华阳洞

Huayangdong - huá yáng dòng


Useful Information

Location: Baoshan Mountain tourist area. Hanshan County, Ma'anshan City, Anhui Province.
(31.792216, 119.316746)
Open: All year daily 8-17:30.
[2021]
Fee: Adults CNY 35, Children CNY 20.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave SpeleologyRiver Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=1,600 m, T=18 °C.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: 王安石 (1054): 游褒禅山记 [yóu bāo chán shān jì]
Address: Huayangdong.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1054 first cave description by Wang Anshi in his travelogue Journey to Bao Chan Mountain.
31-DEC-2014 rated as a national 4A-level tourist attraction.

Description

华阳洞 (Huayangdong) is located a Baochan Mountain, Hanshan County. The cave system has four entrances named 天洞 (Heavenly Cave), 碑洞 (Stele Cave), the 门洞 (Gate Cave) and the 地洞 (Earth Cave). Two of them are open to tourists. The Stele Cave is the fossil level of the cave and is reached by walking up a staircase to the left. It is the part which was explored by Wang Anshi in 1054. The lower level with the cave river is entered on the right side. The cave river flows through the passage and the trail was built as an elevated trail with a glass floor, so it is possible to the see the river below. This would be pretty cool, if the light were not intensive green, while the rest of the cave is illuminated in green, purple and red. The underground waterfall named Liantai Waterfall has a sick violet. A bit like clubbing on ecstasy, but not really a cave. There is also the possibility for a boat ride on the cave river at an additional fee.

This mountain is known to every Chinese. The book Journey to Bao Chan Mountain by Wang Anshi is read at high school. Its an integral part of Chinese history and a typical example of a travelogue from Song dynasty. Wang Anshi, a famous literary scholar of the Song Dynasty, wrote the travelogue in 1054. At the age of 34, he resigned from Shuzhou Tongshun and travelled home. On his way home, he visited Baochan Mountain, and three months later he wrote the story of his journey down. He starts with the legend about the monk who gave the mountain his name, and he tells how he explored a cave with four other men. So this actually makes this also one of the oldest cave description we know of. Unfortunately it is not available in other languages, you have to learn Chinese if you want to read it.

Wang Anshi is quite famous for the reforms he invented and actually realized. He created a state with many aspects of modern welfare, which was unheard of at that time. But this stabilized the Song dynasty for decades, until greedy aristocrats and officials succeeded in returning to the oppressive system. The result of embezzlement and nepotism resulted in a lack of tax income and finally the mongols conquered the weakened empire.

Baochan Mountain was originally called Huashan. Tang Fu Tuhui Bao was a monk, who travelled to the area during the Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty. He built a house under the mountain. He was buried at this mountain after his death, and so the mountain was renamed.