The Kuling Mountains
Edited at the direction of the Kuling Council
Albert H. Stone
J. Hammond Reed
Kuling was founded in the winter of 1895-96 on a very pretentious basis and almost immediately the property which had
been registered in the name of Edward S. Little, Esq., was vested by him in a trust. The Trustees in the year 1903
transferred the trust to a Municipal Council in whose hands it remained until the Chinese Civil War. The Council consisted
of twelve elected land-renters, with four retiring each year. The original Estate consisted of lots 1 to 130 only and
subsequent extensions brought the settlement to its present dimensions.
The popularity of Kuling as a summer resort was never seriously questioned and the long spells of perfect weather which
was enjoyed during the autumn and spring attracted more people to the hill top during these seasons. In winter and in
times past during the month of February, tobogganing and skiing once afforded excellent sport. As a health resort, Kuling
grew into a widely known sanatorium and the number of those sent there to recuperate caused it to become steadily larger.
The Estate medical Officer and the General Hospital were available the year around. The interest of the Chinese was also
aroused when visitors from Kalgan, Canton, Szechuan and Shanghai visited Kuling for treatment. Extensions of the scope
and size of the medical institutions were constantly carried out.
The administration of Kuling was on a cooperative basis, with all the funds received from the sale of land, taxes and other
sources of revenue being used for public works, security, sanitation and administrative expenses.
Lushan in winter
I "Historic Lushan" XVII "Three Waterfalls"
II "Geology & Mineralogy of Lushan" XVIII "To Chi Hsien Tzu / Goddess of Mercy
III "Flora of Lushan" XIXX "White Deer Grotto / the Kaolin Pits"
IV "Shooting of Game" XX "To Hai Hui / the Tiger Wall Via the
V "Hints For Excursions Extending Over Several Days" XXI "Taku tang Valley Via Boyang Ridge"
VI "From Kiukiang Via Lien Hwa Tung to Kuling" XXII "Taku tang and the Little Orphan"
VII "Yellow Dragon Temple / Three Trees / Emerald Grotto" XXIII "Ma Wei Shui"
VIII "Dragon Pool and the Plunge Bath" XXIV "Mandarin Tomb at Lien Chi Mu"
IX "Western Circular Path and Incense Mills" XXV "Valley of the Catholic Mission"
X "Chinese Cemetery / The Fairy Glen / The West Valley" XXVI "Tung Lin / Shilin and the ruins of Tai
XI "Cave of the Immortals / Pagoda Ruins / XVII "To the Devil's wall / the Wolf's Ravine
via the Incense
Mills"Temple of the Heavenly
Pond / Hermits Cave"
XII "Russian Valley / Pope Ridge / Plough Peak" XVIII "Temple Valley and Lien Hwa An"
XIII "Nanking Pass" XXIX "To the Plains Via Pi Yuin An and
Return by the Shaho
XIV "Boyang Ridge / Lions Leap" XXX "Hanyang Peaks"
XV "Round Trip Through Lotus Valley to Bull's Ridge" XXXI "Lushan Valley / Hot Springs / Kwei
Tsung Temple / the
Iron Pagoda, the Hsiu Feng and
Hwang Sha Temples"
XVI "Monastery Ruins"
Chronological Table For Reference:
Date Dynasty Name
2852 B.C.E. The Five Rulers
2697 Hsia Emperor Huang Te
1766 Shang or Yin Emperor Ta Yu
Emperor Wu Wang
255 Tsin Emperor Ching Hsi Wang
25 A.C.E. Later Han
Emperor Ming Ti
265 Western Tsin
307 Eastern Tsin
Emperor Hsien Kang
Poet Tao Yuen Ming
Chan School of Buddhism
Emperor Ming Hwang
Poet Li Tai Po
960 Song Emperor Sung Ts'ung
1127 Southern Song
Emperor Shun Yu
The Song School of Confucian Philosophy
1280 Yuan / Mongol
Emperor Chia Ta
Emperor Huang Wu
1644 Tsing / Mandarin
Emperor Kang Hsi
Emperor Yuan Shih Kai
The Tai Chi Tu
Mi lo fu / Laughing Buddha
Kwan Yin / Goddess of Mercy
The Diamond Sutra
Lushan road and property map
The Estate contained over five hundred homes, including two churches, the Kuling American School, a public library and a
medical hall for the use by the doctors. Summer branches of several Hankow and Shanghai department stores and a British
school also were opened in the valley.
Besides the attractive walks described in the chapters which follow, many activities occupied the time and attention of the
summer population. Church conventions, Mission conferences dealing with all departments of mission work, concerts and
lectures offered abundant change from daily routines. The facilities for recreation in Kuling were un-excelled. In addition
to a large baseball diamond, there were fifteen public tennis courts, two large bathing pools for adults, a bathing pool for
children and a playground.
Much of the historical information contained in this book was obtained from the Lushan Chih, written by a Nanking official
Mao Teh Chi, on the basis of an old chronicle dating from the Ming dynasty. The whole of the chapters "Historic Lushan",
including some of the translations of inscriptions, are included by permission of L.N. Chang, Esq., of Hankow, from whose
lecture on the subject were taken. The rest of the material was collected from many sources.
In preparation of this volume for publication, thanks are due to K. Hemmeling, Esq., for assistance in translation; A.C.
Wilzer, Esq., for the presentation of several photographs and a map of Lushan; Mrs. A. Foster and Ms. F.G. Sutton, for
assistance in reading the manuscript and for helpful suggestions; Mr. Hsiao Pa Hwa, for his work on the Chinese
It is expected that this book will be of interest to all visitors to Kuling and that the pleasure of their visit to this delectable
mountain resort will be enhanced.
The Kuling Council
Chapter I: "Historic Lushan"
Kuling is known among the Chinese as Lushan-The Hut Mountain. According to the "History of Lushan", Ku Niu Ling is
near Yang Tien Ping which is close by the Yuin Chung Shi, "Temple In The Clouds". As to the origin of the name "Lushan",
Certain religious writers maintained that this mountain was so named during the latter part of the Yin Dynasty, (1766-1122
B.C.E.), and that there were two gods known as Kwang Su and Hsi Tao Hsien Jen who dwelt here for a time. Throughout
the ages it has been popularly supposed that wherever a god stayed it was his abode, or "Lu" - Hut, so the "Shan"
Mountain, which the gods honored with a visit, was henceforth called "Lushan".
Other secular writers who admitted the legend was true in main, contended that Kwang Su's surname was originally
"Kwang", was afterwords changed to "Lu", and thus became known as Lu Su. His father was the prince of Tung Ye, "The
Eastern Wilderness" and Prefect of Boyang. They lived towards the latter part of the Chow Dynasty. When the Dynasty
was overthrown and the western Han Dynasty, (226 B.C.E.-25 A.C.E.), was firmly established, this man Lu Su was made
the Prince of Yueh Lu in succession to the princedom just vacated due to his father's death. Lu Su was more interested in
the search for immorality than with the governing of a principality and therefore constantly visited this mountain, which
finally was called "Lu's Mountain", or Lushan.
These stories were contradicted by other writers, one of whom stated that Kwang Su of Lushan fame was born during the
reign of Chow Wu Wang, (1122-1115 B.C.E.). He refused to accept an appointment from the government and retired to
this mountain to pursue his meditations and to teach. The number of his disciples was quite large, and many were intensely
devoted to him. After his death, his disciples keenly felt his loss and gathered together in the hut where their great master
had taught, to weep day and night. Their bitter sorrow attracted so much attention the hills finally became to known as
"Lushan" - The Hut Mountain.
Another story in direct opposition to the one above said all these theories were wrong. It maintained Lushan was known
before the Yin Dynasty, not to mention the Chow or the Han Dynasties. According to this author the emperor Hwang Ti,
who ascended the Dragon throne in 2697 B.C.E., was the one who caused Lushan to be recorded for the first time in the
history of the empire.
Hwang Ti was the first Chinese Emperor to personify and deify mountains. Hongshan of Hunan, was at the time made the
guardian god of the south, where the Emperor occasionally offered sacrifices. On one of his sacrificial tours he realized
how lonely it must be for the guardian god to remain single, so he immediately ordered Yoshan and Huoshan to become the
wives of Hengshan and to keep him company. Thus, by one stroke of his Imperial Vermilion Pen, three mountains were
happily wedded. However, the kind-hearted Hwang Ti did not stop here, realizing how inconvenient it must be for the
newly married trio to be without relative or servant. He ordered Tsing Cheng Shan to be their father-in-law and this
mountain "Lushan" to be their steward.
Other names also were used, such as Fushan, Ching LuShan, Lishan, Ku Nan Changshan, Tien Tzu Tu, Kangshan, and
many others. The name Fushan, according to the author of Chiu Wei Chih, originated during the reign of Chow Wu Wang,
(1122-1112 B.C.E., when Li Tan or Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, and his friend Feng Fu came to this mountain on white
donkeys to search for tao, that is, "Truth". Upon obtaining it they became immortal and suddenly disappeared from this
world, leaving behind them the hut where they had stayed. Hence the mountain was called "Lushan" in remembrance of the
hut, and "Fushan" in remembrance of the philosopher Fu. Lao Tzu was supposed to have been born in the year 604 B.C.E.
and chow Wu Wang was on the throne from (1122-1115 B.C.E.), therefore the story was reduced to sheer legend.
Historians tell us it was called Kangshan not because of Nan Kang Fu, but since a certain Emperor of the Song dynasty
happened to have the name changed, the mountain was called Kangshan. Other historians with no love for legends said
that as far as they were aware, the earliest reference to Lushan in the Chinese Classics is found in Yu Chen, the chapter on
emperor Yu's territories in the "Book of History". There it is stated, which means "I have traveled" from Mingshan to
Hengshan and from Kiukiang to Fu chien Yuan". Mingshan is the range southeast of Kung Lung in the province of
Szechuan; Hengshan is in Hunan; Kiukiang is below Lushan and Fu Chen Yuan is said to be the name of Lushan in Yu's
In proof of their statement that the Fu Chien Yuan referred to in the Shu Ching is Lushan, these scholars pointed out that
the name was recorded in the old traditions and history of Nan Kang Fu as well as in other books of equal antiquity. The
three characters Fu Chien Yuan were clearly legible in inscriptions on the Tzu Hsiao Feng, The Purple Light Peak, one of
the mountain sides of the range south of Lushan. That peak was said to be near the great Hanyang Peak and Chin Shi Fan,
(221-209 B.C.E.), known as the builder of the Great Wall, was said to have visited it during one of his sacrificial tours. He
was struck by the magnificence of this peak and he conferred on it the title of Shang Hsiao, Heavenly Peak.
