Mt. Yuelu

Mt. Yuelu, which means the foot of Mt. Hengshan (Southern Mountain), is located on the west bank of Xiangjiang River and lies in the west of Changsha City. Its East Gate is about 1.2 miles (2 km) from from Orange Isle. It's a highly reputable scenic area in Hunan Province, an area that enables you to have a much clearer understanding of Changsha City once you have paid a visit to Mt. Yuelu.

The mountain is noted for its picturesque scenery. The towering trees that provide dense shade emerge through heavily planted foliage around the mountains and provide an instant sense of refreshment and vitality to the environment. The full-blown azaleas in spring, the tranquility and coolness in summer, the flamboyant maple leaves in autumn and the silver-colored trees covered with snow and frost in winter make it a delightful spot all year round.

Besides the natural scenery, Yuelu Mountain abounds with cultural landscape as well. Many literati, ideologists, and hierarchy once visited here and left their tracks. The coexistence of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism is the most unique culture in this mountain. The representative buildings are the Yuelu Academy, the Lushan Temple, the Sarira Tower, the Yunlu Palace, and the Aiwan Pavilion. Additionally, the mountain is an excellent education base for patriotism. So many revolutionists, patriots and great people with high ideals like Huang Xing, Cai E and Jiang Yiwu, who were dedicated to the democratic revolution of the old type, were buried here. And the monuments, graves and cemeteries built for those martyrs make a solemn and stirring scene on the mountain.

With Lushan being the core, the mountian is made up of other scenic areas like Juzizhoutou, Tianma, Taohualing and Shijialing and two separate sights (the Old Site of The New Citizen's Academic Association and Tuchengtou Site). The most renowned attractions on the mountain are the Yuelu Academy, the Lushan Temple and the Aiwan Pavilion, etc.

The academy is situated at the east foot of the mountain and was built in 976 during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It used to be one of the 'Four Academies' at that time. Later it was changed into a college for higher learning and in 1926, it was named Hunan University. The history of the academy is considered to be the epitome of the development of Chinese higher education. Halfway up the mountain you will discover the Lushan temple, which was built in the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and is the earliest Buddhism temple in Hunan Province. The Aiwan Pavilion was built during the reign of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was first called the Hongye Pavilion and then was renamed the Aiwan Pavilion because of a poem written by a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). After several expansions and renovations, it appears as we see it today. It is also a place of revolutionary significance. When Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong), the first chairman of PRC, was studying in a normal school, he used to come to the pavilion with several friends and they often discussed current affairs. The pavilion name was inscribed by Chairman Mao in 1952 when it was rebuilt. The Aiwan Pavilion is one of 'Four Famous Pavilions' in China.

The permanent charm of Mt. Yuelu remains for all to witness, as no matter what the season it appears to exude natural beauty whilst still remaining a highly valued cultural site. It's certainly a highlight of Changsha City.

Admission Fee: Free
Bus Route: Take bus no.132, 202, 305, Lishan Special Line or Tourism Bus Line 1 and get off at Yuelu Mountain North or Yuelu Mountain South.

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