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Home East China Attractions Hangzhou Attractions Hangzhou Liuhe Pagoda

Hangzhou Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda)


Geographically, the downtown Hangzhou has three biggest waterway landmarks – West Lake, Grand Canal and Qiantang River. Among them, Qiantang River is the grandest and wildest. In the near future, the development of Hangzhou will center on the both sides of Qingtang River, exactly Qianjiang New City and Qianjiang Century City. It will be a natural center of Hangzhou, and the mannish aspect of Hangzhou. The tourism highlights of Hangzhou will move to the Qiantang River from the West Lake Scenic Area. Along the Qiantang River, the most famous cultural zone is Liuhe Pagoda.

Culturally, boasting the Southeast Buddhist State of China, Hangzhou deserves this commendation out of question just in the aspect of its huge number of Buddhist pagodas, some famous and some unknown. Other than the enormously notable Leifeng Pagoda, thought of as an honorable monk, and Baochu Pagoda, considered to be a slender beauty, Liuhe Pagoda is absolutely not inferior to either of them. In some way, Liuhe Pagoda erects its own unsurpassable enchantment and reputation in Buddhism and cultural circle of China. It is exactly in unison with the honor of Hangzhou. Unquestionably, Liuhe Pagoda should be detailedly and systematically introduced to anyone taking a reading in MILDCHINA.COM.

If we say approximately that Liuhe Pagoda is located on the southern side of West Lake Scenic Area, and close to this famous site nationwide, even worldwide, it will be a joke or nonsense. Why? Travelers who have been to Hangzhou certainly know majority of representative scenic spots or cultural sites of Hangzhou are densely situated around West Lake, which naturally include this relatively famous Pagoda titled Six Harmonies. However, if we portray specifically that Liuhe Pagoda is the neighbor of Qiantang River, it will be the true. In fact, Liuhe Pagoda is opposite to Qiantang River, and between both, it is a wide highway but not so hustle and bustle as others closer to West Lake. More should be mentioned is that near to Liuhe Pagoda, a branch of Zhejiang University, officially named Zhijiang Campus of Zhejiang University playing the part of center of Law and other secret importance. What is more, through climbing over a wild hill at the back of this campus, travelers can directly enter the scenic zone of Liuhe Pagoda free of charge. Ok, it is a secret actually, but I am willing to sharing with people who plan to visit this area, but if you want to get a free visit, the first trouble you face will be how to get through the check of campus guard. Good Luck!

Hangzhou Liuhe Pagoda   Travelers Visit Six Harmonies Pagoda

What Are Six Harmonies?

Liuhe Pagoda in Chinese is"六和塔", but many people also write it into"六合塔", Same prounociation in utterance but far different in meaning. The former translated into English is Six Harmonies, while the latter is Six Points. Furthermore, the different meanings of both are derived from different religious theories. Six Harmonies is from a famous sutra of Buddhism, named Ben Ye Ying Luo Jing(本业璎珞经), and a chapter is themed with Liu He Jing(Six Harmonies Respect, 六和敬), in which a word is highlighted with the interpretation of the title that: the harmony of bodies makes live together; the harmony of mouths eliminates quarrel; the harmony of competition brings the shared pleasure; the harmony of refrainment makes cultivation together come true; the harmony of viewpoints leads to the joint understanding; the harmony of interests brings the evenness. Six Points is originated dependably from Taoism, comprising Heaven, Earth, East, North, South and West, also someone supposes it is quoted from Jin Shu(晋书),the fifth state-compiled history among China's 24 official histories, and the original means The harmony of six Qi(气) would not give birth to disease and frustration, which literally owns the meaning of praying for harvest and peace via cultivating the morals. Actually, both of them are no exception to embodying the kind expectation for happiness and peace. If you really want to probe into who is closer to the truth, it will be overdone and meaningless, isn’t it?

Tourist Sites of Liuhe Pagoda

Liuhe Pagoda is actually a medium-size tourist zone inclusive of lots of interesting tourist sites. We list most of them below, which will be benefiting for your traveling in Hangzhou.

Building of Liuhe Pagoda. This is a main part of Liuhe Pagoda and tourists prefer climbing the pagoda. The pagoda is 60 meters high or so, and 13 floors seen outside and only 7 floors inside. The whole building looks so grand and magnificent. And 104 iron-made rings are hung on the eave corners. The inside carvings are so unbeatably great, themed with the flying birds, running animals, flying deities. It deserves a travel.

China Ancient Pagodas Museum. This is a collection of diverse styles of ancient pagodas designed and built in old China. It is located behind the Liuhe Pagoda, exactly on the both sides of the paths in the forest, which the walkers can follow and enter the Zhijiang Campus of Zhejiang University. It exhibits the famous mini statues of pagodas across the country and displays the achievements of ancient people’s architectural culture.

