Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge, Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge
Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge
Nine miles east of the Fragrant Stream (Xiangxi Stream) is Military Books and Precious Sword Gorge, a three-mile-long small gorge in Xiling Gorge. It is named because it resembles the roll of a military book, and a stone under the book looks likes a precious sword on the northern bank of the gorge.
It is said that the military book was left by Zhuge Liang, a great military strategist in Shu State of Three Kingdoms Period. When he passed through Xiling Gorge, he hid his original military book and his precious sword on the crag for brave men to discover. For years, many people have tried to explore its mystery. Now we know that the so-called military book is not a book at all, but the site of three coffins.
In July 2003 when the water level reached 361 feet due to the Three Gorges Dam Project, the coffins in the gorge were in danger of being submerged. Specialists of cultural relics took them from the cliff. In the coffins, many relics were discovered, including bronze spears, a sword, and many bows and arrows. Now, people can admire these relics in the Qu Yuan Memorial Hall in Zigui.
Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge
This weirdly-named gorge lies between the New Shoal (Xintan) and Kongling Shoal is the Ox Liver and Horse Lung Gorge. About 2.8-mile's long, it was once a unique scene along the Yangtze River.
On both banks of the gorge, there are numerous streams flowing through the grottoes of the cliff. Over millennial, all kinds of amazing stalactite formations have formed along the cliff faces. Among them, there are a few shapes of rocks in olive-brown color and in the form of ox liver hanging from the cliff of the northern bank. And, not far away, there hangs another in the shape of a horse lung. So, obviously, it got its name.
For centuries, these two rocks have been admired by many visitors. However, during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) when Guangxu Emperor was in his reign, the gorge was bombed by imperialist forces and the lower part of the rock with the shape of horse lung was destroyed.
Now, with the rising of the water storage of the Three Gorges Dam Project, the two historic rock formations have been submerged. Sadly, visitors will no longer be able to admire them but they may imagine the scene of 'a smooth lake rises in the narrow gorge'.