Hunan

Junshan Scenic Area, Yueyang


Junshan Island,also called "the Love Island", is the largest island in Dongting Lake. Junshan Island  is made up of 72 peaks, covering a total area of 960 square meters. Junshan is the 11th blessing land under heaven and has been listed as the national AAAA scenic area. The main tourist attractions on the island include Liu Yi's Well, Tombs of the Two Empresses, Mottled Bamboo, Dragon's Saliva Well, Xiangfei Temple etc.Junshan Hill is probably the most famous scenic spot of the spectacular Dongting Lake in Yueyang. The hill is listed as the 11th Happy Land under Heaven by Chinese Taoist. It is considered an elegant and romantic place for lovers, and a superior relaxing place for the public.

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Junshan Hill stands opposite the well-known Yueyang Pavilion. It is actually a small island in the lake, which consists of 72 hills of different sizes. It was originally named 'Dongting Hill', meaning 'cave of immortals'. Legend has it that 4,000 years ago when Emperor Shun toured in South China, his two concubines E Huang and Nv Ying, also called Xiang Fei and Xiang Jun, went to search for their husband. When they got to the hill, they heard he was dead. They wept so sadly that the bamboos on which their tears dropped changed into mottled bamboos. Later they passed away and were buried on the hill. To memorialize these two soulful lovers, the mountain was renamed Junshan.

Since ancient times, the hill has been filled with legends and has become a popular place for literati. The terms 'grotesque', 'smallness', 'elegance', 'quietness' and 'oldness' of the hill have won their place in numerous poems, writings and inscriptions There are many places of interest on the island, including 5 wells, 4 platforms, 34 pavilions, and 48 temples. Many of them have a related legendary or historical story, such as the Tomb of Two Concubines, the Well of Liu Yi, Feilai Bell among others.

Junshan Hill is also a wonderful place to see flora and fauna. Here you can find varieties of bamboos, rare trees of red and green leaves and the valuable Junshan Silver Tea, as well as the golden tortoise, Dongting Silverfish, and abundant birds. Junshan Silver Tea, Dongting Silver Fish and Golden Tortoise are considered the three treasures of the hill.

◎ Liu Yi's Well
The well is only a mount ridge away from the Tomb of the Two Empresses. The legend of LiuYi, written by Tang Dynasty writer Li Chaowei took place here. The story goes that Liu Yi,a Tang Dynasty intellectual, passed Jingyang County on his way home after failing in an imperial examination. He happened to see the Dragon King's daughter mistreated in her marriage. He gallantly rescued her from the misery and later they two became a couple. To honor Liu Yi's noble quality of helping people in need without expecting any reward, people later named the well after Liu Yi. The water from the well is clean and sweet, used specially for brewing wine. The Silver Needle Tea becomes especially tasty which is made from the water in this well.
◎ Dongting Temple
Located by the lake of eastern Junshan Island, Dongting Temple was built in honor of the God of Dongting Lake. It is said that he is fishermen's patron saint. It is uniquely designed to have a dragon arch on four stone columns in the front, commanding a good view of the vast Dongting Lake.
However, the temple was destructed in the Anti-Japanese War and was renovated until 1997 under the co-finance of RMB 3 million yuan by Yueyang Construction Committee and Hou Xigui. The entire meteorologically ambitious temple occupies 5,000 square meters.According to folklores in this area, this God was an intellectual in Tang Dynasty named Liu Yi. He once saved the life of the dragon's daughter. The dragon King decided to let this daughter marry Liu Yi as a reward for his kind deed. However, in Liu Yi's mind, to rescue people's life in danger is not for reward. So he refused to accept the dragon King's goodness. After Liu Yi's leaving, the dragon's daughter, who had already admired Liu Yi, disguised to be a common woman, and married him. After marriage, she told the truth, so Liu Yi returned to Dongting water House, and was called Dongting King by people. Nevertheless, the Dragon King worried that Liu Yi was too bookish as an intellectual to control the evil monsters in water, so he made a mask for Liu Yi and asked him to wear it at daytime when he was on duty, and to take it off at night before going home. Once Liu Yi patrolled the lake until mid-night and forgot to remove the mask. After entering his home, the mask could no longer be removed as usual. Consequently, Liu Yi became a black- faced man. The black-faced king has done a lot of good things. In order to honor him, people in Mount Junshan constructed the Dongting Temple. Until now, people often burn incense in the temple and pray that Dongting King can bring them peace and safety.

 

Junshan Scenic Area, Yueyang - Hunan Travel Guide - Zhangjiajie China Tours, China Travel Guide

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