Huangdi Mausoleum Scenic Spot

Huangdi Mausoleum, Yan'an
 Huangdi Mausoleum Pictures
 Xuanyuan Temple Video

Huangdi Mausoleum, memorial mausoleum of legendary Huangdi, is the most important ancient grave site in China. After many years' development and construction, it became not only a mausoleum, but a key point of interest for historical Chinese culture. The main sights in this scenic spot are Huangdi Mausoleum and Xuanyuan Temple. Before visiting this location, one should know about Huangdi in detail.

Huangdi, the initiator of Chinese civilization, was a great tribal leader in the final primitive society of ancient times. His family name was Gongsun. Because he grew up at Xuanyuan hill (in Xinzheng County of Henan Province), he was called Xuanyuan. He worshipped the virtue of the yellow earth (the source of foods and clothes); hence people call him Huangdi. It is said that 5000 years ago, he cooperated with Yandi to defeat the Chiyou tribe, then unified the other tribes and established the Hua Xia nationality (the former name of the Chinese Nation). He was able to make weapons, vessels and vehicles, and to raise silkworms. He and his contemporaries created the characters, instruments, medicines and counting systems etc, which ended the savage and wild period.

Footprint of legendary Huangdi
Footprint of legendary Huangdi

Huangdi is remembered in history for punishing evils and for the first unification of the Chinese Nation. It is said that he lived for 118 years. Once during his tour in Henan Province, a yellow dragon fell down from the heaven after a thunderbolt. The dragon said to him: 'Your task is finished. You should follow me to heaven.' Huangdi knew he could not disobey destiny so he rode on the dragon. As they flew over Mt. Qiao, Huangdi asked to be allowed to go down to comfort his country. People cried out and came here; they pulled on his clothes to try to keep him on earth, but it was in vain. He only left his clothes. Afterwards, people buried Huangdi's clothes here and established the mausoleum. Some writings claim Huangdi himself was buried here.

Huangdi Mausoleum is the tomb of Huangdi, hidden inside the dense evergreen cypresses on Mt. Qiao (Bridge). Mt. Qiao won the name because it looks like a bridge. More than 8000 cypresses on Mt. Qiao, most alive for thousands of years, form the largest old cypress forest in China.

Cypress planted by Huangdi
Cypress planted by Huangdi

The Mausoleum is called the First Mausoleum of China and is located in the center of the top of Mt. Qiao, 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles) north of Huangling County, Yan'an City. Covering an area of 4 square kilometers (about 1.5 square miles), it is surrounded by a verdant forest and clear water. When you reach the top of Mt. Qiao, a stone stele will first catch your eye. In front of the mausoleum is a pavilion, where stands another tall stone stele displaying the characters of 'Huangdiling'. Then you see the tomb of Huangdi. It is a 4-meter-high (4.4 yards) mound, around which is a 1-meter-high (about 1.1 yards) brick-wall. In history, many emperors held memorial ceremonies to Huangdi. About 40 meters (about 43.7 yards) ahead of the tomb is a platform called 'Hanwu Xiantai', where Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24) held ceremonies honoring Huangdi. Longyu Pavilion is a remarkable structure in the tomb area. Its fanciful architecture stands 5 stories and 20 meters (about 21.9 yards) high, and tourists may walk up steps to overlook Mt. Qiao and Huangling County. Since Longyu Pavilion is the highest point in the tomb area, it is also used for spotting fires. When you climb up Longyu Pavilion, you may clearly see Mt. Yintai, located to the south of Mt. Qiao. The shape of the mountain reminds one of a big Yintai (great seal), so people call it Mt. Yintai. Interesting sights on the east and west hillsides are abundant: the mazes, forests and clear waters here feel secret, deep and remote. Another interesting view is that of Mt Qiao from the top of Mt Yintai.

