20 Oktober 2011

Shanjuan Cave – the Refuge of the Legendary Sage

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With the sheer size and diversity of its landmass, it is no surprise that China is home to many interesting sites that are of unique geological and topographical features that are amazing to behold. Most of these unique locations also boast a fair share of local myths and legends associated with them reaching back into a time beyond history, so if you’re on a trip to China its worth to check up on at least a few of them. Once such place you can visit in the eastern reaches of the country is the legendary cave of Shanjuan near Wuxi, in the province of Jiangsu.

Shanjuan caves are named after the tribe known by the same name which used to live in the cave region around the 8th century BCE and there is evidence that the tribesmen used the cave as a refuge during spring and autumn. However, the story that earns Shanjuan Caves a place among the mythical is a rather different story from that of the tribe. Around 5000 years ago, it is said that a sage of great wisdom who was named Shanjuan; which might imply that he was a member of the tribe or one of its predecessors, shunned the world and made these caves his refuge.

According to legend, he did not even come out to meet the King when he sought an audience with him. Whatever be the truth behind these stories, the fact remains that Shanjuan Caves are an awe inspiring natural cave system in limestone that is not to be missed during your time at Wuxi.

The cave system at Shanjuan is quite extensive for it is spreads itself across three distinct levels, of which the levels two and three are open for the public. The caves go deeper than 500 meters, and at the entrance you will find to be along the second level through a 1000 square meter cave adorned with ancient poetic calligraphy from Liang and Tang dynasties. It also features 7 meter high stalagmites; natural limestone formations formed by trickling water, which is quite a sight to behold. The lowest cave is known as the waterfall cave and to add to the thrill of the exploration, you can only access this place on a short boat trip.

If you plan to stay at a Wuxi hotel it is easier to get up to the Shanjuan Caves. Luxury hotels Wuxi city is home to the Millennium Wuxi, a premier accommodation provider that offers good deals all year round.