It will be remembered that Han Ming Ti of this dynasty (58-76 A.C.E.), was the emperor who officially introduced
Buddhism into China, after which time temples became numerous on this mountain, especially during the Tsin dynasty,
(265-317 A.C.E.). In the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.C.E.), one of the emperors Ming Hwan, dreamed one night that he was
called upon by a god who said that he was the so-called steward of "Lushan" and that he would feel much indebted to his
Imperial Majesty if a temple were built for him. Remembering this dream, Emperor Ming Hwan ordered that the god's
desires be carried out, after which the title of "Lushan Shih Chi" was conferred upon him by Imperial rescript.
The poets of this dynasty such as Li Tai Po, Tu Fu and Po Yoh Tien were constant visitors to these mountains and their
poems about the beauties of Lushan were so widely read that these alone were sufficient to make Lushan sacred and
immortal to the Chinese. The Song Dynasty, which succeeded the Tang Dynasty, conferred higher honors than any
hitherto. Chong Chung (1068-1086 A.C.E.), conferred a princedom on Lushan personified and the Emperor addressed this
mountain as the "Guardian Prince of Destiny".
From the foregoing survey of ancient history concerning Lushan, it will be readily perceived that mythology, legend and
history had endowed Lushan with fame generations before the foreign settlement of Kuling was established on its sacred
Chapter II: "Geology & Mineralogy of Lushan"
Lushan belongs to the great mountain range which runs south of the lower Yangtze River from north-east to south-west.
This commences near the treaty port of Wuhu, at the north-western border of the province of Chekiang and runs south-west
through the south-eastern part of Anhuai through north Kiangsi and thence on to Hunan. According to the prevailing views
concerning the general geological structure of China, the mountain range belongs to the district of the Yangtze River
Valley. The area is noted for a number of large coal-fields between which Paleozoic limestone, pre-Cambrian sandstone
and slate, in the general sense of the words cover large tracts of China.
In order to understand the geological peculiarities of Lushan, one should be familiar with the following considerations. T.
Van Richthofen writes in his "Letters" of the earliest times in the history of our earth, when probably the entire east and
north Asia were under the sea. Through long spaces of time comprising nearly the entire Paleozoic period, deposits from
sea water took place. At the end of the Carboniferous Era, isolated parts of China became dry, and white deposits from the
deep sea continued in other parts. No indications exist to prove that any of China's mountain regions have been immersed
again under the level of the sea during the Jurassic, Cretaceous or Tertiary periods.
The sedimentary stones of Lushan were formed by the deposit of fragments of other stones mechanically carried along by
the sea currents of the loose pieces, by agglutinates of very different kinds, which formed the sandstone and slate found on
Lushan. Also, the pressure of strata lying above placation pressure had much influence on the formation of rocks. Both
had a consolidating effect by pressing the stone parts into each other. Since petrifications have not been found in the stones
of Lushan, one is dependent upon stratification and its relationship to other sedimentary stones, such as Cretaceous, for
determining the age of the rocks. In this way the pre-Cambrian age of Lushan has been ascertained.
In this connection the so-called dendrites must be mentioned. Dendrites are found in the sand quarries and are erroneously
believed to be petrifications. They are really moss-like sediments deposited by oozing water on the sides of many narrow
rock crevices, which is a very frequent occurrence in sandstone. The dark color of the dendrites is due to the presence of
iron and manganese. The stratification faults of Lushan are of the greatest geological interest, and the entire range is a
placation region in which the rigid strata of stone form saddles, or depressions, between two peaks and ravines. The
former are illustrated in the Hanyang Peaks, Boyang Ridge and the Lion's Leap, while the ravines are the different valleys
Up to the present, research has failed to furnish sufficient data to explain the formation of the placation regions. Possibly it
has been created by the movements of stones made liquid by heat. It cannot be said with certainty whether the enormous
masses of granite lying towards Nankang and Boyang Lake have caused, wholly or in part, the stratification faults of
Lushan. When, at the end of the Carboniferous Era, isolated parts of China became dry, the stones of Lushan may have
appeared for immense periods as rough rocky islands in the gradually receding ocean. The precipitous cliffs towards
Nankang and Lien Hwa Tung are typical examples of the gradual destruction by the waves of the sea. The force of the
breeches eroded the coast and hollowed out the towering masses of stone from beneath until they were precipitated into the
sea, and there reduced to small pieces. These were later carried away to other parts of the earth, where they were
deposited by the water, thus contributing to the formation of future mountains.
The precipitous gorges near the Three Waterfalls and the Incense Mills were presumably brought into being by the
mechanical action of the water. Possibly the initial formation of these gorges is connected with the phenomenon that the
points of the strongest tension caused the mechanical shifting of the mountain masses which changed their position and
caused the formation of rocky cliffs at the points mentioned, while the action of the water further deepened the gorges. The
extent to which this action of the water was caused by small particles carried along in it may be observed in the present
streams of Lushan. In many places whirlpools called wacos have been formed, in which eddies keep small stones, fine sand
and ice in winter, constantly in a circular motion. Along the road to Nankang such pools of especially large dimensions
can be seen. This destructive action is exemplified in the stream running through the Estate. the banks were originally
convex, but the force of the water has undermined the rocky slopes. This explains the heavy boulders in this stream and in
all the other water courses running from Lushan to the plains.
The mineralogy of Lushan is characteristic of mountainous regions and if the stones of the low hills on the plains are taken
into account, only sandstone, slate clay (Whistous clay), argillaceous schist's (clay), of which roof slates are made, are to
be found. The rocks lying in front of Lushan in the direction of Nankang are of the greatest interest. These are granite
rocks, which by decomposition of their feldspar, created deposits of kaolin, which chiefly at the points of contact with the
sandstone and slates, produced minerals offering a wide field of search for the mineralogist. One other interesting mineral
deserves mention namely red laterite. At the foot of the Lion's Leap it covers extensive hilly surfaces and is the product of
the decomposition of the granites lying there. It contains much iron and in color is red or reddish brown.
Chapter III: "The Flora"
With regard to Lushan, two zones are to be distinguished: a subtropical zone, comprising the region around the foothills
and up the mountain to a height of about 500 meters, and a warm temperate cluster zone of mountains above that altitude
of the Kuling Valley itself. In both zones the flora is so extraordinary varied that only the most important features can be
1. The Flora of the Warmly-Temperate Zone Including Around Kuling. Note: (sps) in this chapter means that the species is
known, but the family is not; (gens) denotes the family, but the species is not known.
The large number of flowering shrubs, many of which are original types of the ornamental shrub known in the west, is the
main characteristic of this zone. A hardy Daphne flowers in March, simultaneously with a Coreopsis (fascicle, with yellow
flowers) and two kinds of Litsae with small yellow bells. Toward the end of April the whole splendor of spring unfolds and
the most striking and frequent flowers are the two kinds of red and mauve Azalea, with still a rarer Rhododendron. In May
the following shrubs flower: Deutzia, Diervilla or Wygelia (pink bells), Hydrangea or Hortensia, Viburnum or Snowball,
Philadelphus and White Syringa. In June, Forsythia (golden bells and somewhat rare), Spirea, Styrax (white bells),
Cornell Tree and Chinese Wistaria. Unpretentious bell-flowers are to be seen in Autumn in the following varieties:
Eleagnus or Oleaster (wild olive tree) and Eurya Japonica. In late autumn the tea oil shrub and Oleifera blossom, the
latter being a kind of Camellia with flowers which produce white nuts in winter.
The following blossoming fruit trees are found: Prunus (sps) or wild pink cherry; Prunus (sps) a wild plum with small white
blossoms; Pirus (sps) or wild pear with white blossoms, and Rubus bramble or blackberry. The mountains are thickly
covered with many varieties of shrubs of which the most common are Quercus Mongolica (oak) and Castanea Sequinii
(edible wild chestnut). Other shrubs less common are Bambusa (sps) or Bamboo shrub, Juniperus (sps) or juniper,
Cephalotaxus (sps) and a rare Quercus (sps) or Laurel Oak.
Unfortunately, the Chinese once cut away all brushwood and therefore trees do not grow to any large size in this upper
zone. Exceptions to this condition are the famous "Three Trees": two Japanese Ceaders (Cryptomeria Japonica) and a
Gingko Biloba (Maiden Hair Tree or Salisburia Adiantifolia). Other trees which attract notice are: Pinus Massoniana
(pine or fir); Cunninghamia Lanceolata; thuya Orientalis; sophora Japonica (a kind of Acacia); Albizzia (sps), Acacia with
pink flowers in feathery clusters; Liriodendron (sps) or saddle Tree (group of six in front of the Kuling General hospital);
Larix (sps) or Larch Tree; Fraxinus Sinensis or Ash; Alnus (sps) and Gymnocladus Chinesis or Soap Tree. The well-known
low tree (Rhus Javanica), often wrongly called Privet Tree, and a large-leafed tree with green trunk Sterculia Platanifolia
(Wutung tree) also are found.
The flora of Kuling and its neighborhood is composed of the following kinds arranged according to the months in which
they flower: April: Viola (Violets) of many kinds and the white with pinnate leaves and fragrant aroma; May: a dark red
orchis (Bletia Hyacinthina) is characteristic and abounds on mountain slopes. Other May flowers are Cephalantera
(white), Saxifrage (sps) white with dark red marks; Epimedium (sps) or Bishop's Hat (yellow flower, found near the south
end Bathing Pool); and Thalictrum (sps) or meadow rice. June: Funkia Lily (light violet flower); Hydrangea (sps) or wild
Begonia (pink flower found near brooks); Inpatients (sps); Balsamine (sps) with dark red flower and very rare, and an
arisaema (sps) resembling the Arum Lily. July: In this month there are two striking flowers, namely Hemerocallis
Aurantiaca or Day Lily (orange flower), with the flower petals eaten as a vegetable by the Chinese and the seeds used as
medicine; the Silerne or Melandryum (sps) with brick red gilly flower. Others are Lysimachia, Ruta (sps) or common Rhu,
and a Gesneracea (gens), a kind of dark red primrose found near the Dragon Pool. August: This mount is especially
characterized by Lilium Browni, the large white trumpet lily; and two kinds of Lycoris Aurea (golden yellow flowers), and a
Lycoris Radiata (flaming red), which are as rare as they are magnificent.
