Meng Liang Stairway

Emerging into the Yangtze civilization, you will find yourself in an ocean of beautiful legends and one is the Mengliang Stair Way. There are many holes about 30 centimeters (one foot) in depth in the form of 'Z' leading up to the mountainside. These holes are 24 centmeters (0.8 feet) wide and 27 centimeters (0.9 feet) in length with an average distance of three feet and are unreachable. It is said that these holes were cut by Meng Liang, thus the name Mengliang Stair Way originated.

Time dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) when the Liao Kingdom in North China attempted to invade Song. General Yang Jigong fought against the Liao army bravely. Yang guarded the region of the Yanmen Pass defeating the invasion of the Liao army many times. However, Liao launched a frantic counterattack and Yang was injured and captured. He refused to eat anything until he died. His son Yang Yanzhao kept the field and safeguarded the northern frontier for more than twenty years. Many generations of descendants of the Yang Family continued to fight against the Liao. The stories about the Yang Family fighting against the Liao are still widely known by Chinese people. Many operas and TV series are based on their heroic deeds.

The legend goes that General Yang Jiye (a decedant of the Yang Family) was killed and his body was buried on the mountainside in the Qutang Gorge. One of his understrappers named Meng Liang decided to carry his body back and move it to a safe place. He had to do this work at nighttime to avoid getting caught. He cut holes on the cliff and inserted iron sticks on which wooden planks were set up. Just before he reached the site, a monk from a temple on the other side of the gorge found him and crowed like a cock; Meng thought it was day break and stopped. Later when Meng found out the truth, he was so angry that he hanged the monk upside-down on the cliff. The 'upside-down monk' (a stone resembles an upside-down monk) and the holes are two sights which are good for viewing nowadays.

It is a pity that the 'monk' is now under the water and the only thing left is the Mengliang Stair Way. A proven fact is that the stair way is the remnant of the ancient plank road while the inundated 'upside-down monk' is a stalactite.


More Qutang Gorge Attractions:

 Ancient Plank Roads 
 Bellows Gorge & Rhinoceros Looking at the Moon 
 Chalk Wall & Water-Stealing Holes 

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