The Mausoleums of the Kings of the Western Xia Regime
The Mausoleums of the kings of the Western Xia Dynasty are located on the eastern for of the Mount Helanshan at the western suburb of Yinchuan City, 35 km away from the city propel It is one of the key historical relics protected b the state. The mausoleum area extends 5 km long from east to west, and 10 km from south to north covering an area of about 50 square km. Its establishment is as large and spacious as that c the Tombs of the Ming Dynasty in Beijing. In the area, along the topographical curve, 9 tombs c kings of the Western Xia Dynasty were buried and more than 140 accompanied tombs of distinguished subjects and nobles and imperial relatives were also buried there with their rulers. Each tomb, due to the rise and fall of the topography, is a complete construction, covering an area of 100 000 square meters, and composed o watchtowers, turrets, walls of niches of deities stone tablet pavilions, external and internal cities the hall of presenting offerings, and escalated tomb terrace. Of all the tombs, the tombs of YL and Jia in the south are the largest, usually known as a "pair of tombs."
The area of tombs has almost been destroyer completely into ruins at the time by the Mongoliar cavalry. The relics left over on the present site mostly are in conic shape, which are often called by foreign travelers as "the oriental pyramids."
So far, only one tomb of the kings has beer excavated (serial No.8) and four accompanied tombs. And more than 100 relics have been unearthed such as gold decorative fittings, gilded silver fittings, bamboo carvings, pearls, bronze armor plates, iron tools, and pottery and porcelain vessels. On the ground, were found seated stone carvings, railings with carved images of dragon, sutra house, color-glazed zoomorphic ornaments with stone carved patterns, etc. Looking at the 1.52-meter-high green color glazed eagle zoomorphic ornaments, one can imagine the magnificence and grandeur of the tomb architecture at that time.
In 1998, the mausoleum was designated as one of the state protected key historical relics. Later, it was designated as a state class scenic spot, becoming a well-known scenic spot and historic place and resort for travelers.
Rock Carvings on Helan Mountains
Around the hillsides of the Mount Helanshan, 40 km or more off the Yinchuan City, there are several tens of thousands of rock carvings by ancient nomadic tribes, known as Mount Helanshan Rock carvings. Most of them are concentrated at Helankou Pass, totaling more than 1000 carvings. It is also a key site of relics being protected by the state. It is readily accessible by various traffic means. Of all the carvings, a great number are images of human faces, handprints, and hunting, and offering sacrifice. Among the animal paintings, there are running deer, blue sheep, tigers and leopards, duckbills, and flying birds.
According to the textual research by specialists, these rock carvings can be dating back to 6000 years before the dynasties of Ming and Qing. It was an art gallery created by ancient nomadic tribes. The artistic style of these rock carvings is wild and dense and thick, in simple design conceiving a unique artistic conception and value. They provide valuable materials for the study of the ways of life, ideas of religion, and war, farming and husbandry, hunting, and astronomy of various ethnic minority groups in ancient China. The Helanshan Rock carvings have produced a great influence on the world, and the annual conference of the International Rock carvings Organization was convened there in October 1991.
The Suyukou Pass State Forest Park
Located in the north of Gunzhongkou Pass Scenic Area, the Suyukou Pass State Forest Park is about 40 km away from Yinchuan City, a well known scenic spot on the Mount Helanshan. The Suyukou Pass forest covers an area of 16, 675 hectares. Wave upon wave of trees of numerous species stretches afar. The trees are verdant and luxuriant all the year round. In the spring, the lilac vale that extends away several miles is full of lilac flowers, wafting off fragrance. In the "Pit of Rabbits" wild-flowers are strewn everywhere, attracting so many butterflies. In summer, the interesting places, such as the "nine turns" of the Brook of Sisters, the "labyrinth of forest," "the quiet fir wood," have meandering paths that can lead. Looking up to the cliffs and standing all over, like a canopy shading the light from the sky. During the autumn and wintertime, the water will subside and the stones emerge, presenting another beautiful scenery. And "a narrow view of the sky," "the landed rock from the sky," "the rock of mushroom," are simply like the wonderful work of great masters. The "rock of a roaring lion," "the rock of a crunching tiger, " "the guiding rock of god," are all natural stone sculptures, which, together with the rich scenery of vales and gorges, form a colorful and different interesting scenery.
The Twin Pagodas at Baisikou
The pagodas are located at the Mt. Helanshan northwest of Yiinchuan City, 45 km away from the city proper. According to historical record, Li Yuanhao, the founder of the Western Xia Dynasty built his summer palace there. But now it has been destroyed, only a pair of brick pagodas was left over to the present day. The pagodas are built opposite with each other in the east and west, 100 meters widely apart. The east one is seated on an octagonal base, which is a 13-storeyed construction with closely structured eaves, and is 39 meters high. Under the eaves, there are brick-carved animal heads, with widely open furious eyes. The craftsmanship is exquisite and mellow. The west one has 14 stories, about 41 meters high. Its shape and height is similar to that of the east one. Apart from the first floor, other floors are equipped with wall niches under the eaves of each floor, in which standing or seated statues of Buddha with different expressions and air are enshrined. The pair of pagodas is of high cultural relic value. They are key historical relics now being protected by the state.
Western China Cinema City
The Cinema City is situated 30 km northwest of the Zhenbeibao of Yinchuan. Zhenbeibao originally was a frontier fortress during the Ming Dynasty. Since the 1980s, about 60 movie pictures have been shot in the place such as "The Herdsman", "Red Sorghum", "The Ballad of the Huanghe River", and "The Story of the Pilgrimage to the West", which have caused a sensation at home and abroad. The ancient fortress has provided a "runway" for film stars in China to take off. The well known writer Zhang Xianliang, together with his partners, has built up the Western China Cinema City based on the props used for shooting many popular pictures in the place with a rich connotation of the Western China's culture.
"China's films will go to the world from here" The cinema city has brought a new life to the ruined fortress. When you wander about in the scenes of the city, you will feel as if you had come into a dreamlike world.
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