There also are Commelina Nuduflora (light sky-blue flowers), one kind of anaphalis or everlasting flower; a
Orobanchacea gens) or Brown Rape, which is a parasitic plant with dark flowers and no leaves. September: Lilum
Speciosum (white flower with red spots); the rarer Lilium Tigrinum or tiger Lily; and the dainty white Parnassia (sps) or
Marsh Grass which is found in damp meadows. In addition, the following are common: Platycodon (sps) or Chinese Bell
Flower; several kinds of Campanula (Bluebells); Polygonum (sps) or Knot-weed; Veronica (sps) or Speedwell (pale blue
flowers); and Oenothera (sps) or evening Primrose. October: the feature of this month is Aconitum Chinese or Monk's
Hood. Also common are several Aster species and Chrysanthemums (sps); Solidago (sps) or Golden rod; Gentian (sps)
found in the Nu Erh Cheng Valley; Crawfurdia (sps) or climbing Gentian (pink); and Anemone Japonica or Wind flower,
with dark red flower found by the Cave of Immortals. The Smilax is a large leafless shrub bearing red berries in autumn; it
is probably the thorny Ivy. A plant found on the Estate and closely resembling a strawberry both in flower and fruit is
Potentilla Indica, the Cinquefoil, which is said to be poisonous.
2. The Flora of the Sub-Tropical Zone, Including the Foothills.
The vegetation of this zone differs from that of the high mountains chiefly in the magnificent growth of the trees. Huge
specimens of Cinnamomum Camphorum (Camphor tree) and Liquidambar Formosana a type of maple) are frequently seen
in front of temples and monasteries. The Skin bamboo covering the lower slopes, Bambusa Beecheyana (sps), and the fir.
Cunninghamia Lanceolata, grow much taller here than at Kuling. Other trees found in the valleys are Magnolias
Hypoleuca and the Podocarpus (sps), a needle bearing tree with linen skikes, a fine specimen of which stands in front of the
Tung Lin Temple.
The following produce bearing trees are found near many villages: Stillinga Sebifera or Tallow tree (lozenge shaped leaves
covered in autumn with fruit capsules furnishing vegetable tallow) and Aleurites Fordii or wood oil tree (large cordate
leaves, large white flowers in May and in autumn bearing fig-like fruit with a green leather like shell). In this zone the
following blossoming shrubs are found in addition to those in the higher zone: Azalea Mollis (golden yellow and found on
the hills above Tung Lin); Kerria Japonica (yallow); Styracacea (gens), a low shrub with white flowers; and Daphne
Genkwa (Daphne), a violet colored flower resembling the lilac.
A ficus (sps), or climbing fig, and Liana (a parasitic plant which is often found on the plains hanging from old trees and
walls) are not uncommon, but a much rarer creeper with large brick-red flowers is Tecoma Grandiflora, or Snakewood. A
small insignificant creeper with orbicular leaves, Actinidia (sps), is of importance as it produces the fruit known as Yang
Tao, resembling the Goosberry. This plant, which is known botanically as "Ichang Gooseberry", grows also on the
mountain slopes. The Taro (YU Tao) is very common in the valleys - its botanical name is Colocasia (sps) and it can be
recognized by its huge arrow-shaped leaves resembling those of the Arum Lily.
Flowers are rarely found on the highest points of the mountains, but the small Iris (sps), a pale blue flower with golden
yellow marks, and a Belemacanda (sps) with orange-yellow flowers, are sometimes seen. Ferns are found in the valleys in
a great variety, the most striking being the Gleichenia Dichotyma,, a hardy fern which covers the hills up to a altitude of
530 meeters. the following kinds grow only in damp shady spots: Aspidium (sps) or shield fern; and Selaginella (sps) or
Moss fern. The latter, a charming little fern resembles club-moss (Lycopodium), is common to Kuling.
It must be noted the Dawn Redwood was thought to be extinct until its discovery in 1948 in a remote valley of Szechuan
Province, and was not introduced to Lushan until afterwards.
Chapter IV: "Shooting of Game"
Lushan offers an interesting and fruitful field not only to the lover of nature, but also to those fond of hunting game. Tigers
were only very rarely encountered in northern Kiangsi, but had been reported in remote parts of the mountains. Leopards
stayed occasionally at the higher, covered parts of the mountains and had been seen near Kuling. Every winter several
were killed with the natives using guns or poisoned arrows. The wolf was very rarely seen, but sightings were reported
near Ma Wei Shui, Tung Lin and Nankang. Wolves descended to the plains only in severe winter weather, with full grown
specimens weighing up to three hundred pounds. The porcupine was common around Lien Hwa tung, where it devastated
the vegetable fields and was therefore one of the most active enemies of the vegetable farmer. Civet cats, wild cats,
raccoons, badgers and weasels also once constituted part of the game which filled the bag of the sportsman. The squirrel is
found in the vicinity of Hsiu Feng. A kind of pangolin, wrongly called armadillo, was found near Ma Wei Shui and above
An antler deer of the red deer type (Kopseh's deer) was sometimes encountered near Tehan and more frequently near Chien
Chang. Once, bucks with eight-point antlers weighing sixty kilos or more had been killed. Hornless River (a type of fox)
with canine teeth developed into tusks which protruded below the lower jaw, were extinguished by the natives, shot for the
sake of its skin which was used for making leather.
Bamboo partridge were common on the hills near Lien Hwa Tung and Tai Ping Kung. Only during severe cold weather did
they descend to the foot of the mountains. Quail and button quail were sometimes shot on the plains near Shaho.
Woodcocks were rare, but sometime found in the reed grass and bamboo groves. Spring snipe abounded in the fields near
the Yangtze, especially from the middle of April through the middle of May. Good marksmen have bagged as many as
seventy brace in four hours, and in autumn, and winter snipe were rare. Turtle doves were very common in high trees near
Lien Hwa Tung and Hsiu Feng. The red-ringed dove was much smaller and was met only occasionally in summer.
Chapter V: "Hints For Excursions Extending Over Several Days"
Of course, Spring and Autumn are the best seasons for making the longer trips described herein. The great heat of the
plains, coupled with the insect nuisance, renders it inadvisable to pass nights on the plains, choosing instead the delicious
coolness of the mountains, except in cases of pressing necessity. Trips which extend over several days are better taken on
foot, if only to avoid the bothersome troops of chair-coolies at resting places. Generally, one assumes one baggage coolie
to each traveler, although it is better to have one too many than one too few, as nothing is more disagreeable than waiting
for lagging coolies. If long distances had to be covered, for example the first day of the Lushan Valley trip to Kwei Tsung,
one should take three or four men per two travelers, and pay off the third man on the second day. The luggage should not
be packed in large, heavy boxes but it is better to distribute the contents over several smaller packages which can be
adjusted by the coolies on their carrying-poles. For linen, blankets and other bedding, a waterproof bag which can be
locked is recommended.
The luggage should comprise the following articles: one change of underwear; raincoat; an extra pair of shoes;
comfortable slippers for the nights lodging; extra shoelaces; wash basin; towels; soap; candles; matches; and a storm
lantern because the lighting in temples leaves much to be desired. Each tourist should be supplied with knife, fork and
spoon; a tin cup and plate; a blanket and pillow. In the summer months a mosquito net is advisable. A dressing-gown and a
thick waist-coat were useful provisions against abrupt changes in the weather. Insect powder should also be among the
items packed; hooks for screwing into pillars where they can be used for hanging up one's clothes; a hammer and a few
nails, and a pocket Chinese character dictionary for those interested in the inscriptions that are chisled into stone. A
compass should not be forgotten and a first aid kit if accidents are encountered, was a must.
Coolies with Hart possessions heading to Kuling
It is difficult to say what should be considered necessary and what is superfluous for luggage. For example, a camp bed is
a fine thing, but the fatigued traveler will sleep equally well on a framework of boards. One should not be burdened
unnecessarily with preserved goods, as experience has shown that one does not usually care for warm food after a long
day's walk. Most people do not take a cook, and the trouble of cooking one's own food is hardly worth the while. Canned
stuffs which can be eaten cold are recommended. For one day trips, canned Yang Tao is strongly advised, as the juice is
very refreshing when diluted with water. Hot water and tea can be obtained anywhere en-route. In the villages one can
purchase chickens, eggs, rice and white turnips, and in autumn, taro.
In outlying areas, silver coins are reluctantly taken, so a plentiful supply of copper coins should be obtained before
commensing an overnight trip. Temples and monasteries were the easiest places to obtain lodging. Their halls were
usually clean and contained wooden furniture and boards for beds. One should be aware of straw beds because they are
likely to contain vermin. The rooms are generally provided with locks so that one was not exposed to the eyes of inquisitive
visitors. It is obvious that a friendly manner was to be maintained towards the priests, and that the various functions of the
monasteries should not be expected, other than for water. It is well known that both Buddhists, who have clean shaven
heads, and Taoists, with long hair due to of their belief in the transmigration of souls consider the killing of animals a
mortal sin, however make no comment when meat is eaten. The killing of chickens in the temple precincts was, of course,
entirely interdicted. With a view to not disturbing the proverbial quiet of the temple, dogs should be left at home when
doing longer trips. For the overnight stay, the charge is usually fifty cents per person.
En route it was generally useless to ask directions of carriers or of the native farmers who were incapable of expressing
themselves clearly when asked about distances or time. Their replies would invariably be what they think one desires to
hear, and it was rare to find one whose interest went beyond money or rice. Similarly, to be deterred by such phrases as
"mu yu lu" (no road) or "puh hao tso" (bad walking) often meant that no progress could be made at all. However, it was
advisable to ask at the temples for guides to show the way to the next stopping place, whose duty it was to guide the
traveling priests from stage to stage in their journeys.
