Longmen Grottoes

   Longmen Grottoes is located on both banks of the Yi River, 13 kilometers south of Luoyang City . Here the two hills stand facing each other and the Yihe River washes its way northward through the gorge. It seems to be a natural gate, historically called “Yique”, later in Sui Dynasty renamed “Longmen”. The carving work at Longmen began in Northern Wei Dynasty when emperor Xiaowen moved his capital to Luoyang (A.D.493). It lasted more than 400 years. At present there are over 2,300 caves and niches, more than one hundred thousand Buddhist images and over 300,000 characters of inscriptions.
   The grottoes and niches in the two hills are known at home and abroad for their large numbers, massive scales, variety of subjects, delicate carving and profound meaning. With their original imperial style and the style of central China , the grottoes created during the Northern Wei period and the Tang Dynasty reached the pinnacle of the development of stone carving at that time and differed from grottoes created earlier. The site has been known as the “forest of ancient steles” for the biggest number of steles and inscriptions ever seen in any of the grottoes in the world.
It is rare in the art of stone carving so far as the extensive coverage of the various sects of Buddhism, and even Taoism, as the subject matter of the grottoes is concerned. The large numbers of materials in kind and literary data have reflected, from different angles, the developments and changes of Chinese politics, economics, religion, culture, and other aspects in ancient times, and have made important contributions to the creation and development of the Chinese art of stone carving.
Tourist Route:
Cave On The West Hill:North Gate—>The Three Binyang Caves—>The Three Moya Buddha—>Ten- thousand Buddha Cave—>The Lotus-flower Cave—>Fengxiansi Cave—>Guyang Cave—>Yaofang Cave—>South Gate
Dongshan Grottoes:South Gate—>The Three Leigutai Caves—>The Gully Of Thousands Of Buddha- –>kanjingsi Cave—>Cave With Four Cranes—>North Gate
   Xiangshan Temple:Southern Tourist Path—>The Lotus-flower Pool—>Clock Storey/drum Storey—>Tianwang Palace—Luohan Palace —>Stone Storey—>Nine Dotage Premises—>observe view terrace—>Grandeur Precious Palace—>Qianlong royal tablet pavilion—>Jiangsong villa —>Bump Tambourine —>Through the Dongshan Hotel To Bai Garden Bai garden:South Gate—>South Poetry corrider—>Pipa peak—>Nouth Poetry corrider—>Canvass Poemty Room—>Letian Premises—>Qing Valley—>Obverse gate
Longmen Grottoes Longmen Grottoes was promulgated颁布、公布 a key national cultural relic unit for special protection by the State Council in 1961. In 1982, it was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zones to be protected at the state level by the State Council. In November 2000, Longmen Grottoes was inscribed on World Heritage List by it was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesUNESCO.
BAI GARDEN
Bai Garden , located on Peak Pipa in the north of the East Longmen Hill (Xiangshan Hill), was reconstructed by Tang YOUzeng of Qing Dynasty in A.D. 1709. The temple is surrounded by green pine trees and cypress, looking solemn and serene. It was promulgated a key site for protection at the state level by the State Council in 1961.
The tomb of Bai Juyi is a round mound of earth, 4 meters high, with a circumference of 52 meters. In front of the tomb stands a tombstone of 2.80 meters high, which reads, “The Tomb of Bai Juyi Tai”.
When Bai Juyi died, he was buried in the present Bai Garden , according to his will. The important scenic spots in the Bai Garden are Qinggu, Tingyi Pavillion, Letian Hall, Bai Pavillion, Bird’s Head Gate, Peak Pipa, Bai Juyi’s Tomb, Wogu Tablet, Cuiyue Pavillion, Poem Corridor, Daoshi Reading Room, Songfeng Pavillion, etc. As a garden constructed according to style of the Tang Dynasty, it is a good place to console with the great poet as well as a tourist resort.
     Xiangshan Temple , which ranked the first among the ten temples at Longmen, is situated in the middle mountainside of the East Hill. The East Longmen Hill is teemed with spices name “ Xiangge ” , hence the name Xiangshan. Then the temple was named Xiangshan Temple . The present Xianshan Temple was reconstructed in about 1707, during the Qing Dyansty, on the basis of an old temple. In 2002, Xiangsha Temple was expanded on the basis of the Qing Xiangshan Temple by Longmen Grottoes Administration, with the Beltry, the Drum Tower , the Wing Room, the Hall of Mahavira and Hall of Nine Persons newly constructed.
