Stone Bell Hill (Shizhong Shan)
Stone Bell Hill (Shizhong Shan) is located in Shuangzhong Town, Jiujiang City in Jiangxi Province. On the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Poyang Lake, the hill is surrounded by water on three sides and is joined to the mainland on the fourth. It comprises two parts, the Upper Stone Bell Hill, facing the Poyang Lake on its southern side and the Lower Stone Bell Hill, facing the Yangtze River on its northern side. The total area of these two hills is approximately 100,000 square meters (about 24.7 acres) with an altitude of 67.7 meters (about 222 feet).
There is a legend that tells of the origin of the hill. One day, the Jade Emperor (the supreme deity of Daoism) wanted to build Lingxiao Palace in the Heaven, so he asked one god to carve two jade bells from the jade in Mt. Jiuhua. When completed, the Jade Emperor asked another god, the one with great strength, to carry the bells up to the Heaven. When he was flying over the meeting point of the Poyang Lake and the Yangtze River, he was distracted by the beautiful sceneries and forgot his mission. As a result, he dropped the two bells without knowing it. One bell landed on the side of the Poyang Lake, whilst the other landed on the side of the Yangtze River, giving us the Upper and Lower Stone Bell Hills.
With a constant stream of visitors from different places for thousands of years, the Stone Bell Hill is famous for its singular prospects, a holy place for Confucian intellectuals, and a place of great strategic importance. As on one side of the hill is the Poyang Lake which is green, and on the other side is the Yangtze River which is yellow, the hill presents people with a kaleidoscopic view with changes in color. Many literary giants of ancient China have left more than 20 calligraphy masterpieces carved upon the stone. Some of the most precious works date as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). As a place of strategic importance, many historical events and battles occurred here, including the war between Zhu Yuanzhang (first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644)) and Chen Youliang, (a general of the late Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368)), and the ten-year war fought between Zeng Guofan (a famous general of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911)), and Shi Dakai (a general of the Taiping Army).
The most mysterious and the most attractive thing about the hill is the sound visitors can hear on the mountain. The legend tells why it is so called, however, it cannot really explain the strange bell-like sound that can be heard. There are three generally accepted theories to explain this. The first one is that the hill is comprised of limestone; and fissures formed through water erosion. When water flows through these fissures, the sound occurs. The second is that when striking the stone chimes, stalagmite and the stone pillar on this hill, people could hear that kind of strange sound. The third one is that when water seeps into the limestone cave at the base of the hill, this generates the sound.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 72|
|Opening Hours:||8:10 to 17:00|
Time for a Visit:
|Bus Route:||Take a shuttle bus from Jiujiang Long Distance Bus Station and get to Hukou County. There tourists can take public bus to the Stone Bell Hill.|