With regard to the treatment of the coolies carrying the burdens, it was to be remembered that the idea of time in the sense
of the word, was totally incomprehensible to the Chinese. Coolies, it is true, are generally punctual in the morning, but
they often want to take their extended noon-day rest at the most inopportune time. If they were not compelled to buy their
food en-route and to eat at the common resting place, they would invariably lay down their burdens before the inn in some
evil-smelling village, swarming with curious people. Apart from the annoyance caused, much time was lost because of
stopping. The coolies were not to be allowed to run far ahead or to lag behind in case baggage was needed, thereby
unnecessarily losing time. The coolies were usually willing, and kind exhortations or a harmless joke were more effective
than abuse or threats.
Chapter VI: "From Kiukiang Via Lien Hwa Tung to Kuling"
Lushan Road looking south from Kiukiang
Even though the road from Kiukiang to Lien Hwa Tung was only occasionally done on foot, its most interesting features are
briefly described below. Shih Li Pu village was situated about ten li south of Kiukiang. This was the main resting place for
the carrying coolies. An old arched bridge with a small temple behind it stood on the right hand side of the road on the
outskirts of the village. The road to Kuling originally passed over this bridge, but since 1911 it has run in a western
direction over a new bridge spanning the stream from Ma Wei Shui. At the southern exit of Shih Li Pu was the path to Lien
Chi Mu which branched off to the left, to follow the creek. One should not have attempted to spend the night in the temple
of the old arched bridge before Shih Li Pu, as the inhabitants of the village had the reputation of being intrusive and
impudent. Shih li Pu bridge was dismantled in 1958.
Shi Li Puh in winter
Three li south of Shih Li Pu stood a three-arched bridge of Hwa Feng Chiao, bestowed by Imperial decree. This place was
called Ho Shang Fen, the Separation of the Monks. It was said that in the year 520 A.C.E., the twenty-eighth Buddhist
patriarch Bodhidharma, who was at the same time the first patriarch of Eastern Buddhism, held a meeting there of eight
monks and chose his successor, an old man of eight-hundred years of age. Of the three stone tablets that stood in front of
the bridge, one was from the year 1814 and the other two were of more recent dates. Recorded were the names of the
contributors and the cost of the bridge. On the other side, on slightly higher ground, there stood a small temple, Tien Hwa
Kung, the Palace of Heavenly Flowers, in which a small village school was housed. In darkness or if unfavorable weather
prevented the journey from being continued, accommodation could be found here.
Hwa Feng Chiao Bridge
Between the Ho shang Bridge and the village of Miao Chu Pu and five li fro Lien Hw Tung, was a pretty village altar
surrounded by camphor trees. Above Miao Chu Pu the road ran parallel to the stream, the gradient became steeper and
the Kuling Mountains, which had long been beckoning from the distance drew perceptibly closer. Near Peng Chia Ho, the
last village on the plains and the path from Mei Wei Shui joined the main road. To the right a path branched off to Tai
Ping Kung and after a few minutes walk the traveler arrived at Lien Hwa Tung, which was about twenty-five li from
At Lien Hwa tung the road left the stream to wind in a curve over the foothills toward the south-west, through the upper
Lien Hwa Tung, Shang Lien Hwa Tung) and to the first lengthy flight of stone steps. Before reaching these, one sees on the
left an old tomb dating from the time of Emperor Hsien Feng 1852. The ascent now commences in earnest and the winding
path becomes very steep. During the heat of summer, the welcome change from the close, damp heat of the plains to the
reviving mountain air became apparent there. At an altitude of two-hundred seventy meters, a large residence was visible
on the right and on the mountain slope beyond, picturesquely situated in a bamboo grove: the Tieh Fu Su, Temple of the
The next portion of the ascent was the most impressive for its natural beauty. In the deep gorge on the right, the stream
rushed in long leaps over the rocks. Leave was taken of bamboo and fir trees which were not found in large quantities
higher on the mountain. The next portion of the road was commonly called Shih Pa Wan, the Eighteen Turns by reason of
its many bends and the second rest hut of Tou Li Shu, Bamboo Hat Grove. These were about a fifty-minute climb from Lien
Hwa Tung. From this point the road ascended more steeply than elsewhere, and after a twenty minute walk one reached
the third resting place, Ta Shui Ho, The Ford, at an altitude of 600 meters. From there to the crest of the ridge remained a
considerable height to be attained: the road consisted of something over one-thousand steps and followed the rough
contours of the hill. This was the most arduous portion of the journey.
Above the fourth and last resting place, Yueh Kung Chien, Crescent Moon ditch, the valley widens and in the distance can
be seen a glimpse of the Chinese quarter of the Kuling settlement, nestled between of the Bulls Heard on the north and the
mighty western ridges sloping towards Tung Lin. Near as the destination seemed it still took a full hours' walk to reach.
Since 1914, this part of the road was improved and was almost level leading to Kuling.
At Yueh Kung Chien a path branched off to the Lotus Valley. Near Lotus Valley path, the road was blasted out of the face
of a steep craggy cliff. On the outside as protection against falling over the edge, the road was furnished with handrails. A
red inscription on the rocks reads, a delightful place to stroll about. The old Kuling road ran from this last resting place
into the valley on the right. From the point where the stream was crossed, a most uncomfortable flight of about a thousand
stone steps led through Chien Tao Hsia, Scissors Ravine directly into the Chinese village. As the new road was a great
improvement and this old path became seldom used.
Chapter VII: "The Yellow Dragon Temple / Three Trees / and the Emerald Grotto"
Leaving the Estate bathing pool on the right, one traversed a circular path which ran along the side of the stream from the
Russian Valley in an easterly direction. The first part of the road was very interesting on account of the magnificent view
obtained of the numerous peaks and valleys which form the southern group of mountains and the fine gorges through which
the mountain streams and its effluents flow. For those unaccustomed to walking and whom therefore have to be satisfied
with enjoying nature from a distance, this is an excellent trip. From Central Avenue and across the Monkey Ridge there
was a sharp descent which on the left passed a path branching into the Russian Valley. At the foot of this descent was the
circular path mentioned above.
One can also reach the temple by keeping to the main road, but the descent is steep and though not quite as interesting yet
very fatiguing. The circular path followed the contour of the hills and provided easy access to the temple. If the latter path
was followed, the Russian bathing pool was passed at the point where the stream from the Russian Valley flows into the
lower valley. Here care must be taken after heavy rainfalls. From here the path led gently downhill in a south-westerly
direction and joins the main road close by the temple, which was about an hours walk from the Gap, Altitude 727 meters.
The road to the yellow Dragon Temple, Huang Lung Ssu was one of the most popular walks for the Chinese in Kuling. The
interior of the temple offered little worth seeing except a stone in the floor which is supposed to resemble the head of a
dragon. This peculiar stone was said to have been the cause for building on this site during the Chin Dynasty (265-420
A.C.E.). The temple was widely known in the time of the Emperor Wan Li, (1573-1620).
As the mother of this Emperor had done much for the temple, he erected in her honor the stone pavilion on the thickly
wooded hill to the right. This small, but profusely ornamented pavilion was known by the name of Shu Chuang Ting,the
Hairdress or Toilet Pavilion. The name probably originated from the fact that it was dedicated to a woman. The two
characters in front of the curved roof are Yu Chih, Imperial Erection. Inside there was a piece of white marble about six
feet high bearing an inscription Sheng Yu, Imperial edict and dated to 1586. It set forth the fact that wan Li's mother
presented forty-one volumes of classical writings to the Dragon temple and therefore is espically sacred. The second part
of the inscription was a resume of the main principles of Buddhist teachings, with an exhortation from the Emperor to the
people to live up to the same in all their fullness. the pavilion was best reached by a small path leading from the Three
Trees through the vegetable fields. the path formally used which was a direct road now is thickly overgrown and
The semi European house beside the temple was built as a summer residence for the well known statesman Tuan Fang, who
was nominated Director of the Hankow Szechuan Railway in 1911. Shortly after his election, Tuiang Fang went to
Szechuan to suppress a rebellion and was murdered. The house served for the headquarters of a government reforestation
official who ran a modest nursery. It would be difficult to place a more adequate model than the Three Trees in front of the
house for such an official and yet it is very characteristic of all things Chinese that in the very vicinity of the house of such a
person the indiscriminate felling of trees made these "three" one of the sights on the mountain. On the left stands a Ginkgo
Tree Ginkgo Bilbao, or according to modern nomenclature, Salisburia Adiantifolia. A tree which in prehistoric times was
frequently found in Middle-Europe, but then later was found only in Eastern Asia. Its fruit resembles a small yellow plum
and although it sheds its foliage in winter, it belongs to the class of conifers and thus is closely related to its two neighbors.
These magnificent cedars, Cryptomeria Japonica, each over thirty meters in height and five meters in circumference, with
these measurement being the maximum of which these trees attain.
Their home is China and Japan being re-introduced into Europe in 1842. The Chinese chronicle of Lushan states these
cedars So Lu Pao Shu, Precious Buddha Trees were planted by a monk in the Chin Dynasty (265-420 A.C.E.), and were
brought from the "Western Regions" of Thibet. This is open to question as these trees are indigenous to eastern Asia.
Whenever their origin the age of these trees are 1,000-1,500 years old and the stone erected nearby in 1769, the 34 year of
Chien Lung proves these trees were already respected in the times of Wan Li or 1600. Originally, quite a number of such
trees existed and in the 11th year of Tung Chi, there were forty-eight in existence. It was said that an unscrupulous monk
from the Dragon Temple felled all of them, except the three now standing and sold them. His promise to restore the temple
with the money received was not kept and the old stumps of the trees are still found in the thicket to the south-east of the
Kuling 3 Old trees Left: Chris Ti, Center: Dr. Edgerton Hart, Right:
On the right beneath the Three Trees is a stone slab engraved with two large characters, Hsiang Lung, the Dragon is
Vanquished. The writing is from the hand of Wang Ssu Shang, a well known statesman from the Ming Dynasty. Below the
Three Trees a few hundred steps or so, the road divides with one branch leading south to Lien Hwa An and the other paved
with large flagstones leads to the Emerald Grotto. This road is referred to in history as having been built in the time of
Hung Wu, this old road leads to the Incense Mills and past the Cave of the Immortals to the former temple grounds in the
West Valley. Next to this intersection a few stone steps will bring you to the narrow cascade of Black Dragon Falls.