Besides, the Hall of Arhats, the stele of Emperor Qianlong, the belfry钟楼, the Palace of Emperor Qianlong , Wing-room, Eighten Arhats, the Villa of Jiang Jieshi and Song Meiling, the stairs, the plank roads and the bouding wall within the temple have all been remedied. A new gate was constructed to the south of the temple.
The original construction site of the Xiangshan Temple was located somewhere near the former sanatorium of Luoyang Bearing Corporation in the south end of the East Longmen Hill
    Fengxiansi Cave (completed in A. D. 675) is the largest open-air niche among all the caves in China , cut on cliffs, 34 meters wide and 38 meters deep. A total of nine giant statues stand in the cave, including one Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas菩萨, two heavenly kings, and two warriors, on the north, west and south walls. In the middle of the back wall sits Grand Losana, cross-legged, on an octagon八边形 lotus seat, 17.14 meters in height, his ears 1.9 meters high and his head 4 meters high. The disciples are 10.65 meters high, the bodhisattvas 13.25 meters, the heavenly kings 10.5 meters, and the warriors 9.75 meters.
Losana, which means “purity, fullness, bright shining across the land”, ranks the highest among the Buddhas in the Kegon School . The grand Buddha has a plump face, thick eyebrow, down-looking eyes, looking dignified, kind reserved, and wise. According to the stele under the seat of grand Losana, the cave was cut by Emperor Li Zhi of the Tang Dynasty, and Empress Wu Zetian donated 20,000 strings of cash to the decoration of statues in this cave. So Fengxina Temple was initiated by the emperor himself, designed by prestigious monks and supervised by high-rank officials in the court. This group of statues embodied the great material and spiritual strength of the Tang Dynasty, demonstrated the supreme level attained in the art of stone carving in the Tang Dynasty, and is a symbol of the Tang Dynasty as a great era and an vivid example of the oriental Buddhist art.
THREE BINYANG CAVE
Altogether 11 statues were caved in the Middle Binyang Cave , the main statue of Sakyamuni, two disciples, two Buddhas, two Bodhisattvas, and so on.
The front wall from the top to the basement is covered successively with large reliefs of Vimalakirti, Prince sattva jataka, Prince Suddtta jataka, emperor and empress worshipping scene, as well and ten deity kings.
A lotus-flower pool decorates the floor. The center of the cave was engraved a large lotus-flower in full blossom, around with are eight musical apsarases, two attending apsarases, surrounded by various tassel-drapery patterns, thus forming a magnificent lotus-flower canopy. Outside the gate is carved a house-shaped niche on both sides, with a warrior standing inside.
The whole cave looks natural, graceful and magnificent, exhibiting the worship of religion during the northern dynasties and representing typical imperial artistic charm.
TEN-THOUSAND-BUDDHA CAVE
Wanfo Cave is a big cave located on the middle floor of West Longmen Hill. On the ceiling of the cave is the chronicle record of the date when it was completed. It was a contribution from eunuch Yaoshenbiao and Nun Zhiyun for the emperor, empress, and princes. On the main wall are five statues, the main Buddha, Amitabha, two disciples, and two bodhisattvas. Behind the halo of the chief Buddha are cut fifty four lotus-flower born offering bodhisattvas. They distinguish themselves and are graceful.
On the south and north walls are scattered ten thousand sitting buddhas, cross-legged, with musical apsarases on the lower parts of the walls. On both sides beside the front wall is carved a full-figure heavenly king, and on the walls beside the gate arch are caved 500 statues of Maitreya and a niche. Outside the cave gate are carved two vajras, with two lions beside them. But unfortunately the lions were stolen and are now collected in the New York Metropolitan Museum and Nelson Art Museumof Kansas City in the United States .
