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Home Hangzhou Attractions Ten Classic Views of West Lake Huagang Guanyu

Huagang Guanyu (Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor) Introduction


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Huagang Guanyu(花港观鱼, Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor) is one of ten top classic views of Hangzhou West Lake highlighted with flowers, harbor and fishes. It is located on a little isle between xili part of the lake(西里湖) on the west of the south section of the Su Causeway and Little South Lake(小南湖). In accordance with the historical record, there used to be a small stream at the foot of Huajiashan Hill(花家山, the hill of flower family), and it flowed in West Lake. And on both sides of the stream, there are diverse flowers and trees were planted, and the flower and leaves usually fell into the stream, and therefore, it was named Huagang or Harbor of Flower. Ma Yuan, who has been introduced in the article of Quyuan Fenghe, created a themed painting with this site, and it made this view widely famous. There are two verses in a poem of Emperor Qianlong mainly depicting the beauty of this site like this:

花家山下流花港 – Harbor of Flowing Flowers at the foot of Huajia Hill
花著鱼身鱼嘬花 – Flowers on the fishes, and fishes bite the flowers

The Highlights of Huagang Guanyu
-Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor

Anciently, this site was comprised of one pond, one stele and a certain area. After extension and reconstruction, the area was extended to approximately 300 mu. The landscapes in the scenic area are highlighted with Yule Guan(鱼乐观, the pavilion of pleasure from viewing the fishes), Mudan Pavilion(牡丹亭, the pavilion of the orchid), Huagang(花港, the harbor of flowers), lawn and forest. The main site is Yuele Garden, in which tens of thousands of red carps with golden scales are raised. If the travelers throw some grubs or applause aloud, the fish groups will gather to get the grubs or jumping up. They even make the half surface of the lake red.

In the Changqing reign of Tang Dynasty (821-824), Monk Huicheng(惠澄) of Kaiyuan Temple took back a peony flower to Hangzhou, and since then, peony firstly appeared in Hangzhou. Currently, the best site to view the peony, the peony garden of Huagang Guanyu is the first option in Hangzhou. The famous varieties of peonies in Hangzhou are The Drunk Concubine Yang(酒醉杨妃) and Three Changes of Charming Face(娇容三变) .

In Song Dynasty, official Yun Sheng(允升) built his own private garden at the foot of Huajia Mountain, and he introduced the water into his garden to raise the five-color fishes for appreciation. After a long time, this site was popular. At the time, it was also called Luyuan Garden, and also called Huagang due to its location near to Huajia Mountain. In 1699, the thirty-eighth reign year of Emperor Kangxi, he visited West Lake and inscribed the name of the site onto a stele, and this is the imperial stele of Huagang Guanyu. But there are some people thought the characters on stele were inscribed by Emperor Qianlong, the grandson of Emperor Kangxi. It was said that Emperor Qianlong intentionally changed the way of writing of Yu(鱼), which is traditionally written to be”魚”, the bottom is comprised of four dots, and means the flower. Emperor Qianlong changed it to be three dots to mean the water. It showed the wish of Emperor Qianlong that the life of common people had been smooth and happy.

The latest resurfacing time was in 1964. And the basic zones were settled. It is opposite to Leifeng Pagoda and Jingci Temple

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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