Xuanyuan Temple in Huangdi Mausoleum
Xuanyuan Temple in Huangdi Mausoleum

Xuanyuan Temple is also named Huangdi Temple, established in the Ming Dynasty (1368 --- 1644). The main structures inside the temple are Temple Gate, Chengxin Kiosk, Stele Pavilion and 'Renwen Chuzu' (Huangdi, the initiator of Chinese civilization) Hall. Inside the grand 'Renwen Chuzu' Hall, Huangdi's seat of spirit tablet (an exquisite piece of wood with his name on it) is worshipped. People can do obeisance or hold ceremonies in front of it. Among 14 cypresses in the courtyard, the must-see ones are two: the cypress planted by Huangdi and the Jiangjun (general) cypress. It is said that Huangdi planted the cypress thousands of years ago to encourage planting of trees and forestation. Now the huge green umbrella is 19 meters high (about 20.8 yards) and is the oldest cypress in the  world. There is another legend about the Jiangjun cypress that says Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty ever hung his visor on the pine, so people call it Jiangjun cypress. It is also a rare type of cypress. Situated in the west portion of Xuanyuan Temple is the Gongde (merits and virtues) Altar, the theme of which is the outstanding achievements of Huangdi.

Main Hall of Xuanyuan Temple
Main Hall of Xuanyuan Temple

Gongde Altar is a round platform with three concentric cylindrical walls on which embossed characters describe Huangdi and his country's contribution to human progress. The altar is surrounded by 33 stone steles (representing 33 provinces of the country) called China Tongxin (meaning 'with one heart') Stone Steles, symbolizing the solidarity of the Chinese Nation.

Huangdi made great contributions to Chinese civilization and the role of China among the four ancient civilized countries in the world. Today, Huangdi Mausoleum, the center of magnificent cultural activity in China, is the symbol of Chinese civilization and the 'root' of the Chinese Nation. For thousands of years, every Tomb-Sweeping Day swarms of people have come here to hold a memorial ceremony to him.

Admission Fee:
Mar. 1 to Nov. 30: CNY 75
Dec. 1 to end of Feb.: CNY 50
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 17:30
Transportation: Bus from Xi'an Nanguan Bus Station or Xi'an Chengdong Bus Station to Huangling County;
Coach from the Bus Station in south Xi'an Railway Station directly to Huangdi Mausoleum.
time for a visit:
Half a day

 See also Huangdi Hometown in Zhengzhou, Henan
- Last updated on Apr. 01, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Huangdi Mausoleum Scenic Spot
Asked by Simon from MALAYSIA | Oct. 04, 2016 23:45Reply
Are there direct buses from Huangling to Hukou waterfall? if yes what are the cost and schedule?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen from SWEDEN | Oct. 06, 2016 02:37

I‘m afraid there is no direct bus for the journey. You can take a bus at local Long-distance Bus Station to Yichuan County. Then transfer to a direct bus to the waterfall and u will arrive within an hour. For the whole trip, you may spend CNY75 or so and the duration can be 3 hours.
Asked by Christine from USA | Sep. 23, 2015 22:40Reply
How can I go to Huangling from Yan'an? How far? Any direct bus/shuttle? The cost and schedule?
Answers (1)
Answered by Gray from SINGAPORE | Sep. 24, 2015 03:55

Oh, the distance is about 88 miles between these two places. You can take long-distance bus from the South Bus Station opposite the railway station to Huangling. The bus schedules are from 06:45 to 19:00 with the interval of around an hour The ticket fare is CNY 50 or a little more per person.

The mausoleum is only 1.5km from the dropping-off coach station. You can take a taxi to reach at a cost of CNY5. Or take the city bus in the opposite to arrive in 5min.
Asked by uncle708 | Aug. 02, 2014 01:48Reply
Could you please advise the best way from Xi'an to Huangdi Mausoleem? How long ? and How much?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bran from VIETNAM | Aug. 02, 2014 02:12

You can go to the North Bus Station to take the bus to the spot. It takes about 3 hours and costs CNY 47.5.
Asked by Hilton | Oct. 23, 2012 02:56Reply
Is there any direct bus or train from Xi'an to Huangdi Mausoleem? How long does it take?
Please help

Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Adelle | Oct. 23, 2012 03:44

Hi, you're so lucky 'cause I am right a local people. I'm afraid no direct trains will take you to the attraction. If you go there by train, bus transfer is needed. I suggest you go to Xi'an Chengbei Bus Station or Chengdong Bus Station to take a direct bus to Huangling, where the mausoleum is located. The whole journey takes about 3 h.
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