LOTUS-FLOWER CAVE
Lianhua Cave ( Lotus-flower Cave ) (from 521 Northern Wei to 576 Northern Qi) is so named because of the big lotus flower carved on the ceiling. The lotus flower is the most exquisite on the caissons of the niches at Longmen. The lotus flower is surrounded by six flying apsaras, slim in figure. The back wall is occupied with a Buddha and two disciples. The two disciples was engraved relief, with Kasyapa on the left, holding a stick, and Ananda on the right, all of the three standing. Beside the two disciples are two bodhisattvas.
The head of Ananda was stolen and is now collected in Jimei Museum of France. On the north and south walls were cut several layers of medium and small-sized Buddhist niches, the three layers on the south wall were cut in good order, while those on the north wall are different in size and severely eroded. The small niches are of different shapes, all finely sculptured.To the north of the gate of this cave is engraved a Buddhist sutra, which is one of the early stone carving sutras in China .
KANJINGSI CAVE
Kanjingsi Cave (constructed from A.D. 684 to 741, during the reign of Empress Wu Zhou), located in the north of Wanfuogou, is a big cave with square and flat ceiling. A large lotus flower enclosed by six apsaras decorates the ceiling. The lower parts of the front, right, and left walls are occupied by 29 arhats, 11 on the main wall and nine on each of the side walls, who are of the same size as true humans. The arhats are of different figures and characters, expressing their distinctive interior interest. They are carved in high relief, with high artistic value.

Baiyun Mountain

Baiyun Mountain

The Baiyun Mountain is located in the south of Song County,only 180 kilometers away from Luoyang City. It was proclaimed a national forest park by the Ministry of Forestry of China and became a national protection area in 1998.It was honored one of the “Top Ten Spots in Luoyang”and one of the 4A spots.There are beautiful hills and strange rocks with many stories.
With the total area of 45 square kilometers,the Baiyun Mountain has two perfections and four wonders.About two perfections,one is its good location.It covers part of the Yellow River Valley,the Changjiang River Valley and the Huaihe River Valley,and is the shared source of the Baihe River,the Yihe River and the Ruhe River.The other is its varied topography.It has 37 peaks over 1,500 meters above the sea level and an open basin in the middle area.As for the four wonder,the first is animals and plants.There are 1,991 kinds of plants and 204 kinds of animals here.The second is its comfortable climate with rich rainfall,cool summer,and fresh air.The third is its various natural wonders such as steep peaks like the Baiyun Mountaion and the Yuhuangding Peak,its forest such as azalea,waterfalls and pools such as the Ninedragon Waterfall and the Black Dragon Waterfall,and caves such as the White Cloud Cave and so on.The fourth is its unique geology.It has the stratigraphic successions of Paleozoic Era igneous rocks,and veinstones. The Baiyun Mountain collect not only the grandness of northern mountains but also beauty of the southern ones.It becomes a comprehensive spot for sightseeing,holiday,and scientific research.
It is composed of five scenic spots with their own beauty. They are the Baiyun Mountain,the Yuhuangding Peak,the Nine-dragon Waterfall,the Natural Forest and Small Mount Huang.
(Before the entrance gate)This grand building with white walls and yellow ridge is the entrance gate.”Baiyun Mountain”was written by Qigong,a famous calligrapher.Its style is a copy of honorific arch with two middle posts about 13.3 meters high and the two side posts about 12.3 meters high.The couplet on it says that it is the fairyland with rich forest,luxurious plants,beautiful peaks,white clouds and clear water.
Looking from the Viewing Stand you can enjoy the Baiyun Mountain covered with mist.The peak towering into clouds is the Baiyun Peak,about 2,058 meters high.The road to the center of the spot zigzags around the mountains.The temperature of the hottest days is lower than 26 because of its altitude,rich forest and moist climate.It’s a good place for summer holiday.
There are seven beautiful peaks bathing in white clouds all the year round in the Baiyun Mountain Spot.A cave at the top is named the White Cloud Cave.With many wonders,rich trees and animsls around us,we feel as if we were in a fairyland.
(At the foot of the Baiyun Peak)The Baiyun Mountain is grand,grotesque as well as beautiful.While climbing you feel fresh and can enjoy the beauty of all the mountains.We will get to the top after mounting many steep peaks.Along the way from the foot to the place about 1,800 meters high,we’ll get to the Rest Pavilion when we have conquered three peaks.
