Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan Irrigation System Travel Guide
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System are two state-level scenic attractions in China. The name Qingcheng means green city. Damian Mountain is its main peak and the Master´s Cave (Tianshitong) serves as its pivot.
The mountain is well known for its serene scenery that contains halls and temples shaded by forests and enhanced by interesting legends and anecdotes. And it is one of the ancient cradles of Daoism. The mountain has numerous Daoist temples and sites along the paths to its peak.
The Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is long-established water conservation works. It is 56 kilometers (34.8miles) west of Chengdu at Dujiangyan city lying in the middle reach of Minjiang River, which is the longest tributary of Yangtze River. Since ancient times the Minjiang River has surged downward from Mt. Minshan thrusting itself into the Chengdu Plain.
When reaching the flatlands the rivers speed slowed down abruptly. Thus the watercourse filled up with silt making this area extremely vulnerable to flooding. The people living on the Chengdu Plain consequently suffered a great deal from frequent floods. Around BC 250 during the Warring States Period, Libing, a governor of Shu in Qin state (present Sichuan Province) with his son directed the construction of Dujiangyan.
The governor gave up the old ways of dam building which was simply try to catch the floodwater. Instead he employed a new method by channeling and dividing the water to harness the Minjiang River. He accomplished this by separating the project in to two main parts: the headwork and the irrigation system.
The project effectively put the flooding waters under control. It provides the vital passage that joins mountain and plain. The main system consists of three parts: a fish-mouth-like water-dividing dyke, two spillways for discharging flood waters and silt, and a channel cut through Yulei Mountain as a water inlet. These three parts interact and depend on one another, constituting a carefully designed and reasonably arranged water diversion hub that contributes to irrigation, flood control, and shipping .The Dujiangyan Region has a beautiful landscape and many cultural relics and historical sites, including the Fulong Temple, Erwang Temple, and the trail bridge. All of these, plus moving legends have exerted a great attraction for both domestic and overseas tourists. This system still controls the waters of the Minjiang River and distributes it to the fertile farmland of the Chengdu plains.
A Masterpiece of Chinese Water-conservation Engineering
The centuries-old Dujiangyan irrigation system is unique. Noteworthy for its system operating without the use of dams, it is a masterpiece of Chinese water-conservation engineering.
It exploits the geomorphology of the region, in which the land slopes down from the north-west to the southeast, to the full, along with the local topography, the water table, and the potential of the river. Its constructors developed the technology of water diversion without dams and automatic irrigation. The system of integrated embankment, diversion, flood discharge, scouring, and flood control plays an effective role in flood prevention, agricultural irrigation, water transport, and water consumption.
It has played this role for 2250 years and continues to do so today. The Dujiangyan irrigation system is based on the principle of not damaging the natural resources but making full use of them in the service of humankind. It is one of the greatest applications of ecological engineering inthe world.
Place with Long History and Religion Value
Located to the south of the Dujiangyan system, Mount Qingcheng is of great historical as well as scenic importance.
At its foot to the east are the Mangcheng ruins, rare remains of the Neolithic in China, dating back 4500 years and providing important evidence about the Shu Kingdom. As early as the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) Mount Qingcheng was recognized as one of the eighteen sacred mountains and rivers used for sacrificial purposes, and it witnessed the birth of Chinese Taoism.Significance in the field of Taoist architecture; unlike the Taoist temples of Mount Wudang, they do not reproduce the features of Imperial courts, but rather that of the traditional architecture of western Sichuan.