The Postcard themed with view of Liuhe Pagoda
The Old Postcard(1994) Themed with the Picturesque Scene of Hangzhou Liuhe Pagoda and Qiantang River Bridge

Qiantang River Bridge. This is a historically famous and influential bridge designed by Mao Yisheng crosses Qiantang River and connects today’s downtown Hangzhou and Binjiang District. It was built on August 8, 1934 and completed on September 26, 1937. This is China’s first double-deck bridge for highway and railway transportations. It boasts the oldest and strongest modern bridge of China.

Zhijiang Campus of Zhejiang University. This is the most beautiful campus in Hangzhou and a famous movie-taking site. The main buildings on campus strongly feature the modern architectural style. More to read at the Introduction to Zhijiang Campus of Zhejiang University >>>

Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies. Along the Zhijiang Road, this is a nice place for weekend outing and natural holiday in downtown Hangzhou. Walking and hiking along the creeks and gullies are considerably beneficial for entering the nature and having an intimate contact with the wild world. More to read at the Introduction to Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies >>>

Zhijiang National Tourist and Holiday Resort. This is a national level tourist resort located nearby the Liuhe Pagoda and Qiantang River; it is the nice destination for holiday and weekend enjoyment like the golf tour, tea village stay. More to read at The Introduction to Zhijiang National Tourist and Holiday Resort >>>

Legends of Six Harmonies Pagoda

qiantang river Hangzhou
Six Harmonies Pagoda has a long history, historically, it was built in 971 with over 1000 years of history.The reason for constructing Liuhe Pagoda is quite extraordinary, and it is not simply built for the sake of Buddhism but for putting down the barbaric wave of Qiantang River in accordance to some local historical records like Record of Xianchun Linan. Something special mentioned in book that Monk Yanshou, a late master and leader of Lingyin Temple, built this pagoda in line with its location in order to calm down the over-crazy wave, and this pagoda had nine stories and preserved a She Li(舍利,the most important treasure of Buddhism apart from sutras).

Story of Wu Zixu & Wen Zhong. Perhaps someone may ask why the wave of Qiantang River is so despotic. The reason is fairly associated with the history of Wu State and Yue State in Spring and Autumn Period. Wu Zixu(伍子胥), the authoritative marshal of Wu State prevailed on King Fu Chai(夫差) not making peace with Yue State after getting the final victory in the battle between Wu State and Yue State, but some wicked men's speaking ill of Wu Zixu together with the seeming compliance and deference of Yue State made Fu Chai in complacence and arrogance, in contrast, he began to suspect the loyalty of Wu Zixu due to a series of annoying and disrespected words and alarms from Wu Zixu. Eventually, Wu Zixu was executed and thrown into Qiantang River, but before the execution, Wu Zixu declared his eternal will of hanging eyes on the wall of town to see the overthrow of Wu State, and his body was covered with cloth and floated on Qiantang River and became the wave of anger and hatred. This is the side of Wu State. On the other hand, Official Wenzhong(文种) of Yue State donated six great solutions to helping King Gou Jian(勾践) overthrowing Wu State, but unfortunately, he was envied and suspected by King Gou Jian due to his unbelievable talents, and finally he was murdered as well in the excuse of unfounded cases. And Wenzhong's tomb was moved by wave of Zixu on a raning night. Since then, the waves of Qiantang River turned more and more dangerous and threatened the daily life of local residents. The local people said there were two waves each time, the front is Wave of Zixu, which is stout and full of valour, and the rear is Wave of Wenzhong, which is soft but dangerous.

Wu Zixu   Wen Zhong

Story of Liuhe Subdued Dragon King. Of course, this is the more believable legend written in some famous books like The Record of the Grand Historian and Spring and Autumn of Wu and Yue States. But in folk society, there is also another influential legend, which is themed with Six Harmonies Calm the River down. Anciently, a bad-tempered dragon king, used to be the guards of Buddha and bodhisattvas, lived under the Qiantang River and he always made many unreasonable and unexpected waves, which caused the overturning of fishing boats and submerged the farmlands. The residents nearby could not bear it at all. Under such circumstances, a fisherman's son named Liuhe made up a mind to fill the river with rocks and stones just as Jingwei's behavior to sea (精卫填海,a classic fairy tale in Chinese literature) so as to preclude the harms of Dragon King. Liuhe spent 49 days throwing the rocks and stones into river, and it eventually subdued the King of Dragon, so the descendant built a pagoda named after Liuhe in memory of the contribution of Liuhe to local people.

It was said that the construction of Liuhe Pagoda eased successfully the wave, and the whole river became mild. Additionally, in the past, Liuhe Pagoda also had the role of lighthouse for boats or ships on the river.

Further Reading at the History of Six Harmonies Pagoda >>>

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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