(Before the White Cloud Cave)This cave hides behind rich tree and clouds.It is about 27 meters deep,6 meters wide and 3 meters hingh with a plain room inside and many side caves.There is an ever-running stream inside.It was said that the White Snake stayed here before she went to Mount Emei.
(On the top of the Baiyun Mountain)At the moment,you experience that “I’ll climb up to the summit and the mountains below all look tiny!”This large rock lying here with a stone mouse on its back is the Stone from the Heaven.
(On the Heaven Bridge)This wooden bridge connects the northern peaks with the middle ones.Standing here,we can look up at the Sky Seam and down at the deep valley.
(On the Immortal Bridge)This is a unique stone bridge named Immortal Bridge with natural openings and surface,and with pines and flowers around.It was said that Iron-stick Li,one of the Immortals changend the stone into this bridge.
Now we’re at the Jade Emperor Peak.We’ll see many natural wonders here.
(At the White Clouds Lake)This man-made lake is about 500 meters above the sea level.It is clear,and harmonious with the environment around it.
(At the Jade Emperor Pool)It was said that the Jade Emperor had bathed here.It’s a wonder with beautiful mountains,trees,and flowers,and chirping birds.
A saing goes that there are four distinct seasons and different climates simultaneously in mountains.The plants here are a good explanation for it.The higher the altitude,the lower the temperature.The plants are in vertical distribution.From the bottom to the top,we can see different plant belts in order along the road,such as broadleaf mixed forest,birch belt,and azalea belt.It was honored a natural museum by experts.
(At the Jade Emperor Steps)The steps,about 1.5 meters long and 0.4 meter wide each before us,have 198 steps in total to the Jade Emperor Peak.
The next stop is the Jade Emperor Gate.Through it,we’ll get to the top of the peak to appreciate sunrise and clouds.
(On the top of the Jade Emperor Peak)Now we are standing on the top of the Jade Emperor Peak,about 2,212 meters above the sea level,the highest peak in this scenic spot.It’s one of the best places to watch sunrise.
These beautiful flowers are azalea flowers,some of which are red,some are white,and some have other colors.They spread over the mountains.The total area of these azalea trees covers over 1,000 mu.They bloom in May and June.
Please look at this azalea tree,and it is the biggest one here,covering 60 square meters.
Well,we have got to the beautiful Nine-dragon Waterfall Spot.The main attraction is the rich forest and waterfalls in quiet valleys.It’s the best of the Baiyun Mountain Forest park.They are the Black Dragon Pool,the Yellow Dragon Pool,the Pearl Pool,and the Nine-dragon Waterfall.
Please look at this flat stone beside the water. What’s it like? It is like a crocodile, looking at the stream.
( At the Black Dragon Pool ) This is the Biack Dragon Pool with waterfall falling down from the cliff ten meters above it. “The pine in the rock twists like Playing with the Black Dragon Pool”, so people name it Black Dragon Pool. Nobody knows how deep it is. The workers had texted it with two 70-memterlong ropes. Finally they had to give up because the ropes couldn’t reach the bottom.
( At the Yellow Dragon Pool ) IT gets its name form its shape. Under it there are two jars about 20memters high with glossy wall. Between the runs out of the pool and froms a waterfall falling into the two jars with scattering drops and loud sounds. With a greeting pine on the top, they from a beautiful picture of waterfall and pine, a good place for taking pictures.
That is the highest jumping stand in Asia now.
( At the Pearl Pool )The tiny stream from thetop carved the rocks yearafter year and formed a pool. It is said that tigers had here. So it is called Tiger-bathing Pool.
This cliff we see is the Thousand-feet Cliff or the White Dragon Cliff. On its top. a plank road about 500memters long was built. On the left, the White Dragon Waterfall falls downabout 60 memters. A folk song says that the White Dragon Cliff is so dangerous that even the hawk and the Immortals can’t walk om. You see, streams through the upper pools fall down here like a roaring dragon, and you can take a picture here.
This hanging viewing stand is part of the 800-memter long plank road. From the viewing stand, you can the clear sky, steep cliffs, beautiful pools and listen to pines and birds.
( Before the Nine-dragon Waterfall ) This waterfall about 103 memters high is like a big curtain. Under the sunshine, rainbows arch over the waterfall at about 9:00 in the morning.
