Huaguo is rich in natural landscape, splendid in history and culture, and exotic in myths and legends. These qualities, combined with the wonderful description in the classic story, The Journey to the West, make Huaguo Mountain a place full of charm and magic.
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