Dujiangyan City and Famous Irrigation System

Dujiangyan City

A county-level city, Dujiangyan City is located in the west of Chengdu City and has a distance of 48 kilometers from downtown. The city is well-known for its Dujiangyan Irrigation System or the Origin of the Land of Abundance.

Weather and When to Go

The city is situated in a subtropical tropical monsoon climate zone of Sichuan Basin. The climate, being not too hot nor cold, makes it a great place to settle and live. The average temperature in the coldest month is 4.6℃. On the other hand, the average temperature during the hottest month is at 24.4℃. Its average rainfall in a year falls at 1,243.8 millimeters.

The months of April to October are the best time to visit Dujiangyan. Tourists can enjoy the city’s summer resort during summer, as well as its beer festival called Hongkou drifting held during summer nights. Visiting the irrigation system as well as Mount Qingcheng is possible even during the hottest time since they maintain a cool weather all year round.

Transportation

The city has no airport but the closest one is the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport located 70 km from the city. Tourists can ride a direct bus line from the airport to the Dujiangyan Bus Station. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 3o minutes.

If you are coming from Chengdu, a faster way to go to Dujiangyan is to ride the bullet bus from Chengdu North Railway Station which can shorten the travel time to 30 to 50 minutes. On the other hand, buses in Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station can take you the city after an hour.

The city is quite small and the public buses often go to the different attractions located in Dujiangyan. Taxis can also be ridden when traveling around the city.

Where to Stay

The city has different kinds of accommodations that the tourists can choose from. It has cheap hostels for the budget travelers and high-end hotels for those looking for a luxurious stay. Many of the accommodations are located on Jianshe Road, Dujiangyan Avenue, and Guanjing Road. Prices of the hostels and hotels tend to increase as they become closer to the scenic sites and during peak times like summer and holidays.

 

Dujiangyan City Tourist Spots

  1. World Heritage Sites – Two of the World Heritage Sites are located in Dujiangyan namely the Dujiangyan Irrigation System and the Mount Qingcheng, a popular Taoism mountain of China.
  2. Giant Pandas – Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base or Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) is located in Shiqiao Village of Qingchengshan Town. It aims to improve the living condition and ecological protection of Pandas.
  3. Summer Resort – A popular place to visit during summer where locals and tourists can unwind and enjoy the heat.
  4. Confucius Temple – The Confucius Temple in Dujiangyan is the only living temple in China where you can experience the traditional Six Arts namely Rites, Music, Archery, Calligraphy, Mathematics, and Charioteering.
  5. Jiezi Ancient Town – The hometown of Tang Qiu, a Ladle Poet during the Tang Dynasty, Jiezi Ancient Town is also known as the “Back Garden of Mount Qingcheng” and “Hometown Orchid”.

 

Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Located in the Minjiang River of Dujiangyan City, on the western part of the Chengdu Plain, Dujiangyan Irrigation System is 56 kilometers from Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province in China.

It is considered as the most successful technological achievement of old China because of the benefits it gives to the city’s local people ever since it was built 2,300 years ago. Besides from being an effective irrigation system, it also prevents the annual flooding of the Min River basin. In the ancient times, the ancient Shu State became famous because of the irrigation system and was known as the “land of abundance”. It has been playing a vital role in the agricultural sector of the country and even survived the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

Regarded as the forerunner of the world conservancy culture, Dujiangyan Irrigation System was delegated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in the year 2000.

 

Origin of Dujiangyan Irrigation System

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System was designed and constructed in the middle of 200 B.C. It is one of the oldest and the only non-dam irrigation system across the world that is still operational until today.

More than 2,000 years ago, there were constant flooding in the region of Dujiangyan caused by the Minjiang River which is a tributary of the Yangtze River. To prevent the flooding without closing the waterway for the military vessels, a local official of Sichuan Province, Li Bing, together with his son, proposed the construction of an artificial levee. The levee will redirect a portion of the river’s flow and cut a canal through Mount Yulei. The excess water will then be discharged to the dry Chengdu Plain and beyond.

Li Bing received a budget from King Zhao of the Qin Dynasty and together with ten thousands of men, completed the system after eight years of work and perseverance. Since then, the system prevented flooding in the city and made way for the progressive agricultural economy of China.

Bottle-shaped Water Intake,one of the three main parts of Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Main Attractions

Water Projects

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is subdivided into three water projects, namely Yuzui, Feishayan, and Baopingkou.

  • Yuzui: A water-dividing dike, Yuzui is designed in order to divide the Ming River into two separate parts. The Outer River, which is the western part, is used to drain off the waters from the flood. On the other hand, the Inner River, located in the eastern part, is the one used for irrigation.
  • Feishayan: A flood discharge project, Feishayan was the key project that protects the Chengdu Plain from flooding. It mainly functions as a flood discharge, desilting and regulating the flow of the water. When there are overflows of water from the third project, Baopingkou, the excess water will overflow to Feishayan.
  • Baopingkou: A diversion project, Baopingkou functions as a control valve. It has the ability to control the flow of the water in the Inner River automatically. It is a famous attraction since the old age due to its stunning natural scenery.

Erwang Temple

Located at the hillside on the right bank of Ming River, the Erwang Temple is used to commemorate the works done of Li Bing and his son for the irrigation system. In the current time, the sculptures of Li Bing and his son are found in the main hall of the temple and the stone wall of the temple was inscribed with different water control words that were passed down from the Qin Dynasty. The Erwang Temple is composed of a temple in the western part and a garden in the eastern part. It has a total area of 50,000 m2 and an architectural area of 10,000 m2. Tourists can go to Erwang Temple to have a panoramic view of the whole Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

Fulong Temple

Fulong Temple was built during the Jin Dynasty as a commemoration of the leader of Tianshi Taoism, Fan Changsheng. It is located in the Lidui Park and was later also used to commemorate Li Bing. A stone statue of Li Bing, carved during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220) and excavated from the river in 1974, is placed in the front hall of the temple. The best place to overlook the panoramic view of Feishayan, Yuzui, and Anlan Suspension Bridge is the lookout pavilion of Fulong Temple.

Yulei Mountain

Sitting on the east side of Erwang Temple, Yulei Mountain is covered by tall and lush ancient trees. One section of the mountain is where the ancient Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is located. Locals usually come here to walk and do their morning exercise. A pavilion called Yulei Pavilion is located at the top of the mountain. It has a pseudo-classic architecture and a perfect view of the Dujiang Irrigation System and the whole of Dujiangyan City.

Anlang Suspension Bridge

Anlan Suspension Bridge, one of the top five bridges in ancient China, is located in Yuzui and crossing the Inner and Outer Rivers. It was initially built during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) as was rebuilt in the year 1974. Many tourists are having fun swinging the bridge as they walk on it. It is also a great place where you can take photographs with stunning backgrounds.

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