This peak before us can match with Mount Huang. So people call it Small Mount Huang. The highest peak is about 1,845 memters with many steep peaks around. the pines in the rocks extend their hands to greet visitors.
( Beside the Gong and Drun Cave ) The Gong and Cave is hiding in trees, about 34 memters deep, 17 memter wide and 18 memters high.IT is said that indicated favorable weather for crops when the songs gong and drum went out. Beside this, there is a small pool in the cave. It never overflows and people can’t make it dry.Nobody knows why. Please have a try if you like.
Walking toward south from the Baiyun Hotel, we enter the rich forest, the mixing belt of plants and animals both living in South China and in North China. There are over 200 kinds of animals and 1,900 kinds of plants. The coverage of tree is 98%. The temperature is no more than 26℃ in the hottest days. It’s a good place for visitors to explore and spend summer holiday. Here you will see various trees such as metasequoia, Chinese yew, beautiful flowers and grees and some rare animals such as deer, etc.
The Baiyun Mountain is the world of wild fruits such as hedgehog hydnum, pilose antler, ginkgo and so on.
Now, we have to say goobay. Hope you have had a please trip here. Please take our regards to you families and friends.

Luoyang Peony

Luoyang Peony
   Dear Guests, now it’s my turn to accompany you to enjoy and admire the Luoyang Peony. Peony is a famous Chinese traditional flower. The flower originally grew in wilderness,which was described as “nothing different from brier”. Peony mainly grows in the Tibetan Plateau, the Yellow River valley, the Ba and Chin Mountains, the Zhongtiao Mountains in Shanxi Province. Funiu and Mang Mountains in Henan Province . The origin of peony’s ancestry can be traced back to 3,000 years ago.
   According to historical record, the growth of peony in Luoyang started from the Sui Dynasty. flourished in the Tang Dynasty, and became well known in the North Song Dynasty. It says in the historical record of the Sui Dynasty that “five days after Qing Ming Festival,peony flowers are blooming”. Ever since the Sui Dynasty when folk planting of peony was prevalent, it gradually gained the favor of the royal. In 604 A.D.,Emperor Sui Yang set up his capital in Luoyang and the area within 100 kilometers around Xiyuan was built into the frist royal peony garden with varieties of peony. Till the Tang and Song Dynasties, Luoyang maintained as capital and at the same time growing and appreciating peony became more and more popular.The famous Tang Dyansty poet Bai Juyi wrote  “the whole city is crazy during the twenty days when the peony bloom and fade “. This gives a vivid picture. We can imagine the popularity and spectacular view of the peony flowers at that time from the famous sentence: “The best festival is Han Shi, while the best gardens are in Luoyang.” Royal palaces, temples,gardens,and private parks were everywhere. When in spring, “the spring of the capital has come; the city is noisy and crowded with people and vehicles; everyonetalks about peony and poes to buy it”. There are two poets’ poems best tell you the craze when people appreciated peony flowers, which are Liu Yuxi’s “only peony is the real beauty; its bloom shocks the whole capital” and Sima Guang’s “the most prosperous is Luoyang’s spring; millions of families are enjoying its bloom; someone says the peony flower are imitating the beautiful things; people take beautiful things after the peony flowers”.
   There are over 360 kinds of different famous flowers in China, and each has its own specialty. But peony flowers take higher position over others, They are big in flowers and rich in variety, therefore are praised as the king of the flowers. With its mild climate and moderate rain, Luoyang is a suitable place for peony flowers to grow. When literateur Ouyang Xiu of the Song Dynasty was an official in Luoyang, he visited all the places of interest there, and favored especially the Luoyang peony flowers. He wrote in his well-known “A Written Narration on Peony Flowers of Luoyang”, “the most suitable place for peony flowers to grow is Luoyang, and the rarest plant in the world is the peony.”
   It is said that long, long ago people living in Mang Mountain used not to regard peony flowers as elegant and often burnt them as firewood. A young man took great pity on this and transplanted peony flowers into his yards, giving them great care. At night of a mid-autumn day, a beautiful girl came into his yards gracefully and presented him a set of bedding and a handkerchief embroidered with big peony flowers. Just when he was about to ask, the beauty disappeared suddenly. Opening the handkerchief, he found a poem on it sating:”my name is peony and my home is Mang Mountian; to thank for your love and care, rare flowers are to bloom nest spring . ” In the following spring , penoy flowers in his yard were really colorful and flourishing , and lovely as well . Since then , he began to live on planting penoy flowers and led a better life .
