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Huoshizhai National Geological Park

 2014-11-05    sonrisabai    Sights    Xiji    646  

Huoshizhai is situated in the Xiji county of the southern Ningxia, about 15 kilometers from the county center. Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is one of the birthplace of Chinese civilization, also part of the ancient silk road. It was once the important traffic corridor connecting the east and the west. Back to 30,000 years ago, there was trace of human movements and the rich culture of the place won the honor of “Frontier of the Jiangnan”.

The word means “fire stone” in Chinese because the mountain appears the color the dark red and plus the decoration of green trees, it looks just like flames of fire. Between the forests and woods, there grows clusters of arrow bamboos, adding some southern touch in this northern kingdom. The most famous scene of the area are those rock mountains, such as Bamboo Ridge, Stone Temple Hill and Rock Shining Mountain, all created by mother nature.

Geographicically, the mountains here is formed by red sandstone and conglomerate, with some effect of the earth movement, water and wind erosion. Since the Beiwei Dynasty, hundreds of rock grotto were built on the mountain wall with 100 meters high off the ground.Standing among those grotto, everything feels very light and peace would fill your heart and mind. Not only that, those grotto also symbolize the rich religious history in the ancient times.

The most attracting features of the place are the numerous grotto. It is impossible to visit all the grotto in one day, there are way too many, all comes with different shapes and sizes. So I suggest you pick some of your favorite ones instead. Chanfo temple is located in Chanyao village of the park, also once was the holy land of Buddhism in Tang dynasty. It is built on top of a tower-like giant rock, with 120 meters high, like a long spike reaching up to the sky. The largest grotto is about 15 meters distance from the peak, with three mud statue buddha inside.

About the Huoshi zhai there was an interesting story. It was once called Mukezhai, the village where the famous female general Muguiying lived in. One general wanted to win the battle with the Liao troops, so he borrowed the treasure of the village-Dragon Killing Wood. However, Muguiying didn’t agree with him and he was furious by her decision. Then he lit a huge fire and burnt the village, even the rocks on the hills became the red. Since then, Mukezhai turned into Huoshaozhai, also known as the Huoshizhai.

As a matter of fact, there is an ancient battlefield indeed. It is the Big Stone City, just it has nothing to do with the story. It is located on the peak of Yuntai mountain, with cliffs all around, very dangerous spot. The shape of the city looks like a lying bull, only some stone steps from the southeastern corner to get in. Today it still keeps a lot military buildings of Ming dynasty inside the city.

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