A little further up the adjoining a small brook before reaching the main stream, water dashes over a small cliff to form the
cascade of the Emerald Grotto. The ravine is encompassed by luxurious verdure and shrouded in mysterious darkness with
a stone path bringing you to it as its pool of water is never reached by the direct rays of the sun. Water snakes once were
observed here and coupled with the excessive coolness of the water made bathing doubtful. The Chinese name for the
grotto is Huang Lung Tan, Yellow Dragon Pool.
The sights of the Three Trees and the Black and Yellow Dragon Falls were one of the most popular picnic trips taken in the
summer months. Stone benches and tables are still to be found under the trees there.
Chapter VIII: "The Dragon Pool and the Plunge Bath"
Between the former Estate bathing pool and the point below the Emerald Grotto where the main road crossed the stream,
there were two very pretty and inviting pools, the first being the Lung Chao, Dragon Pool. This was a basin of
considerable size, caused by the junction of the stream from the Russian Valley and the main stream from the Kuling
Valley, that now has a reservoir and dam there. When one used to bathe there a small cascade was reached through a
cavity at the lower end of the pool, but was not advised to go when much water was in the stream or after a rain.
Yellow Dragon Falls Lushan Black Dragon Falls & Pool, Left:Dr. Edgerton Hart,
Center: Edward Little, Right: Chris Ti
Chapter IX: "The Western Circular Path and the Incense Mills"
This excursion was usually made as a round trip by going and returning using different routes. Upon leaving the Estate
bathing pool, the most comfortable way was to take the contour path on the right. This path meandered along the slope at a
gentle gradient parallel to the course of the stream, to a place above the Incense Mills where the brook disappeared from
view. The path afforded magnificent views of the long ridge in the center of the range and its numerous foothills. Opposite
the Russian Valley stream, one passed to paths leading steeply down to the Dragon Pool. Opposite the Emerald Grotto, but
a little lower down, the path approached the gorge in a steep spiral and from there the road and stone steps by which the
return would be made became distantly visible. A sharp turn in the path was reached after about three quarter's of an
hour's walk from the bathing pool. From there the pools of the Shui Ti, Incense Mills could be seen. Soon after turning the
corner, the path to Shen Ling Kung Valley branched off near some prominent boulders. When you followed this path along
the large stone-paved road running along the valley, the ruins of the Incense Mills came into view. Incense mills are no
longer in operation on the mountain, but could be found in the villages and foothills where the amount of running water
was sufficient to turn the mill.
When the trip was made using a chair the route via the Gap or Central Valley to the lower end of the West Valley was taken
from there to proceed by the main road past the former police station and "Cave Villa" half-way between this point and the
"Cave of the Immortals".
Chapter X: "The Chinese Cemetery / Fairy Gorge and View / the West Valley"
From the gap proceed via Market Street, past the entrance to the West Valley and follow the broad stone pavement which
runs in a north-westerly direction. This road was a switchback and led to the Chinese Christian Cemetery on the crest of
the hill (altitude 1,100 meters). The cemetery was about a fifteen-minute walk from the Gap. The Chinese name Ngan Loh
Yuan is the Protestant term for paradise, while the English inscription at the cemetery reads "Mount Pleasant". The view
from the cemetery was unequaled and was well worth the effort to make the climb. To the north, the Shilin Pagoda was
visible to the east of Tai Ping Kung; due east was the valley near Lien Hwa Tung and to the northwest was Shaho on the
From the cemetery the choice of two roads was offered, one leading along the crest of the ridge and the other below the
cemetery, both toward the southwest. After about ten minutes walk the path which led from the Fairy View to Tung-lin was
crossed and a somewhat indistinct path led to the top of the ridge. A few boulders piled as though for a giant's barrow
marked the place called "Fairy View", from which there was excellent view on a clear day.
Immediately in the front of Fairy View are the steep rocky walls of the Fairy Glen, over which a mountain stream hurls
itself precipitously into the gorge. On the far side of the gorge, steep cliffs near the "Cave of the Immortals", the ruins of
the Broken Pagoda and the winding steps of the Shaho road were clearly discernible. Below the boulders a path led to the
brink of the yawning chasm. Returning to the main road, it descended a little into the Tunglin Valley, where there was an
old temple ruin.
Chapter XI "The Cave of the Immortals / Pagoda Ruins / Temple of the Heavenly Pond and the Hermit's Cave"
The start was made from the Gap, proceeding via the West Ridge in a westerly direction to the former Chinese police
station at the lower end of the West Valley. Beyond the "Cave Villa", a two storied-house which belonged to a native stood
a rock on which was engraved Fu Shou Yen, the Cliff of the Buddha's Hand. This name was given to the steep rocky cliffs
which face to the northwest and to which a path lead sharply to the right.
Lushan Buddha Cave. Note projecting rock above entrance resembles clasped hands.
The short path along the slope ended at the Cave Temple Hsien Jen Tung, The cave of the Immortals, a place much visited
by the Chinese, especially women. The altar, much impaired by the wooden barricade, was dedicated to the God of Rain.
The water flowing from the cave was collected in a shallow stone basin. There was an old inscription on the right hand
side of the cave which read Chu Lin Ssu, Bamboo Grove Temple. The house of the Taoist monk in front of the cave was
very unsightly. In the house there were several old Chinese maps of Lushan and a picture that depicted the most gruesome
scenes of torture as practiced in the Taoist Hell. Around the house was a narrow bridle path which led in the direction of
Fairy View, but ended suddenly below the Cave Villa. This little known path afforded splendid views of the plain and the
opposite slopes. To the west of the cave, on the hillside called Po Lu Sheng Hsien Tai, "Tower of the Peaceful Immortals of
the White Deer", was the Yu Pei Ting, the Imperial Stone Tablet Pavilion. A well-preserved tablet inside dates from the
year 1394. and was erected by Hung Wu, the founder of the Ming Dynasty in honor of a fortune-teller named Chou Tien.
Hung Wu at seventeen years of age, he became a priest in one of the temples situated at the foot of Lushan. Seized with
worldly ambition, he joined the rebels collecting forces there, and fought with them against the armies of the Mongolian
dynasty. Thanks to his abilities, he quickly succeeded in making himself the leader of the constantly increasing troops who
conquered Nanking in the year 1355. Here Hung Wu made himself a Duke, and when the Mongolian power was finally
broken, he became the first Emperor, Tai Tsu, the Great Ancestor, of the Ming Dynasty or "Clear Dynasty".
A translation of the inscription, which consists of 2,340 characters, follows:
"Chou, the Madman was a native of Nanchang, and at the age of eleven years became mad. His parents disowned him and
turned him out of the house to beg for alms on the streets of the city. At the age of thirty he began to talk and act with
unusual strangeness. Whenever a new magistrate arrived to assume office, he would always call at the Yamen and shout "I
come to report peace to you". The people thought this strange, as there were no sign of trouble and peace reigned
throughout the length and breadth of the Empire.
"But soon Cheng Yu Liang raised the banner of revolt and butchered the innocent people of Nanchang by the thousands.
This necessitated Hung Wu's presence, so he hastened there with his army and drove Cheng out of the city. When peace
was restored, and he was on the point of leaving the town, a man kneeling before him on the left-hand side of the street,
shouted 'I come to report peace to you.' 'Who is that?' I inquired. 'Chou, the Madman,' was the reply of my body-guards.
Believing him to be only a madman, to pass without taking any further notice of him.
When he arrived in Nanking, in the third moon of the year, Hung Wu met this same madman one morning as he went out to
superintend some public works. "What do you come here for?" Hung Wu demanded. "Oh, I come to report peace to you",
he replied. Henceforth he was seen every morning in the streets of Nanking, and never failed to say, "I come to report
peace to you".
"Tired of his joke, when all was peaceful, Hung Wu ordered him to be burned as a false prophet. Two large water jars
were procured, one placed on top of the other, and Chou put therein. Five burdens of reeds were distributed around the
jars and lit. When the fire was out, the top jar was removed to ascertain whether he was dead. "To our great surprise he
was not killed, but lay there snoring. The top jar was again put on, and the fire relit, but with no effect". Unable to burn
him, starvation was tried, he was denied food for twenty-three days in succession, but suffered no ill-effects. Tired of
waiting for him to die, a company of soldiers were ordered to give him food and wine immediately on the completion of his
twenty-three days' fast. He ate and drank with relish, but was not taken ill.
War broke out between Cheng Yu Liang, the greatest rival, and Hung Wu. "Am I going to succeed in battle?", Hung Wu
jokingly asked Chou? "Yes", he replied with dignity, and then commenced to dance around. "If so", Hung Wu said, "will
you accompany me to battle"? He readily consented, so I took him with me; but fearing that his foolish habits and crazy
manner would hamper the martial spirit of the army when they came to fight the strongest enemy they had ever
encountered, Hung Wu sent some twenty of his strongest and bravest soldiers to drown him. They returned and reported
that they had thrown Chou into the Yangtze River several times, but without success. Scarcely had they finished their
report, when Chou himself appeared and said, "Here is my head, cut it off". Hung Wu replied, "You are a great nuisance
and I wish to know how to kill you. Go and never let me see you again". Chou instantly obeyed and nothing further was
heard of him until four years later, when Hung Wu was seriously ill and at the point of death. One day a bare-footed priest
called at Hung Wu's palace, saying that he was delegated by Chou, the Madman, to offer him some medicine which would
instantly cure Hung Wu. After considerable hesitation, Hung Wu admitted the priest to his presence and took the medicine.
Strange to say Hung Wu's sickness immediately left him, and from the smell of the herb Hung Wu recognized it as one
which Chou always carried with him.
'"Where are you from, and when did you last see Chou, the Madman", inquired Hung Wu? "Chou is my neighbor," the
preist replied, "I live at the Temple of the Heavenly Pond, while Chou lives in the Temple of the Bamboo Grove, both are on
Lushan." "May I see him again?" Hung Wu asked. "Yes," said the preist, "if you want to see him you must go with me, as
the temple is so situated that you can only hear the bells, and see it's shade, but alone you will never reach it." So Hung Wu
went with him, as if in a dream, from his palace in Nanking to the temple on Lushan. There they met once again and
conversed on many things. On parting, Chou said, "Are you tired of my prophecy now? Was not I the first who reported
peace to you"?