    For over one thousand years since the Tang Dynasty , there have been many skillful peony planters in Luoyang . ” Record of Long ” says , ” Song Danfu , citizen of Luo , and whose another name is Zhong Ru , was good at poetry and techniques of planting . He could culture peony flowers into thousands of different colour . Nobody knows how he did it . Emperor Tang Xuan called him to Li Mountain to plant peony flowers of various colours in great number . He was granted tons of gold when he went back home and thereafter was called ‘Master of the Penoy Flowers ‘ .”
    There is a popular story taking place in the Tai He Period of Tang . One day in spring , when Emperor Li Ang was apprciating peony flowers in the inner palace, he asked the painter Cheng Xiuji , “who is best in writing poems about peony ? “Cheng answered , “poet Li Zhengfeng said ,real beauty made people drunk .” The emperor was full of praise , and then called Luoyang peony flowers “heavenly beauty of the nation ” , and this is where the reputation ” heavenly beauty of the nation ” comes from .
    Talking about the varieties of Luoyang peony , there have been excellent kinds coming out , all fascinating over one thousand years . The number of its kinds amounted to 199 at the most flourishing period in history , while nowadays it has reached over 500 kinds . Generally speaking , peony flowers can be classified into ” three kinds , nine colors ,and ten typs . ” Three kinds refers to single-headed , heavy -headed and mixed , classified according to  the flower number on each branch every year :one flower is single -headed peony . Nine colors refer to red , pink , purple , blue , yellow , white , and green colors of the flowers , based on the colors of peony flowers . Ten typed are mainly classified according to the number , size , and arrangement of Luoyang peony petals . Darwin , in his ” Origin of Species” , quoted the ecological aberrance of  Luoyang peony as proof of his theory of evolution. In the Song Dynasty, “Yao Huang”  bred by a Yao-family in Luoyang and “Purple of the Wei Dynasty ” bred by Wei Renfu , prime minister of Zhou, were called the Queen of Peony and the King of peony , which was described in a poem “Yao Huang’s flower  in bloom would top all other beautiful flowers off .” During the Yuanfeng years , Emperor Song Shenzong was presented with a Yao Huang flower , which had a diameter of one ruler and two inches and he was very excited about it . Despite of his prestigious status, he put the flower into his hair. We can tell from this how crazy the emperor was about peony flowers and it becam a much – told story ever since.
      Since the Tang and Song Dynasties, many literaties had produced works of art concerning peony flowers. Therefore, a Peony Culture came into being  gradually , and a lot of myths , legends and anecdotes appeared.
       There is a story going like this. In the second year of  Tianshou , it snowed heavily in the western capital Xi’an ,and the women emperor Wu Zetian was drinking and writing poems. While in high spirits , she wrote a poem down which commanded that all the flowers should be in bloom overnight . The flowers were so scared by this order and bloomed overnight but the peony flowers refused to do so for it was still not the right season. Under great fury , Wu Zetian ousted peony flowers out of the capital ,exiled them to Luoyang and convicted fire on them. Even having gone through the inexorable doom , peony flowers still stood strong in the cold wind , though with coke – like body, its root and branches still held closed together . When breeze blew the followig spring , the flowers were in brighter colors , and were thus honored as “peony flowers with coking bones.”
        Another legend about peony flowers took place when Li Longji, Emperor Tang Ming , accompanied by Yang Yuhuan ,toured Chenxiang Pagoda in Chang’an palace . Yang Yuhuan was the highest – ranking imperial concubine of Emperor Tang Ming and was portrayed as ” the only beauty faored by the emporer among three thoudand beauties of the king in the royal palace “. When she heard that the Luoyang peony flowers were in its full bloom , while the ones in the royal garden still in buds , she  sent people to strike drund to urge the flowers to bloom , but they stayed the same . She was so angry that she convicted all the peony flowers to Luoyang . It was queer that whenecer the peony flowera arrived at the eastern capital Luoyang , the flowers bloomed to their full length all at once , shining and magnificent . In fact , to study it scientifically, though Xi’an is at almost the same latitude with Luoyang . its temperature and humidity are somewhat lower than those of Luoyang . Luoyang is far away from high mountains , at the southern side of Mang Mountain , so spring comes eariler to it than to Xi’an .The famous genius poet Li Bai wrote in his “Qing Ping Diao ” , “elegant flower and attractive beauty are in perfect harmony ; they always win the appreciation from the emperor Yang Yuhuan to the attractive peony flowers .
