Hukou Waterfall

On August 22, 2011, in Other Regions, Shanxi, Waterfalls & Pools, by Jack Li

The well-know Hukou (mouth of a jar) Waterfall situated at the Yellow River lies in the meeting belt of Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. As an international scenic spot, it is a symbol of the Chinese national spirit in terms of its passionate rushing currents. Close to Ji Couty, Linfen, Shanxi Province at the east end […]

The well-know Hukou (mouth of a jar) Waterfall situated at the Yellow River lies in the meeting belt of Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. As an international scenic spot, it is a symbol of the Chinese national spirit in terms of its passionate rushing currents. Close to Ji Couty, Linfen, Shanxi Province at the east end and near Yichuan County, Yan An, Shaanxi Province at the west end, the waterfall is about 5 to 6 hours’ ride away from Taiyuan (capital of Shanxi Province) and over 2 hours’ ride form Xi An (capital of Shaanxi Province). The flow of the Yellow River narrows down from here with sheer precipices and overhanging rocks along both sides, making a shape just like a mouth of a jar, so the waterfall gets the name of Hukou Waterfall. The falls drop about 9 m, providing rich hydroelectric resources. The whole scenic spot covers an area of approximately 60 km2. The thundering waterfall is the world’s largest yellow waterfall, which presents visitors both from China and abroad a rare and splendid view. On October 23rd, 2005, the ranking list of China’s most beautiful places was released in Beijing. Held by ChineseNational Geography Magazine and 34 media all over the country, this contest lasted for 8 months and finally drew the conclusion that Hukou Waterfall was among the six most beautiful waterfalls in China. On July 5th, 2010, half of the waterfall was clear and the other half was surprisingly muddy. This very rare scene attracted a great many visitors and a lot of pictures were taken then. As long as visitors have made the decision to go and have a look at the Hukou Waterfall, they will absolutely be deeply impressed.

Hukou Waterfall Attractions:

The Hanging Fall

Magnificent View of Icefall

Boat-towing     

Hukou Waterfall Story:

 A moonlit night in Mengmen

The legend holds that once a magistrate in ancient China became a candidate for a promotion and would take up the official post in the capital city. At that time the land transportation was still underdeveloped and inconvenient, so he made the choice to go there by boat along the Yellow River. It was already dark when they arrived at Mengmen, then the magistrate and his assistant anchored their boat close to the shore. Having climb up the Mengmen Mountain, he began to enjoy the view of this little islet protruding into the Yellow River. Round bright moon hung high up there in the sky and sometimes its reflection in the water was blurred and sometimes it became clear. He appreciated the beautiful scenery before he went to bed. Surprisingly, at that night he dreamed about the moonlight penetrating the mat roofing of his boat. The next day, his assistant told him that the dream was a good omen. Because geographically speaking, Mengmen was located higher than the location of Dragon Gate, the dream about the moonlight in Mengmen may imply the magistrate would be like a carp that had leaped through the Dragon Gate (an old saying in China that means a successful man). Some days later, this magistrate really got the promotion without any difficulties. It is said that the four large Chinese words on the huge stone was written by the said officer and carved by his men. It is because of this story that people give Mengmen Moutain another name—the Dream Mountain.

Famen Temple

On August 19, 2011, in Other Places of Interest, Temples, Xi'an, by Jack Li

Famen Temple (Buddhism Door, meaning the initial approach to becoming a Buddhist believer) is a well known Buddhist temple located in Famen County 10 km away from Baoji City. The Temple was started built in the Han Dynasty. Legend has it that the Indian King Asoka of India traveled throughout Asia, distributing Buddhist relics as […]

Famen Temple (Buddhism Door, meaning the initial approach to becoming a Buddhist believer) is a well known Buddhist temple located in Famen County 10 km away from Baoji City. The Temple was started built in the Han Dynasty. Legend has it that the Indian King Asoka of India traveled throughout Asia, distributing Buddhist relics as atonement for his sins and war addiction. In China, he built this Temple and left the fingers of Buddha to be enshrined here.

Emperors in the Tang Dynasty revered this sacred relic and regularly walked through the streets with the fingers as a huge worshipping ceremony. The Tang Emperors offered exquisite gifts to the fingers in an attempt to better their predecessors’ offerings. This legend was dismissed until 1981 when heavy rains revealed the crypt, shrine and underground palace by accident. The crypt contains the Buddha’s fingers and gifts from the Emperors. The site is still seen as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists today.

The museum here is excellent and contains objects from the Tang Dynasty including sacrificial offerings and royal gifts. The first relic or sarira was found in an exquisitely executed container of eight interested cases in the back chamber of the underground shelter. It was taken of Fufeng County Museum and opened there at a ceremony presided over by the abbot of Famen Monastery at 1.15 in the morning on May 5, coinciding with the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar and the 2, 553rd anniversary of the birth of Sakyamuni. 

The Stories fo Famen Temple

1. Sacred relics of Sakyamuni

On April 3, 1987 the Tang Dynasty Underground Palace was revealed to the world after 1113 years of sleeping in the underground. Among the excavations there are four pieces of Sacred Relics of Sakyamuni which are the only ones throughout the world. Two of the relics are made of white jade and one of the other two is relics of another eminent monk. All of the three are “shadow” relics of the real one and they are here to protect the real relic of Sakyamuni. It has been confirmed it is authentic for is has yellow bone secretion. Thus Famen Temple is known for a Buddhist sacred land for believers.

2. The Tallest Buddhist Pagoda in the world

The pagoda measures 148m in the shape of two hands putting the palms together, under which a sliver of the finger bone of Sakyamuni was discovered. The hollow in between is a Tang-style pagoda. In front of the pagoda there built a 1230m long and 108m wide avenue. The ends of the avenue stand two squares housing for 100,000 people if grand ceremonies are served. In 1981, it was found that the pagoda was gradually sinking into the ground. This led to restoration during which an Underground Palace was unearthed. At present, this is the largest Buddhist underground palace discovered so far. Many royal treasures and jewelry were found here – more than 2,000 pieces surrounded the Tang mandala. The most precious item was the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.

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