"Reverently to his memory did Hung Wu compose these lines with his own hand in the 26th year of my reign." A rubbing of
the whole inscription, as well as one of the panegyric on the reverse side of the tablet, could be obtained from the preist in
the cave for several copper coins. The characters on the black tablet are new, and mean that the place is recommended to
the care of the public. The pavilion, formerly in a very dilapidated condition, was renovated in 1917 at the expense of the
compradore of a large Hankow firm. The most remarkable feature is that the north side was walled up, it being believed
that Kiukiang would be destroyed by fire as soon as the side of the pavillion towards the city was opened. From the
pavillion, the panorama of the extensive plain with the town of Shaho, situated on the railway about thirty li away, the
course of the Yangtze, Kiukiang, and the mountain ranges to the west, is one of the grandest of the whole region, especially
at sunset. The mountains in the distance belong to Tso Kung Shan and extend to the boundaries of Kiangxi and Hunan
beyond Ping Hsiang.
A further fifteen minutes' walk in a southwesterly direction, past the head of the Shaho Pass, and up the ridge on the further
side, brought one to the Ruined Pagoda or commonly called the Broken Pagoda, belonging to Tien Chih Ssu, Temple of the
Heavenly Pond. Both buildings were erected during the Sung Dynasty 960-1280 A.C.E.. An inscription on the pagoda
stated that the place was visited by a high official in the 6th year of Chin Ching (1527 A.C.E.). Rebels partly destroyed the
pagoda at the time of the Tai Ping Rebellion (1850-1864), and stole the iron plates supporting the different stories, hence
the collapse of the topmost part. The view from this point was similar to that from the Cave of the Immortals, with the
difference that from the base of the pagoda the mountains ended abruptly in a precipice, from the top of which the visitor
had what could only be termed an "aeroplane-like" view, so sheer was the drop to the plains some 750 meters below. The
Tien Chih Su in its former state was only two feeble relics of dilapidated splendor, and the only thing worth seeing there
was an old painting of Hung Wu, the original said to have been at Hung Wu's grave in Nanking.
It was said that Hung Wu, defeated in battle at the foot of the hills by his formidable enemy, Cheng Yu Liang, fled to the
hilltop and hid in this temple. His enemy, pressing hard after him, failed to find his hiding place owing to the good offices
of a spider that had thrown its web across the entrance to the temple, thus saving the life of the warrior who afterwords
became emperor. To show his gratitude, Hung Wu had the temple restored in princely style with brass tiles and iron roof
pans. The last recorded restoration was in the time of the Emperor Hsuan Te, (1432 A.C.E.).
On the south side was still to be found traces of the old path up the mountains to this temple, and on a rock near a small
shrine was the inscription dating from the time of the Ming Dynasty: Na wu o mi to fu, this was the Buddhist form of
invocation in imitation of that used in the Sanskrit "Namah Amitabbha". The temple grounds were apparently at one time
much larger than at present, as this shrine lay hidden between the temple and the Pagoda on a projecting ledge of rock
called Ching Liang Yen, the Pure Pool Cliff. This shrine called Lu Shan Lao Mu Ting, the Altar of Lushan's Old Mother
was beautifully situated on the edge of the precipice. The shrine had been recently restored, but at the same time had been
disfigured by a modern window-casing. Old characters written in the year 1522 in Chia Ching's reign, and also on the old
stone balustrade, clearly showed that this quiet nook was a favorite resting place for the monks in the days long past.
Near the two stone lions in the yard of the Temple of the Heavenly Pond, a very steep path descended towards the southwest
to the Hermit's Cave. The valley at this point was called Shen Ling Kung, the Palace of the Spirits. A few paces from the
gigantic black wall, the ragged peaks of the rocks encircling the Incense Mills suddenly appeared, while to the west the
valley of the Kuling stream was plainly discernible and a descent into the wilderness of glens was quite impossible.
Although only a stone's throw distant, the Hermit's Cave was so well hidden that it was difficult to find. A short path
toward the north led to a tiny gate by the side of which stood a stone bearing the characters Wen Shu Yen, Wen Shu's Cliff.
The Cave had been adroitly converted into an abode by the insertion of two windows. Wen Shu (Sanscrit name Man ju
scri), was one of the first disciples of Buddha and was one of the chief Buddhists and one who perfected himself with a view
to becoming a Buddha. He was worshipped as the God of Wisdom and the Wu Tai Shan of Shansi was sacred to his name.
The small pagoda above the Hsiu Feng Monastery also bears his name.
The Hermit's Cave seemed to be of great age, and it was mentioned as far back as the time of the Tang Emperor, Hui
Chiang (841 A.C.E.). A visit to this primitive dwelling was not to be missed. The monk who lived there belonged to the
Kwei Tsung Monastery, and was seldom at home, as he wandered about a great deal. A small foot path beginning behind
the cave afforded a short but interesting walk to a ledge on the high cliff where the Broken Pagoda stood. It was only from
this place that a full view of the bold, rugged landscape could be obtained.
For the return journey it was advisable to follow the lower path mentioned above which led directly to the lower end of the
Shen Ming Kung valley and down to the Incense Mills. Shortly before reaching the main road a path crossed the brook.
The last large stone slab on the path bore the following inscription, decipherable only with difficulty: "Wen shu shuo fa
shen lung chih kung", Named by Wen Shu the Palace of the Divine Dragon. The name of the valley, Shen Ling Kung was a
popular distortion of the original name Shen Lung Kung.
The choice of two return routes was offered, one via the western contour path, and the other by the Incense Mills. If the
former route was selected the trip could be done in three hours, but if the latter route was taken, a half day had to be
allowed. On the return from the Incense Mills, the steps leading to the Kuling stream were followed down to that point
where the main road was crossed, then past the Incense Mills. This trip was recommened especially for those who were
spending but a few days in Kuling, and wanted to see as much as possible in a short amount of time.
Chapter XII: "Russian Valley / Pope Ridge and Plough Peak"
At the extreme south of the Kuling Estate across the Monkey Ridge, one followed the path at the left to Lu Lin, the Russian
Valley, at the entrance of which stood a large two-story house. The valley was well-protected from the north winds and
thickly wooded. At the bottom of the valley, about half an hour's walk distant, a footpath on the right of one of the houses
led to the head of of the Pass. On the edge of the marshlands covering the valley to the right several small streams have
been converted into a spacious swimming pool about fifty one meters long, and ten meters wide. Owing to the situation of
this pool and the clarity of the water, it is the most popular swimming place on Lushan.
There were many attractive walks winding about the valley in all directions. The principal road through the bottom of the
Valley ascended slowly southwards towards a small house at one time occupied by the priest in charge. Shortly before
reaching the house, the road divided, and if you took the one slightly to the right, led to the top of the Pope Ridge (alt. 1,150
meters). This was about an hour's walk from the Gap and the ridge afforded a fine panorama of the long ranges to the
north and northwest. Over this ridge the road crossed the intervening valley to Li Tou Chien, Plough Peak, (alt.1,200
meters). The ascent of this peak from the southwest could be made in twelve minutes and good climbers could make a more
difficult ascent by way of the southeast ledge where the sugar-loaf peak appeared in all it's rugged beauty overlooking
A small detour over the Nankang steps offered a pleasant change for the return trip. For this purpose, one followed the
slope behind Pope Ridge in an easterly direction; this little path was hard to find. It skirted the Tai I Feng, the Peak of the
First Great Cause, in such a way as to offer a continuous and unobstructed view of the plains on the right, and joined the
Nankang steps a little below the head of the pass. A more comfortable road for the return journey was the path which led
back by the main road to the Kuling Estate and the whole trip could be made in three hours.
Chapter XIII: "Nankang Pass"
One once proceeded along Highland Avenue from the top of Monkey Ridge followed the small path to the left and climbed
the most southern pass of the Nu Erh Cheng,(altitude 1,000 meters). From there one could cross the south end of the
valley, but instead of following the road that led directly to the Russian Bungalow, turned sharply to the right just on the
crest of the far ridge of the Nu Erh Cheng. This point was easily recognized by the row of fir trees which were visible on
the right. Just beyond those trees the road turned to the left and joined the path which ran along the slope of the Russian
Valley to the south and southwest. This path was one of the most enjoyable walks in the vicinity, as it was always in the
shade, and afforded beautiful views of the Russian Valley and the southern part of the mountains. It crossed a number of
mountain torrents and joined the road which led from the bottom of the valley to Nankang Pass. This road led to the head
of the pass, which was reached shortly after passing the Chinese Police Station No.3, a distance of about five kilometers,
altitude 1,050 meters. This was one of the places which should have been visited by all who came to Kuling. It gave an
extensive view of the lake and the white sands of its numerous islands, and the old city of Nankang with its ruined pagodas.
The Pass was bounded on the left by the rugged peaks of the Lion's Leap and on the right by the somber slopes of the
Hanyang Mountains. The view from a small elevation on the left near and old tea-house was more extensive than from the
Pass itself. The main road from Nankang Pass to the plain was much used, and led down into the district known as the
Goddess of Mercy Bridge.
The road for the first fifteen minutes' walk consisted of well-laid steps which led to the Nankang Pool. After leaving the
first huts, one turned sharply to the left, where a small path crossed a brook running toward the main Valley. Before
plunging to the plains, this brook, after having spent much of it's force in a small cascade, broke through a rocky gorge.
The walk from the Gap to this fall required about three hours, and those who wanted to bathe there should have timed their
arrival either comparatively early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as the return journey in the heat of the day would
nullify the refreshing bath. If time allowed an interesting scramble up the much overgrown path along the side of the
stream was taken. After half and hour's slow progress one reached the heights of the Lion's Leap and the return journey
could be made in one and a half hours over Boyang Ridge.
A pool of water along one of the many stream-courses flowing from Lushan and its cascading stream below it.
Another route to Boyang Ridge from the south was as follows: Instead of taking the contour path through the Russian
Valley as described above, one could followed the main road from the nu Erh Cheng Valley up to the highest house in that
valley. Across the brook a steep path led to the summit of the southern spur of the Ridge where the path divided, the one to
the right that led to the Police Station No. 3, and the other along the crest of the Ridge to Lion's Leap. The latter path
afforded excellent views of both sides of the Ridge with this circular route and was recommended, as it took only two hours.
