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Xishan Mountain Forest Park

By Yang Fan ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Xishan Mountain Forest Park is located besides Dianchi Lake and is 15 kilometers away from the urban area of Kunming city, Yunnan province. It neighbors Biji Pass to the north and Huiwan Bay to the south.

Comprising of the Biji, Huating, Taihua, Taiping and Luohan Peaks, Xishan Mountain resembles a young lady lying beside Dianchi Lake, hence the nickname, “Sleeping Beauty”.

Xishan Mountain Forest Park

Dianchi Lake from the viewpoint of Xishan Mountain in Kunming city, Yunnan province [Photo/kunming.cn]

The origin of Xishan Mountain is steeped in legend. It is said that an ancient princess ran away from her palace and married a young man. However, the king would not permit their marriage and he had the princess’s husband killed. The princess was so sad that she could not stop crying and her tears converged into the Dianchi Lake. As legend has it, the princess changed into Xishan Mountain after her death.

Despites the sad story, the mountain itself is very pleasant. It is covered with green trees and grass all year round. It is also home to a number of ancient architectural buildings, such as Huating Temple, Taihua Temple and Longmeng Pass.

Huating Temple is a Buddhist temple lying among the mountain peaks some 2050 meters above the sea level. It is Kunming‘s largest temple and has a history of over 900 years.

Xishan Mountain Forest Park

Xishan Mountain in Kunming city, Yunnan province, resembles a “sleeping beauty” from the distance. [Photo/kunming.cn]

Taihua Temple was originally built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Among its various flowers and plants, the most famous ones are camellia and Yulan magnolia. It is also a good place to enjoy the sunrise from the Dianchi Lake.

Longmen Pass is Xishan Mountain’s most famous scenic spot. It has many stone carvings etched into the cliffs. Climbing onto the pass, the spacious Dianchi Lake stretches beyond the sky.

Nie Er, a famous Chinese musician who composed China‘s nation anthem, was also buried at Xishan Mountain, among its green trees and plants.

Xishan Mountain is also the place where Kunming people spend their traditional spring outing on March 3 of the lunar calendar. On the outing, people sing songs, play dragon dances and have picnics.

Xishan Mountain Forest Park

The tomb of Nie Er, composer of China’s national anthem. [Photo/kunming.cn]

Edited by Jacob Hooson

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