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Mt. Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System
2006-02-20 10:56:48    CRIENGLISH.com

Inscribed: 2000

Location: Sichuan Province

Construction of the Dujianyang Irrigation system began in the 3rd century BC, and it continues to control the waters of the Minjiang river and distribute it to the fertile farmland of the Chengdu plains. Mount Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism, which is celebrated in a series of ancient temples.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is long-established water conservation works. It is 56 kilometers (34.8miles) west of Chengdu at Dujiangyan city lying in the middle reach of Minjiang River, which is the longest tributary of Yangtze River.

Since ancient times the Minjiang River has surged downward from Mt. Minshan thrusting itself into the Chengdu Plain. When reaching the flatlands the rivers speed slowed down abruptly. Thus the watercourse filled up with silt making this area extremely vulnerable to flooding. The people living on the Chengdu Plain consequently suffered a great deal from frequent floods.

Around BC 250 during the Warring States Period, Libing, a governor of Shu in Qin state (present Sichuan Province) with his son directed the construction of Dujiangyan. The governor gave up the old ways of dam building which was simply try to catch the floodwaters. Instead he employed a new method by channeling and dividing the water to harness the Minjiang River. He accomplished this by separating the project in to two main parts: the headwork and the irrigation system. The project effectively put the flooding waters under control.  

For over two thousand years the whole system has functioned perfectly, serving not only as flood prevention but also as an immense source for irrigation as well as a means to facilitate shipping and wood drifting. It has contributed greatly to the richness of Chengdu Plain and helps it earn its reputation as "The Land of Abundance".

Mount Qingcheng (Qingchengshan) is one of the ancient cradles of Daoism. The mountain has numerous Daoist temples and sites along the paths to its peak. The area is green all year round and is known for its secluded tranquility.

Jianfu Temple (Jianfu Gong) sits at the base of the mountain and is a large, well-preserved Daoist temple from the Tang Dynasty. About halfway up the mountain sits Tianshi Cave (Tianshi Dong) the temple and school of Zhang Daolin, a famous Daoist master who taught here and contributed greatly to spreading Daoism in China. The present Tianshi Cave buildings were built at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Lastly, near the peak sits Shangqing Temple, which was originally established in the Jin Dynasty, while the current temple buildings are Qing Dynasty constructions. (Photo source: baidu.com)

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