Fuling Introduction

In ancient times, the Wu River was called 'Fu Shui'. However as the resting place of the ancient Ba people, it later gained the name 'Fuling' meaning 'river cemetery'.

Fuling District lies in the center of Chongqing municipality where the Yangtze Rivermeets the Wu River. Endowed with advanced waterways, Fuling is reputed as 'the pass of the Wu River'. The area is also famous for its preserved pickles, sometimes known as 'Szechuan pickles'. Fuling pickles are popular across China.

Fuling is home to White Crane Ridge, a 1600-meter (about 5,577 feet) long rock ridge in the Yangtze River that was used in ancient times to record the fluctuating water level. It is also home to the Xiao Tianxi Graves of the Ba Kingdom, an important archeological site which offers an insight into the traditions and culture of the mysterious Ba people. The Wu River and its surrounds enhance the area's natural charm.

White Crane Ridge

White Crane Ridge is a natural stone ridge lying along the Yangtze River north of Fuling District , in the Chongqing Municipality . At about 10-15 meters (33-49 feet) wide, this stone ridge stretches 1,500 meters (about 0.9 mile) from west to east in three consecutive sections. The stone ridge is valued so much because the inscriptions carved on it, recording a large amount of hydraulic data about the Yangtze River during the past 1,200 years.

In the past, people carved stone fish on the stone ridge to record the low water levels and inscribed simple characters for description. These descriptions read for example, that when the fish emerges then a bumper crop will follow. On the White Crane Ridge there are an estimated 12 stone fish and 174 sites of inscriptions, up to 30,000 characters have been found, several Kwan-yin images and depictions of white crane. According to historical records, the carvings on the White Crane Ridge began from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and continued in the following dynasties until the present day.

Beside the hydraulic data, that provided a great deal of credible information for the exploration of the Yangtze River in terms of navigation and hydroelectricity, there are also some poems by famous poets inscribed on it. Varying in style, the inscriptions also boast great calligraphic value.

However, after the completion of the Three Gorges Project the White Crane Ridge was submerged 30 meters (about 98 feet) under the water. In order to secure and preserve the valuable hydraulic relics, an underwater museum is being built. It is reported that the museum is going to be completed and open to the public in 2007.

Xiao Tianxi Graves of Ba Kingdom

Ancient Ba and Shu Culture  is an indispensable part of Chinese culture found in the upper reach of the Yangtze River. Dating back to about 5,000 years, this culture found its root in the ancient Ba Kingdom and Shu Kingdom as early as the Warring State Period (475BC-221BC). However, records of the Ba Kingdom were so scarce that the Ba culture became a mystery for a long time.

Graves of the Ba kingdoms excavated in 1970s were an inspiring event for the research of the Ba and Shu Culture. In April, 1972, villagers of the Xiao Tianxi dug out some bronze swords, bell chimes, and heads of animals, leading to the unveiling of the intriguing Ba culture. More relics were excavated from the site by experts and these include 54 pieces of swords and arms, more than 40 living utensils, 8 working tools, about 37 pieces of musical instruments as well as over 50 pieces of other relics. A set of chime bells containing 14 pieces of bells was once exhibited abroad.

A distinct feature of those relics is designs of tiger and the lines of a palm which are typical elements of the Ba culture. The site was presumed to be the tomb of the royal members.

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