Five Springs Park (Wuquan Shan Gongyuan)
Five Springs Park lies in the northwest part of Gaolan Mountain, which stands in the south part of the downtown area in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province. The park, the largest in Lanzhou, occupies 266,400 square meters (2,867,599.56 square feet) on Five Springs Mountain.
There are always legends and stories behind beautiful scenic spots in China. Five Springs Park is no exception. In the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 24 A.D.), a famous general, Huo Qubing, was dispatched by the Emperor to go on a punitive expedition to the Hun people, a minority group who lived in the northwestern part of China at that time. Since the troops had traveled from Chang'an (now Xi'an ), General Huo and his soldiers were exhausted when they arrived at the foot of Gaolan Mountain. They couldn't find any water nearby, so General Huo forcefully jabbed his horsewhip five times into the ground. Abruptly five springs spurted water into the air. Thereafter the locals called the mountain the Five Springs Mountain. While this story sounds surreal, the quality and the quantity of the five springs are true. They have flowed and served the locals for several thousand years. In 1955, it was officially opened as a park. Local authorities added a zoo, an amusement park for adults and another for children.
The Middle Peak of the Five Springs Mountain, the highest point in Five Springs Park, reaches 1,600 meters (5,294 feet). It serves as the park axis. Ganlu Spring, Juyue Spring, and Mozi Spring are distributed over the Middle Peak area. Meng Spring and Hui Spring are located on either side of Middle Peak.
When you pass the Tibetan Buddhism Mani Temple, you will see the first spring, Ganlu Spring, on the top of the mountain. Ganlu means sweet dew or timely rain in English. Ancient Chinese emperors and officials often asked the god in charge of agriculture in heaven to bring rain to assure a harvest in the coming year. They prayed and offered sacrifices at an altar on the mountaintop. Thus when it rained, people considered it timely rain or sweet dew.
Juyue Spring is the most magical one among the five springs because of its unique location. This spring is in the shape of a well. Ju means to hold something in two hands, while Yue means the moon. When combined, these two characters mean this spring could hold the moon in her hands. What a beautiful picture! Especially around the time of Middle Autumn Day, you can very clearly see the shadow of the moon reflecting in the spring.
Mozi Spring means to touch or feel the stone to learn the gender of a fetus. Because a Buddha in charge of birth is worshiped in the Dizang Temple near the Mozi Spring, people believe the Mozi Spring can tell whether it will be a boy or a girl.
Meng Spring & Hui Spring
The last two springs are located on the two sides of Middle Peak. The spring on the east side is Meng Spring. It is said that if people use the water from this spring to make Meng Tea, which is produced on Mt. Meng, Sichuan Province, the flavor will be extraordinary. The other spring was named Hui Spring. Hui means benefiting someone. The quantity of Hui Spring was so great that it even met local water supply needs. Today the flow is less.
The five springs are not the only tourist magnet. Five Springs Park is also a famous scenic religious spot. Wenchang Temple, Butterfly Pavilion, Golden Buddha Temple, Mahavira Hall, Wanyuan Pavilion, Thousand Buddha Temple, etc., are arranged along a passage on Five Springs Mountain. Corridors and stone steps, which add artistic atmosphere to the park, connect the buildings.
The natural beauty of the five springs is enhanced by verdant groves while the temples make it a famous religious destination. Five Springs Park not only offers visitors a place to relax, but also provides a place to learn about Buddhism.
How to get to Five Springs Park
1. Take Bus 11 or 123 to Wuquanshan Gongyuan.
2. Take Bus 12, 15, 17, 18, 33, 36, 114, 117, 124, 136, 137, 139, 146 or 149 to Wuquan Guangchang and you will see the park.
|Opening Hours||6:30 - 20:00|