The side valley, known as Hung Men Kou, the Side Door, was also worth a visit. At the police station at the Pass, the path
led sharply down to the left, where a modern, but nevertheless interesting, inscription of characters which were found only
in the old documents, was cut. The inscription referred to three country places San I Hsiang with former officials had
erected in the valley. Contrary to rule, the characters were to be read horizontally from left to right, and included fancy
names which those families adopted in respect to those country dwellings. The path soon divided and the upper one leading
to the farms lost itself in the country. The lower one was recognizable by the fruit trees which were planted on either side.
Contrary to expectation, there is no connection with Boyang Ridge from there.
Chapter XIV: "Boyang Ridge and Lion's Leap"
Standing in front of Boyang Ridge and extending its whole length was the ridge fo the Nu Erh Cheng which bordered
Kuling on the east. From the children's playground near the Church, the road went up to Hankow Gorge, crossed the
stream above Lot 1 at the top altitude 1,200 meters, and followed the small path to the right across the marshes to the path
leading up the further slope. The road to the left was to be avoided, as it led to the Waterfalls. If, however, the start was
made from the lower end of the Estate, another road led up through the Methodist Valley and ended up at the same point.
From there the path over the bog and up the further slope was the correct trail for the Lion's Leap.
At the above mentioned place, where the path led from the Methodist Valley to reach the pass, there was a moss-covered
inscription on a rock which, though fairly large, was easily missed. The characters were Kwang Yo Cheng Lao Chu, the
Exact Center of Kwang Peak. The second and fourth characters were obsolete deviations from the usual style of writing
and were in vogue in the time of the Ming Dynasty. The characters indicated the year in which the inscription was written
and were unfortunately indecipherable, but the statement appeared to be correct. Learned men did not agree on the
explanation that the name of the region, including the slope of the Lotus Valley, was called Nu Erh Cheng. The characters,
Nu Erh Cheng meant "City of the Maidens," and might be translated "Bulwark of the Children." The latter signification
was connected with an old historical tradition. In the second part of the fourteenth century when the Emperor Hung Wu
was fighting with his enemies on the plains between the Lake and the mountains, the countrymen of that region were said to
have taken refuge there until peace was restored. In the same connection, one learned from the chronicles that the camp of
Hung Wu was placed on these sheltered hills, so the lower part of the Nu Erh Cheng marsh was still called Ta Chaio
Chang, the Great Training Ground. From other sources it seemed that the name Nu Erh Cheng was in use before the time
of Hung Wu.
The upper part of Boyang Ridge which could be reached in about one hour's walk was 1,300 meters above sea level and
was thus considerably higher than the mountains to the west of Kuling. As one looked back over the whole range to the
northwest, the upper Yangtze Valley could be seen while the five humps of the Lion's Leap attracted attention. Of the two
paths, the stony one to the right was to be taken, as the other led to the waterfalls. That part of Boyang Ridge over which
the stony path led in a southeasterly direction traversed four valleys and formed the watershed between the waterfall
stream along with the waters which drained into the Nankang Valley. A number of lower heights had to be crossed before
the last steep ascent was madeto the Lions Leap.
The scenery in this region had no special charm and thus the surprise was all the greater when the goal was reached. The
five Lion's Leap peaks lay to the east of the path leading up to them and all should have been visited. The farther one
pursued the journey, the more extended and surprising were the views. Especially impressive were the saddle-like
indentations between the different peaks. On both sides the ragged and almost perpendicular cliffs tower up from the
plains. A number of temples and monasteries were visible from this point. It was well worth it to descend between the
second and third leaps onto a spur of rock. The best idea of this peculiar rock formation could be obtained from the ravine
between the third and fourth leaps: on the top of the third hump was an inscription cut into the rock, Fu shih ta chien,
Looking Down on a Thousand Objects. The highest of the peaks is about 1,300 meters high and a sufficent time was to be
allowed to climb up the saddle between the fourth and fifth peaks. At this point the gorge narrowed to about thirty feet and
formed a chimney which the most intrepid climber would fear to descend.
There at the fifth peak where the hills sloped gradually to the waterfalls, a small path led up from the Yua Kung Yuan
Temple ending at some remarkable rocks. A descent to the plains was absolutely impossible from any of the points already
mentioned and was to be attempted only at the most eastern point of the ridge where the path ended immediately above the
Waterfalls. People who started from the southern and lower part of Kuling could save much time and fatigue by following
the contour path through the Russian Valley to the Nankang Pass. Proceeding beyond the Nankang pool to the east where
the narrow path led along the stream to the Lion'd Leap, one could cross the above mentioned main road before the last
peak. The point of intersection was identified by a number of dwarf fir trees. By this southern route the leaps were reached
in an hour and a half, and a climb of more than one-hundred-fifty meters was saved by avoiding the Boyang Ridge Pass.
For this trip four hours at the least should be allowed. A whole day is recommended in order that all the sights could be
adequately appreciated. As there are few shady places, one should avoid this hike on an exceedingly hot day. It is a must
to bring along a good supply of water as little is available. The Chinese call the Lion's Leap Wu Lao Feng, Peaks of the
five Venerable Sages. According to tradition, five gods descended from heaven to these mountains. these five spirits were
believed to be the personification of the five elements of Chinese philosophy; fire, water, earth, metal, and wood. This old
tradition was the subject of one of Li Tai Po's poems. the correct Chinese charcters were ascertained from two old
inscriptions found in the temples below Lions' Leap. The popular English name of Lion's Leap appeared to be a translation
of a corrupted form of the correct Chinese given above.
Chapter XV: "Round Trip Through Lotus Valley to Bull's Ridge"
This trip was one of the most popular of all the afternoon excursions. One passed through the Chinese village and along
the first part of the mountain road to Kiukiang as far as the cow stables and from there followed the road to the right. One
had to avoid the mistake of descending the mountain road as far as the signboard on the right, which bore the inscription
"To the Lien Hwa Ku, Lily Valley, as the path was intended only for those ascending the hill.
The surroundings of the cow stables were formally sacred ground. At the end of the sixteenth century the emperor Wan Li
built the Hsiao Tien Chih Ssu, Temple of the Small Heavenly Pond on this spot. Leaving the upper end of the Tukutang
road where it encircled to the right, the Bulls Ridge, then proceeded into the Lotus Valley. This level road which provided
beautiful views of the Takuntang Valley ended in the Lotus Valley. From the gap to this point was about a forty minute
walk. The Chinese have bought a large piece of property for the erection of summer bungalows. Lien Ku, Lotus Valley
belonged to a Chinese association Hsiao Hsia She, which had its summer resort here. This settlement had its own
administration and property could be acquired only by native Chinese, although they were allowed to rent their property to
foreigners. At the bottom of the valley, the Y.M.C.A. had three or four fine buildings that were used as conference halls.
The other houses in the valley belonged to wealthy Chinese.
It was originally proposed to call this settlement "Lilly Valley" to signify the profusion of flowers found here, but a printer's
error in the first rules of the Association, the character for "Lotus" was used instead of that for "Lily", but ultimately by
agreement it was renamed Lotus Valley. It was twelve years before the Association succeeded in completing the terms of
this settlement. The officials resisted the opening of this valley and correctly maintained that it was historical soil. The
movements of Hung Wu's troops previously mentioned in the description of the Nu Erh Cheng, were said to have extended
down to the known historical places which were as subjected to Feng shui (geomancy) as temple and grave sights.
From the Y.M.C.A. site a fine view of the Little Orphan in Boyang Lake, as well as the junction of its waters with the
Yangtze, could be obtained. A little past the Y.M.C.A. buildings was a bathing pool, and past the tennis courts a trail led to
the quarry on the spur of Lotus Ridge. From here the gorge of Nu Erh Cheng dips sharply down and beyond can be seen
the cliffs of Boyang Ridge. The ridge was hard to climb from this end and was the easiest route by the Hankow gorge as
already described. There was much building land for sale in this valley, but it had the disadvantage of being badly exposed
to the violent northern winds.
The entire Lotus Valley was traversed by a broad road running southwest, and after about a twenty-five minute walk one
reached the Lotus Pass lying above the Kuling Estate boundary. The Estate was entered near lots 263-273, where it
orginates near one of the small streams with the lower ones uniting with others to form the Kuling main stream flow. The
entire round trip took about one-and-one-half hours. As the ascent from the Kuling Estate to the top of Lotus pass was very
steep and fatiguing, it was not advisable to make the trip this way around. The valley also could be approached by way of
Sunset Ridge and the Ta Ku Niu Ling, Bull's Head, the hill from which Kuling derived its Chinese name. The origional was
Cooling and the alteration of Kooling derived to Kuling and was only by chance that it coincided with the pronounciation
of the Chinese "Ku Nin Ling". The road to the north of the Bull's Ridge was to be taken and as it ran parallel to the Kuling
Mountain road below, affored a somewhat extensive view than that offered by the latter road. The path skirted the slope of
the Bull's Ridge and entered Lotus Valley near the Y.M.C.A. buildings.
Kuling in 1920 with Bulls Head ridge in background
When making the trip through Lotus Valley, a detour to the temple Tien Hwa Kung, the Palace of the Heavenly Flowers
was not to be omitted. The temple was situated on a picturesque spur "Ssu Tzu Shan, the Lion's Hill, at the upper end of the
thousand steps of the old road to the lowest point of the Chinese village. The view of the deep gorges and valleys from this
insignificent building where one had to formally pass on the old road to Kuling was very beautiful. The place was known
locally as Niang Niang Miao, because Niang Niang was the goddess to whom appeal was generally made during small-pox
epidemics, and Tien Hwa (Heavenly Flowers) was the name for small-pox.
Chapter XVI: "Monastery Ruins / the Dolomites and the Temple in the Clouds"
The road led across the Monkey Ridge into the Russian Valley and thence in a southern direction toward the priest's
cottage. A short distance before one reached this place, the road branched off to the right at the ruins of an old temple.
Keeping more or less on the same level, the road led to some cow sheds known as Hsiu Mu Chang, the Pasterage). Just
before reaching this place one observed two thickly overgrown paths which branched off to the right. The first ran to the
lower Russian bathing pool, while the second, due to the thick foilage, was rather inconspicuous and led to the Three
Trees. It passed a priest's grave which dates back to 1611.
