Panshan Mountain of Ji County

    Written by: Li Xuelu
    Posted on: January 11, 2018 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文

    The Second Memorial Gateway of Mt. Panshan (Source: China Daily) - Panshan Mountain of Ji County

    The Second Memorial Gateway of Mt. Panshan (Source: China Daily)

    Panshan Mountain Scenic Spot, 12 kilometres to the northwest of Ji County in Tianjin, is one of the few state-level 5A scenic spots around Beijing area. Panshan Mountain, which appears to be a large green shield, towers to the east of Beijing, and is also called, “the first mountain to the east of Beijing.”

    Panshan Mountain was first recorded in the Han Dynasty, became popular in the Tang Dynasty, and flourished in the Qing Dynasty. It is famous for its natural landscape, as well as its historical sites. Since ancient times, Panshan Mountain has attracted countless literati, who not only visited the mountain but also wrote poems about it, leaving behind precious historical and cultural heritage. One story relates that Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty visited the mountain 32 times, leaving a total of 1366 poems praising it! He acknowledged, “I would not have travelled all the way to the regions south of the Yangtze River, if I had known about the Panshan Mountain earlier.”

    Mt. Panshan

    Mt. Panshan (Source: China Daily)

    In ancient times, the mountain had several other names, such as “Panlong Mountain,” “Sizheng Mountain,” and “Wuzhong Mountain,” either because of its shape or its location. The wriggling and winding mountain looks like a “dragon,” and from here comes the ancient name, “Panlong Mountain.” One of its peaks has the shape of honeycomb and lotus, and from here comes the ancient name, “Sizheng Mountain.” Since the mountain was located in Wuzhong Country historically, it was also named, “Wuzhong Mountain.

    With the combination of quiet forests, ancient caves, unique peaks, beautiful waterfalls and mountain streams, the Panshan Mountain Scenic Spot has opened up five main scenic zones, with more than one hundred and thirty scenic sites, covering an area of 106 square kilometres. Three passenger ropeways have been constructed and opened to the public in the scenic spot, which are Panshan, Yunsong and Guayue. Tourists can be shipped directly to Guayue Peak, the main peak of the mountain with the help of the ropeways.

    Guayue Peak

    Guayue Peak (Source: CNTO)

    While some ancient cultural locations have been damaged by natural weathering and the invasion of the Japanese army in 1940s’, leaving only ruins, many historical sites are still preserved in good condition, such as Tiancheng Temple, ancient Buddha Stupa, Dingguang Buddha Stupa, Jinshi Tomb, Stone Tower Forest, Thousand Buddha Statues, Qizhen Cave Grottoes, and the inscriptions on precipices.

    In ancient times, people divided Panshan Mountain into three parts; the upper, the middle and the lower, according to the features of natural landscape. The upper part is famous for the pines, the middle for the rocks, and the lower for the water. Four large Chinese characters, (“San Pan Mu Yu”), can be seen on a giant rock at the entrance of the scenic spot, which is considered one of the top ten sceneries in Tianjin. Walking upward along the stone path, you can see the most famous giant stone, the Yuan Bao Stone or the Silver Ingot Stone, which got this name due to its shape. With the wide upper part, and the narrow lower part, it looks much like the silver ingot of Ancient China. The two-story attic on the mountain is named Wo Yun Lou (???” means “Cloud Lying Building”), since the building is located in a relatively lower part. Whenever it rains in summer, there will be clouds floating through the open window, and from there emerges the name “Wo Yun Lou.” The main peak, Guayue Peak, looks like a silver hook hanging in the air, at an altitude of 864.4 meters, with the Zigai Peak in the front, Zilai Peak in the back, Jiuhua Peak in the east and Wujian Peak in the west. Though linked together, the peaks present different scenic features.

    The first gate of Mt. Panshan

    The first gate of Mt. Panshan (Source: Visit Our China)

    The beautiful waterfalls and mountain streams are another attraction of the Panshan Mountain. The water flows downwards, splashing and spurting along the three parts. The pine trees here are even more unusual, since most of them grow in the stone crevices; some upwards; some downwards. Some look like umbrellas, and some bend and twist. Emperor Qianlong once said: “East or west, pine trees on the Panshan Mountain are the best.” Sceneries in the Panshan Mountain vary from season to season. In spring, mountain flowers are blooming everywhere, with swallows and butterflies flying among them. In summer, the waterfalls and streams splash down along the green mountain ridges. In late autumn, the air is filled with the fragrance of fruits. In winter, the pine trees turn dark green.

    San Pan Bathing Valley on Mt. Panshan (Source, Panaramio)

    San Pan Bathing Valley on Mt. Panshan (Source: Panaramio)

    Panshan also has had its own cultural associations, since there are various temples and towers in the mountains, all in harmony with the surrounding natural landscape. The earliest temple can be traced back to the Wei and Jin dynasties in ancient China (4-5 century AD), while most of them were built in the Tang Dynasty, such as Dule Temple, Panshan Shuangfeng Temple, You Tang Temple, Yun Zhao Temple, and Tiancheng Temple. In the years of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, the total number of temples reached 72, with as many as 500 monks. Some of the temples and towers still exist, having become famous historic sites and tourist attractions.


    Translated by Yang Keli

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