A View of Huanglong
One of Sichuan's finest scenic spots is Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) , which lies in Songpan County just beneath Xuebao, the main peals of the Minshan Mountains. Its lush green forests, filled with fragrant flowers, bubbling streams, and songbirds, are rich in historical interest as well as natural beauty.
Legend has it that sane 4, 000 years ago, when great floods threatened the people of central China, Yu the Great resolved to tame the mighty rivers. He journeyed inland in a boat, but was soon stopped by the torrential current. Fortunately, a yellow dragon appeared and bore the boat upstream as far as it could go. Yu succeeded in controlling the flood and went on to found the 500-year Xia Dynasty, but the exhausted dragon could not return to the sea, and died at the foot of Xuebao Peak.
Viewing Huanglong from a distance, one might imagine that the noble serpent for which the area was named is still lying on the hillside. Actually, this "yellow dragon' is a geological formation unique to this karst region; its yellow color is due to a layer of calcium carbonate, and the tiny, clear pools that line its back took like scales. The dragon is surrounded try, spruce trees and assorted rare flowering plants in blue, white, red, and purple.
On the hilltop stands the Yellow Dragon Monastery, a Taoist retreat hilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-- 1644). A karst cave lies before it, and a stone tablet was erected behind. All but the top of the tablet has been eroded by calcium carbonate, and the inscriptions have become unreadable.
Every year in the sixth lunar month, the local people, along with an, Qiang, Hui, and Han visitors from neighboring provinces of Qinghai and Gansu travel to the monastery on horseback for a temple fair. They set up tents and celebrate wish songs and dances far into the night.Many of Chinas famous landscapes, such as those of Guilin in Guangxi Province and the Stone Forest in Yunnan Province, are also built on karst formations. But each has its own character.
Giant pandas, takins, and pheasants roam the forests of Huanglong, along with many other species of animals and birds.
Huanglong and nearby Jiuzhaigou will soon be made a nature preserve to protect the area's ecology and to allow scientists to observe these rare animals in their own habitats.