The waves of Yellow river wash the thousands years of history, besides the river lies the last relic of a mysterious kingdom in a remote age. It is the Western Xia kingdom. As the first regime established in the west of ancient China, Kingdom of Western Xia existed from 1038 AD-1227AD. This is the place where tourists can travel back time and feel the long lost history, once the fiery battlefield is only replaced with some earth dumps scattered on the ground.
Western Xia Imperial Tombs is located on the eastern side of Helan mountain, about 30 kilometers of Yinchuan city, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. It covers an area of more than 50 square kilometers, with 9 imperial tombs inside. It is the largest and the most well-preserved imperial tombs in China, also known as the Oriental Pyramids and Mysterious Wonder. The tombs are a perfection combination of mixed cultures such as Han culture, Buddhism, Dangxiang culture, forming an unique style among ancient imperial tombs.
Each imperial tomb of the nines is a complete construction, facing the south and all comes with great size and carefully designed structure. Ancients emperors liked to have some live peope buried with them when they were dead, to keep their their dead souls in company in tombs, some stuff or concubines they liked in living days, whatever they liked. In Western Xia Imperial Tombs, archaeologists discover 253 tombs used to bury with the dead. Must be a horrible scene when the king dies in ancient times.
Taking a closer look of the tombs, you would be amazed by the great construction skills in ancient times. On the corner platforms, beasts with four feet roaring towards the sky; in the front of pavilion, fish with dragon head passing the message of auspicious; on top of the roof, glass tiles embracing the blue sky, all of this are telling the people what a great kingdom Western Xia used to be. It is kind sad to see what it looks like now, I guess that’s what we call the history.
Inside the Western Xia Imperial Tombs Museum, there is a recovery picture of the Western Xia kingdom. The highest tomb was as high as 24 meters, with the look of towers of Buddhism, meaning their faith for the Buddha. They have an statue artifact called Jiangling Pinjia with a shape of bird, from the Sanskrit language, which meant “birds with joyful sounds”. It is said that such birds live around Himalayan mountain regions and are famous for their beautiful voices. When it comes to Buddhism, it symbolizes happiness, the world of joy.
Not far away from the Western Xia Imperial Tombs Museum, there is an ancient beacon tower standing silently on the ground. I could almost imagine the fierce battle scene in the old times, troops standing on the tower and fire against their enemies. Together with the museum, they keep remind people the rich history and culture of the lost kingdom.