From the cow-sheds the gradually ascending road led directly to the ruins of the old monastery Chien Fu Ssu, Temple of a
Thousand Buddhas. All along this path a magnificent view was obtained of the pagoda that formed part of the Tien Chich
Ssu,Temple of the Heavenly Pond and of the plain beyond extending as far as the Yangtze. The ruins of the gardens and
cow sheds were remarkable on account of the many inscriptions which, owing to the comparatively recent age of the
monastery, could be counted as some of the best preserved on Lushan. The Monastery of a Thousand Buddhas was founded
in the reign of the Ming Emperor Wan Li in the year 1579. The record dwelt especially on the excellent site of the
monastery and the grove of high pine trees. The name of the site Chin chu Ping, Golden Bamboo Terrace, was handed
down and until recently pointed to the one-time rural beauty of this spot.
Chapter XVII: "The Three Waterfalls"
An excursion to the San Tieh Chien, the Three Waterfalls ought not on any account be missed. It is essential that the
excursion be made on a clear day because in going and returning considerable heights had to be overcome. Only good
pedestrians ought to dispense with a chair. From the upper part of the Hankow Gorge, strike the road that led to the left
across the highland valley, Nu Erh Cheng, altitude 1,400 meters. The road bearing to the east, after leaving the ruins of an
old rest house to the right, ascends Boyang Ridge.
The highest point of Boyang Ridge, Ta Keng Shan, The Summit, was soon reached. Its altitude is 1,400 meters, an altitude
that is exceeded only by that of the Hanyang Peaks, 1,420 meters. The farther one continues along the path on the ridge, the
wider is the view in every direction. Soon the whole of Boyang Lake became visible as it stretches from prefectorial city of
Nankang past the Little Orphan and the well-known rocky island of Takutang, to the fort of Hukou where the lake joins the
Yangtze River. Toward the north, the city of Kiukiang was distinctly visible; in the foreground lay the steep valley of Ta ku
tan, and on the opposite slope the eye could follow the road that descended to Ma Wei Shui, truly a magnificent panorama.
After walking for about one-and-three-quarter hours, one reached a big boulder which bore an inscription of recent date.
The meaning of the inscription, which rungs from left to right, was a mere platitude on the beauty of nature. It read: "In the
year Kwei Mao, 1903, under the reign of the Emperor Kuang Hsu, I, Wu Ten Tsui, made and excursion into the Lushan
(Kuang Lu), starting from Pai Lu Tung, White Deer Grotto". You passed Chiu Tieh Ping, Wall of Nine Levels and looked
down upon the San Tieh Chien, the Three Waterfalls on a clear and cloudless day. The jade dragon soared high, flew
about, and returned to the mountain of Mercy and Virtue. This happened on the twenty-eighth day of the seventh moon. I
wandered with Cheng Kuei Liang from Hsiang Shan and Fu Sze Yi from Fan Yu." By the "Jade Dragon" was presumably
meant, "The mist which rises and envelops the mountains."
Under the rocks, not far from the inscription, there was a roomy cave , the existence of which was but little known. The cave
would be recommended as a suitable place for resting before beginning the descent to the Waterfalls. The first part of the
descent was a gentle slope, but soon the road assumed a steeper gradient and led for a good distance over bare and
slippery rocks. This was the most trying part of the excursion. After thus descending for half an hour, one reached a point
where three roads met. The one that ran in an eastern direction on a fairly level but circuitous route, led to the saddle that
joined the descent to the Waterfalls. The path was called Kuan Shan and was about 1,000 meters high. The rest house Tung
Fang Ssu, Temple to The East, which was soon reached, and beyond which chairs could not proceed, will have been visible
for some time. From the Pass there was a magnificent view of the three falls of water that rushed down from the crest of
the Ta Yeuh Shan, Full Moon Mountain in wild torrents, and over precipitous cliffs into the canyon. A better panoramic
view of the falls was gained from the opposite heights, which were reached by the rest house, but from this point of vantage
a full view of the lowest fall was not possible. To obtain this, a further steep ascent became necessary. The total height of
the falls from the bed of the gorge was estimated at 363 meters.
The descent to the head of the waterfalls, the point where the great cataract begins, was not to be missed. The road ran
along the western slope of the gorge, and was in some parts so steep the chairs could not follow. From here the towering
heights of Tiger Cliff were best seen. It required about half an hours' descent to reach the falls. The stream which formed
the Waterfalls gathered its waters in a series of basins before it began its final downrush into the abysmal depths. In fitful
leaps the mountain stream jumped from basin to basin, and offered most excellent opportunities for bathing, more suitable
and more varied than in any other part of Lushan Range which was so rich in kindred pools. The bathing was the best in
the lowest and largest basin at the end of the descent.
Looking east a side view of two lower falls Lushan 3 Waterfalls March, 2006
can be seen, with Boyang Lake in the
Several recesses under the rocks offered shade for taking refreshment and resting. Visitors had to be warned not to trust
themselves too close to the falls as the rocks there were slippery and dangerous. The pools on the higher levels were not so
frequently visited. They afforded, however, plenty of change, and were remarkable due to their exceptional clearness and
the considerable depth which proclaimed good diving. These higher pools also would be reached by a side path which
branched off from the main descent about half-way down. Visitors were warned not to leave the vicinity of the stream bed
at the first evidence of rain. This narrow stream was the only outlet for the water from a number of large watersheds
above, and rose rapidly during and after a rainfall. A fatal accident occurred here during the summer of 1920 when a
young lady, attempting to cross the stream during a thunderstorm, was overwhelmed by the swiftly rising water and carried
over the falls. It was better not to begin the return to Kuling before three o'clock when the hottest part of the day was over.
If pressed for time, however, the whole excursion could be accomplished within five hours.
The return trip also could be made in a different direction to the one just described, but this route was not suitable for
chairs. At the crossing of the roads at the foot of Boyang Ridge, one took the road which, instead of ascending, kept
straight on andn can be recognized by a number of stone steps. A third path was a mere woodcutters' track and branched
off sharply to the left from the same spot and led at a steep gradient down to the stream. The correct road to take was the
middle one which lead into the valley that was formed by Boyang Ridge and Lion's Leap. It ran past a group of houses
named Yueh Kung Yuan, Moon Palace Courtyard, a very euphemistic designation for the remains of the old temple. On
looking backward from this place of descent, one saw rising to the sky the mighty cliffs where the stream entered the
narrow gorge. From Yueh Kung Yuan, the road continued in a northwestern direction and gradually ascended to the
saddle that connects Boyang Ridge with Lion's Leap. This latter part of the road was much overgrown in summer, and not
easy to pass.
The Three Waterfalls also were called Shui Lien, Water Curtains. Li Tai Po and Chu Fu Tze (1130-1200 A.C.E.), gave
long descriptions of the falls. The former says, "When the world was created, these falls were shaped with special love,
when the world ceases to exist, these falls will continue." Chu Fu Tze, on the other hand, states that "If a sick man be
carried to the incomparably beautiful place opposite the waterfalls, he cannot fail to be restored to health."
Chapter XVIII: "To Chi Hsien Ssu and The Goddess of Mercy Bridge via Nankang Pass"
There is no scenery in the foothills around Lushan which equalled that of the Nankang stream and the Goddess of Mercy
Bridge. An excursion into this beautiful valley amply repaid the fatigued that was experienced in the descent of the
apparently endless flight of steps that led into the valley. There were no intermediate levels stretches as there were on the
road to Lien Hwa Tung, and only good pedestrians could dispense with the chair. On no account should fewer than six
bearers have accompanied each chair.
Looking South from Nankang Pass
The descent began at the Nankang Pass and after descending in a southeastern direction for about twenty minutes, one
reached the first rest houses. From here the steps continued in many curves to the second rest hut, which was very
picturesquely perched on a gigantic boulder, (alt. - 727 meters). The name of this rest hut to judge from a not very legible
inscription on the rock, was Huan Hsi Ting, Pavilion of Joy); and, unquestionably, the joy of the poor carrier must have
been great when with his load he had so far successfully made the ascent. There was, however, a much better place for
resting about 60 meters farther down, a small stone pavilion. This place was named Hsi Chien Ting, Pavilion for Resting
the Shoulder. It took an average walker about an hour and a half to reach this place.
During the whole descent the view on either side was magnificent. On the right were the mighty peaks of the Hanyang
Ridge, while on the left, the wild and gigantic cliffs of the Lion's Leap came into view. A little below the last named rest
house, the Nankang stream issued from the "Nankang Pool" and rushed down in mighty bounds; two other waterfalls
appeared to the right, like silver streaks, on the Hanyang rocks. These latter can be reached by a path that branched off in
a southern direction from a platform that was conspicuous by the reddish color of the ground.
East side of Lushan
Following the main descent, and passing the fourth rest hut, one reached a gateway at an altitude of 333 meters. Here the
stairs, which number almost 3500 steps, end, and the road continued on a fairly level stretch into the foothills. Near here, a
stone bridge spanned the nothern arm of the Nankang stream which farther down was joined by an affluent that came from
the Hanyang range. According to Chinese geography, the stream was formed by not less than ninety-nine affluents. This
was presumably a poetic exaggeration to which the beauty of the surroundings had incited the recorder. The road followed
the stream in a northern direction and from here the vegetation changed almost abruptly. Everywhere there were beautiful
flowers and rich foliage, with wood-oil and tallow trees in abundance. Beautiful as was the view into this valley with its
wealth of firs, pines and flowering bushes, broken every now and then by the building of incense mills. Not less beautiful
and grand was the view backward into the semi-circle of mountains which partly enclosed these lovely and picturesque
After passing through a narrow and romantic glen studded with bamboo, the road led in about twenty minutes' walk to the
bridge across the stream, which had gained a considerable width. On the western bank the monastery Chi Hsien Ssu,
Monastery of the Seven Reposing Sages came into view. A row of mighty maples marked the approach, which led past a
red wall to the entrance of the monastery. The contrast between the green foliage of the trees and the red coloring of the
wall which, as well as the characters over the entrance Chih Ssu denoting that the monastery has been founded under
Imperial auspices, was very impressive. The four characters Pu erh fa men, The Gate of the Only Teaching were not less