Nanjin Pass

Nanjin Pass is where the Three Gorges end in the east. The surface of the Yangtze River widens abruptly from 300 meters (0.2 mile) to about 2,000 meters (1.2 miles), while the water becomes calm and gentle. Spacious views immediately spread out in front of you while the scenery is quite different.

Erect mountains alongside the pass function as a huge gate blocking the Yangtze River. Being so narrow, the pass is like a slim bottle neck. Nanjin Pass was once an important fortress in ancient times. It is said that Liu Bei (the King of the Shu Kingdom) constructed military fortifications on top of the mountains on the north bank. A huge rock platform is claimed to be where Zhang Fei (general of the Shu Kingdom) trained his army.

Shadow Play Gorge

Most people are familiar with the four major characters in the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West, that is, the priest Xuanzang and his three disciples (the irreverent and capable Monkey, greedy Pig and Friar Sand). Interestingly enough, they can be met in the Shadow-Play Gorge.

Ten kilometers (about 6.2 miles) west of the Nanjin Pass, visitors move into a gorge that appears narrow and straight and is rich in limestone. Many odd rocks and grotesque stelae conjure up different scenes. Looking up to the mountain on the south bank, visitors see four grotesque rocks standing on the top resembling the argus-eyed Monkey, the corpulent Pig, the heavy loaded Sand and the calm Xuanzang on horseback. Every passer-by is astonished by the coincidence of nature. The four characters became alive when sunlight sweeps down, reflecting the exultation after their obtaining of the Buddhist sutras from India. Viewed from afar, the scene looks very much like a local shadow play, so people refer to this section of the gorge as Shadow-Play Gorge.

Kongling Gorge

Kongling Gorge is a section of the Xiling Gorge where people were once fearful of traveling on because of the dense shoals that were once hidden from view. Because of the dangerous hidden shoals, Kongling Shoals were once known as the 'Gate of Hell'. In the past many ships and boats capsized or overturned and large number of people lost their lives in the gorge. More recently the shoals in this area have been removed and the conditions of navigation have greatly improved greatly with the construction of the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges Dam.  With the construction of the Gezhouba Dam the level of the river has risen 80 to 90 meters (262-295 feet) higher that what it once was which has enabled river traffic to pass through this area safely and without fear.

More Xiling Gorge Attractions:

Sanyou Cave & Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge 
Yellow Ox Gorge & Huangling Temple 
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