     All these legends tell us about the peony flowers ‘ character of not yielding to the despotic power , which is valued as the vivid description of the Chinese traditional determination and perseverance .
    Since Luoyang peony become well known to the word , people come in an endless stream to buy them . With the frequent communication between China and Japan in the Sui and Tang Dynasties , peony flowers were spread to Japan and treasured and worshipped . They were also nprevalent in the neighboring South band North Korea . Thereafter , the trend was followed also in America and Europe . They called peony flowers ” Chinese flowers ” or ” magical flower from the heaven ” . At the end of the Northen Song Dynasty , the Middle China was occpiued and the palaces in Luoyang were destroyed completely . The planting and growing of the peony flowers declined in Luoyang and the plants were transferred to the new capital of South Song , Huazhou .During Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty , resadent in Haozhou and Caozhou bagan to transplant peony flowers where the new peony resort emerged . Some elegant breeds could be seen in Tianpeng of Sichuan Province and Salt City of Zhejiang . Since then ,Luoyang peony has started to reach every corner of China jradually .
   Ofter the new China was founded , having gone through various, there were only about 30 kands of Luoyang peony left. In the fall of 1959, when Premier Zhou Enlai visited Luoyang Tractor Factor, he especially asked about Luoyang peony. His care greatly enhanced the Luoyang government’s attention to peony. Very soon the government restored and enlarged the planting area of peony flowers , and successively opened up peony viewing sections in Wangcheng, Mudan, Xiyuan, and Nanguan parks, a masterwork peony flowers garden in Mang Mountain, a pen-kilometer-long peony corridor in Luo-pu park and specially a one-thousand-mu gene storage base. Luoyang People’s Standing Committee claimed peony “city flower ” and an annual Peony Festival has been held since 1983. Thereafter ,the variety of peony increases to over 500 and you can see peony flowers everywhere. Every year,Yellow of the Yao family , Purple of Wei, Black Lying Dragon in Ink Pool, the Drunk Beauty, and some other elegant breeds will show their unique glamour to the admirers, making them feel as if they were a sweet dream. Wangcheng Park has once got the highest record of 100 thousand visitors a day. In season of full bloom , residents in the city will pour to view the flowers , leaving the streets deserted. Just like the poem says:”When watching peony flowers in their full bloom, you will forget all the other things.”
    Equally attractive event with the peony is the Luoyang Lantern Festival that started since the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Over one thousand years, it has become one of the significant customs people celebrate on holidays. In recent years, Luoyang Lantern Festival is becoming more and more popular and is regarded as one of the greatest lantern festivals in China. The colorful lanterns will bring you to a wonderland with the mystery of both fairyland and the real world.
    To be more worth mentioning , in the early winter of 1994, the leading group of the national contest of “national flower” exposed to the press that the candidate national flower scheme was:”one nation, one flower—peony”. At that time, an early-fallen snow covered the ancient nine-dynasty capital Luoyang with beautiful silver dress; however, a peony plant in the garden of Luoyang Fireproof Academy was in its full bloom magically. People were then telling one another to take the pleasure to see the flowers. Xinhua News Agency and scores of other news media competed to report this wonder of the recent one hundred years.
   In recent years, Luoyang peony stepped into the international market to Japan , USA, France ,Singapore , etc . It was also sold to Hongkong , Marco and Taiwan regions , putting an end to the history that peony flowers can only be appreciated , but can’t be bought . Scientific research on peony flowers has achieved a lot with new breakthroughs in various techniques , which can be vividly generalized as ” the flowers bloom and wither according to our will , having nothing to do with the seasons “. The achievement helps lay foundation for further development of Luoyang  peony .
