Top 5 Historic Attractions To Visit While On Your Private Chengdu China Tour

The spectacular city of Chengdu is the capital and cultural epicenter of Sichuan province. Perhaps most famously, the city is known for the world-renowned Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Founded in 1987, is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas, in addition to other rare mammals. The facility has partnered with numerous international research organizations to further the preservation of this iconic species. Yet this glorious metropolis has much to offer than simply the wonderful panda. It has been blessed with an expansive history dating to at least the 4th century BCE, when it served as the capital for the Shu Kingdom. Here are the top 5 historical attractions to visit while on your private Chengdu China tour.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

At over 2,000 years old, Dujiangyan Irrigation Project (also known as Dujiangyan Irrigation System) is a marvel of human ingenuity and a must-see on any private Chengdu China tour. Situated in Dujiangyan, which is a subdivision of the city, this extraordinary project is still in use today irrigating over 5,300 square kilometers (2,000 sq mi) of land in the region.

Construction on Dujiangyan Irrigation Project began during the Zhou dynasty, around 256 BCE. During this time-period, inhabitants along the Minjiang River had to contend with annual flooding which caused death and destruction. As a result, engineers hatched a brilliant plan to harness the Minjiang River, rather than simply damming it, as was the method in ancient times. The project redirected a part of the river, then was channeled through Mount Yulei, were it would then flow into the arid Chengdu Plain.

Taking years to complete, even today Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is regarded as a feat of ecological engineering. The irrigation project transformed this region of Sichuan into the most productive agricultural area in all of China.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project has tremendous historical and cultural significance for China. In 2000, UNESCO inscribed the irrigation project as a World Heritage Site.

Qingcheng Mountain

Located outside Chengdu, and south of Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, is the spectacular Qingcheng Mountain. Regarded as the birthplace of Taoism, this is a must-see historical attraction on any private tour of Chengdu China. Also known as Mount Qingcheng, it is actually a mountain range with 36 peaks, the highest being 1,260 meters above sea level.

Qingcheng Mountain has a history that stretches over two millennia. In 142 CE, a renowned Chinese philosopher named Zhang Ling was preaching in the region of Qingcheng. Drawn by the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the area, Zhang Ling founded the doctrine of Chinese Taoism. He believed the natural serenity of Qingcheng Mountain was the prime location for the development of Taoism. In the subsequent centuries during the Jin and Tang dynasties, a total of 11 temples were built on the mountain.

Qingcheng is divided into two sections – “Front Mountain” and “Back Mountain. Front Mountain covers at a total area of 15 square kilometers (3706 acres), with several cultural and historical sites. Back Mountain contains some historical sites and temples but is primarily a nature reserve offering majestic landscapes.

In 2000, Qingcheng Mountain was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site what for its incredible cultural significance. In the same year, the attraction was also declared a National Scenic Area.

Qingyang Temple

Situated in the northwestern part of Chengdu, is Qingyang Temple. As one of the most famous Taoist temples in China, Qingyang is a must-see historical attraction on any Chengdu China private tour. The temple was originally constructed during the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE), yet portions were unfortunately destroyed over the passage of time. The majority of the existing temple complex is restorations which occurred during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 CE), including Hunyuan Palace, Wuji Palace, Sanqing Hall, and the Eight Trigrams Pavilion. Many regard the Eight Trigrams Pavilion to be the most exquisite structure in the temple complex. The building was constructed as an octagon with a coloured dome on top. The ceiling is ornately decorated with various symbols, and the corridor to the building contains eight pillars containing reliefs of dragons.

Qingyang Temple contains numerous important Taoist relics within the complex walls. Some of the more renowned relics include a beautifully carved stone sculpture of Lu Dongbin, who was considered to be one of the Taoist Immortals, and wooden engraving of the Taoist scriptures.

Broad and Narrow Alleys

Situated in beautiful Chengdu is the stunning historical section known as Broad and Narrow Alleys. . Also known as “Kuanzhai Alley”, “Wide and Narrow Alley”, or “Wide and Narrow Lanes”, this area consists of three ancient alleyways and 45 different courtyards located along with them. With a rich history that spans centuries and is one of the metropolis’ most famous sites, Broad and Narrow Alleys are an incredible attraction that cannot be missed on your Chengdu China private tour.

The Broad and Narrow Alleys date from the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (1654 to 1722) during the Qing dynasty. The alleys were first constructed for Manchu soldiers stationed in Chengdu, They are actually three ancient alleys from the 18th century referred to as Kuan Alley, Zhai Alley, and Jing Alley. The three streets range from 5 to 8 meters in width, with some 45 courtyards situated off them at various locations. The area was principally residential until 2003 when the municipal government converted it into a combination of residences, tea-houses, restaurants, and art galleries.

Wenshu Monastery

Located in the Qingyang District of Chengdu, is the fantastically beautiful Wenshu Monastery. Considered to be the best-preserved and largest Buddhist temple in the city, it is a must-see historical attraction on your private tour of Chengdu China.

 Wenshu Monastery was built during Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD), and originally was called “Xinxiang Temple”. According to legend, the temple was built by a consort of Emperor Wendi (541 to 604AD). Over the coming centuries, the monastery was renamed numerous times. The literal translation of Wenshu means “Temple of Manjushri”.

The Wenshu Monastery complex covers a total area of 11,600 square meters, comprising several halls, pavilions, and a library. The complex contains over 190 rooms. Cultural and historical relics are the main highlight of Wenshu. The complex houses hundreds of Buddha statues, many, which have been, inscribed as important Sichuan cultural units.

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Sarah Bauder

Sarah has been extensive experience as a scribe, from travel writer to screenwriter, to a writer short stories. When she’s not doing one of those three things, she enjoys traveling, cooking, adventuring, reading, and anything involved being in (or under) water.
Sarah Bauder