Chongqing Tourist Attractions

ChongqingChongqing

Chongqing lies in the eastern part of Sichuan province, at the confluence of the Changjiang and Jialingjiang rivers. The Old Town sprawls over a hill which is encircled by the two rivers.

Chongqing, also known as the ''Mountain City'', is one of the country's most important conurbations, and its mines and shipyards help to make it the political and commercial center of southwest China. Chongqing University and other colleges mean that it is also of importance in the educational sphere.

Loquat Hill Park

Loquat Hill towers to a height of 280m/920ft in the central/southern part of the Old Town, in the center of Loquat Hill Park. From here there is a superb view of the whole city. Originally privately owned, the park was opened up to the public in 1955. On the top of the hill stands an octagonal pavilion. Nearby will be found the Municipal Museum in which are exhibited many archaeological specimens discovered in the city and the surrounding countryside.

Surroundings

Stone Sculptures, DazuStone Sculptures, Dazu

Stone Sculptures, Dazu, China

There are 5000 or more stone sculptures at forty different sites all in the vicinity of Dazu, a little town 100km/62mi west of Chongqing. Most of these historically and artistically valuable works - they include statues, bas-reliefs, high reliefs, etc. - are religious in character and represent Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian saints, although some do portray scenes from everyday life as well as landscapes, animals and plants. The statues are chiseled out of the hillsides and represent a type of cave temple otherwise mainly known from northern China; the oldest date from the end of the Tang period, i.e. the 9th C, and many others are from the 12th C.
The most valuable of all are to be found on the slopes of Mount North (Beishan) and at the foot of Treasure Chamber Mountain (Baodingshan).
The largest collection of Mount North sculptures, hewn over a period of 250 years starting from 892 AD, will be found near the town of Fowan (2km/1.25mi) northwest of Dazu), carved out of niches in a rock. The work in the southern section was carried out between the 9th and 10th C, that in the northern section after the 10th C.

Dazu Stone Sculptures - Statue of Buddha

Famous in Dazu is the 30m/100ft long reclining statue of Buddha entering Nirvana. Many other carvings depict scenes from everyday life, some showing important events in a woman's life, such as pregnancy, the birth and nursing of a child and later marriage. Another group of figures is intended as a warning against the evils of alcohol - a father rejecting his drunken son, and a man so much under the influence of drink that he fails to recognize his own wife.

Dazu Stone Sculptures - Treasure Chamber Mountain

Between 1179 and 1249 more than 10,000 sculptures were carved at the foot of Treasure Chamber Mountain (Baodingshan), 15km/9.5mi northeast of Dazu. The most beautiful are to be found in Dafowan, on a rock 15-30m (50-100ft) high and 500m/1650ft wide. They depict Buddhist saints and episodes from their lives and work.

Dazu Stone Sculptures - Goddess of Mercy

In a niche on the southern slope of the rock, quite a way to the east, stands the 3m/10ft tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy (Avalokiteshvara) with her 1002 arms. She is the main attraction in Dazu.

Dazu Stone Sculptures - Bodhisattvas Manjushri and Samantabhadra

The Bodhisattvas Manjushri and Samantabhadra, riding on a lion or an elephant respectively, represent the victory of good over evil as told in Buddhist teachings.

Natural History Museum, Bebei, China

The Natural History Museum (Ziran Cenglieguan) lies in Bebei, a satellite town 45km/28mi northwest of Chongqing. There are some 60,000 exhibits, of which the fossilized dinosaur remains are of particular interest; the local region is famous for the fact that these animals roamed here in prehistoric times.

Red Cloud Mountain

Red Cloud Mountain, 60km/37mi northwest of Chongqing, is one of the most impressive mountains in the province. It is named after the Temple of the Red Clouds, built in 423, which was destroyed by fire in the middle of the 17th C and rebuilt in 1683. The highest of its nine peaks, Jade Peak (Yujian Feng), is 1040m/3413ft high.

Zigong Dinosaur Museum

The quite exceptional Dinosaur Museum is located at the now famous Dashanpu site some 11km/7mi north of Zigong and 180km/112mi west of Chongqing, where a great many, unusually well-preserved, dinosaur fossils were discovered. Skeletons of dinosaurs and other vertebrates are displayed in a 3600sq.m/39,000sq.ft exhibition area.
Address: 238 Dashanpu, Zigong, Chongqing 643013, China

Northern Hot Springs

The Northern Hot Springs (Beiwenquan) rise northwest of Bebei (52km/32mi northwest of Chongqing), in Wenfang Gorge near the Jialingjiang river, at the foot of Mount Jinyunshan. The free-flowing springs have an average temperature of about 35°C (95°F).
As well as the springs, the park-like surroundings also contain four Buddhist temples from the Ming and Qing periods (1368-1911); they are the Hall of the Great Buddha (Dafo Si) from 1432, which houses a giant statue of Shakyamuni, the Temple of Avalokiteshvara, the Temple of Amitabha and the Temple of General Guan Yu.

Southern Hot Springs

The Southern Hot Springs (Nanwenquan), lying 24km/15mi south of Chongqing among some delightful scenery, are very popular with visitors. Built in the second half of the 19th C, the baths are located in a beautiful park which has a brook running through it. The average temperature of the very sulfurous water is about 40°C (104°F).
Near the hot springs there are some other interesting sights, such as Fairy Mountain (Xiannüyou Yan), the Huaxi river, the Flying Waterfalls and an arched bridge.

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