    Li Gefei of the Song Dynasty has once put down , ” whether or not to put down riots in the world depends on the rise and fall of Luoyang ; the rise and fall of Luoyang originated from that of the peony flowers in the garden .” Time goes by , and it suggests a philosophy :if a country is prosperous , then the flowers flourish . Today , our country is taking on a brand-new book , just like the rosy clouds in the east , dressing up our splendid land . Peony , the spirit of thousands of years , is telling the epic of China’s thriving for a brighter future . Peony flowers dress up Luoyang , and Luoyang is famous for peony flowers . It sings for prosperity in blossom and gestates vitality with fading . Peony is the bridge and connection between Luoyang and the world ; it is the aesthetic badge of this ancient capital and it will accompany Luoyang in its thriving in a new era.

Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes
Longmen Grottoes was promulgated a key national cultural relic unit for special protection by the State Council in 1961. In 1982, it was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zones to be protected at the state level by the State Council. In November 2000, Longmen Grottoes was inscribed on World Heritage List by it was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesit was promulgated one of the first group of scenic zonesUNESCO.

BAI GARDEN
Bai Garden , located on Peak Pipa in the north of the East Longmen Hill (Xiangshan Hill), was reconstructed by Tang YOUzeng of Qing Dynasty in A.D. 1709. The temple is surrounded by green pine trees and cypress, looking solemn and serene. It was promulgated a key site for protection at the state level by the State Council in 1961.
The tomb of Bai Juyi is a round mound of earth, 4 meters high, with a circumference of 52 meters. In front of the tomb stands a tombstone of 2.80 meters high, which reads, “The Tomb of Bai Juyi Tai”.

Bai Juyi, style name Letian, had his ancestors in Taiyuan , Shanxi Province, who moved to Shaanxi . He was born in A.D. 772 and died in A. D. 846. As one of the most outstanding poets in the Tang Dynasty, Bai Juyi enjoyed great fame in the literature field both at home and abroad. He assumed a number of positions in the government and was the teacher of the prince in his later life. When retired, he came to Luoyang and made good friends with “Nine Persons of Xiangshan Hill”, who often composed and sang poems at Longmen. Meanwhile, he donated money for the construction of Xiangshan Temple .

When Bai Juyi died, he was buried in the present Bai Garden , according to his will. The important scenic spots in the Bai Garden are Qinggu, Tingyi Pavillion, Letian Hall, Bai Pavillion, Bird’s Head Gate, Peak Pipa, Bai Juyi’s Tomb, Wogu Tablet, Cuiyue Pavillion, Poem Corridor, Daoshi Reading Room, Songfeng Pavillion, etc. As a garden constructed according to style of the Tang Dynasty, it is a good place to console with the great poet as well as a tourist resort.

XIANGSHAN TEMPLE
Xiangshan Temple , which ranked the first among the ten temples at Longmen, is situated in the middle mountainside of the East Hill. The East Longmen Hill is teemed with spices name “ Xiangge ” , hence the name Xiangshan. Then the temple was named Xiangshan Temple . The present Xianshan Temple was reconstructed in about 1707, during the Qing Dyansty, on the basis of an old temple. In 2002, Xiangsha Temple was expanded on the basis of the Qing Xiangshan Temple by Longmen Grottoes Administration, with the Beltry, the Drum Tower , the Wing Room, the Hall of Mahavira and Hall of Nine Persons newly constructed. Besides, the Hall of Arhats, the stele of Emperor Qianlong, the belfry, the Palace of Emperor Qianlong , Wing-room, Eighten Arhats, the Villa of Jiang Jieshi and Song Meiling, the stairs, the plank roads and the bouding wall within the temple have all been remedied. A new gate was constructed to the south of the temple.
The original construction site of the Xiangshan Temple was located somewhere near the former sanatorium of Luoyang Bearing Corporation in the south end of the East Longmen Hill.

LuoYang City Instruction

LuoYang City Instruction
—-Luoyang is located in the western part of Henan province, stretching across the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It has jurisdiction over 1 city, 8 counties and 6 districts with a total area of 15,208 square kilometers including 544 square kilometers of urban area. Its population totals 6.24 million of which over 1.40 million living in urban areas. As a city famous for its splendid history and profound culture, Luoyang has become a shining gem in central part of China for its abundant and characteristic modern civilization.
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