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Hangzhou Tiger Spring


As one of China’s best known three springs, Tiger Spring or Running Tiger Spring(虎跑泉) has been on the list of the New Top Ten of West Lake Views – Dreaming of Tiger Spring at Hupao Valley(虎跑梦泉) is described in details as below. It has a lot more historical interests to show: Once you enter the gate and step on an uphill path, you will find yourself in a quiet and refreshing atmosphere. The path is called Tiger Spring Path. Lined with tall pine trees, green upon green, the path winds its way up to serenity, the gurgling of the stream and the singing of the birds will make you feel as if in a place like Shangri-la. Ranking first among the scenes in this area, the path was known for its poetic description – Long is Tiger Spring Path flanked with venerable pine trees.

The Classical Building in Running Tiger Spring Scenic Area   The Tiger Statues in Running Tiger Spring Scenic Area

Jade Belt Pond (玉带池) – this 660-square-meter (7,104-square-foot)pond, built with stones on four sides, is fed by a ever-bubbling fountain. It never dries up. A school of fish is seen swimming gaily around. Here was once a screen called goldfish breasting the ripples.

Laizhang Bridge (来杖桥) – Flanked on both sides by the sun pond and the moon pond enclosed with stone railings, this stone bridge looks like a jade belt and a pretty picture. The pond water is not fit to drink, but for fish only.

Cloudy Bridge (泊云桥) – Sometimes seen to be suspending or anchored in clouds, the bridge appears to be partly covered by cloud or mist. Actually, the bridge is flanked by the sun pond and the moon pond. The water stored in the ponds oozes down the ravine. Along it there are descendants of spiral shells which, caught for food, were set free by the monk Ji Gong . Besides the ponds cluster ancient trees. Take a break there, and you will feel nice and cool.

Sunlight Pavilion (含晖亭)- Facing Jade Emperor Hill, the pavilion is bathed in the sunlight at sunrise. The scene is called the early morning sun radiating splendidly.

Luxuriant Green Pavilion (滴翠轩)- The name of the pavilion is taken from the nearby luxuriant green cliff. Nine hundred years ago, the noted Northern Song poet Su Dongpo visited the spot twice, where you sampled the spring water and wrote a special poem. The original words “Luxuriant Green Pavilion” is the inscription of Su Dongpo.

Luxuriant Green Cliff (滴翠崖)- The cliff features luxuriant green and dripping water. Cool and refreshing, a light breeze blows gently. From the left side of the cliff is the source of the Tiger Spring. That is the very place where the Tang Dynasty monk Huan Zhong was said to see two tigers keep clawing a hole until the spring water bubbled up.

The Arhat Hall (罗汉堂) – Formerly a drum tower, the hall was built in the fourteenth century. It was abolished later. During the early period of the Republic of China, the monks in Tiger pring Temple modeled arhats after the statues of 500 arhats in the Stone House Cave and placed them inside the rebuilt hall. Hence the name. it was abolished again in 1966. The year 1983 saw the reconstruction of the hall and the line engraving of 500 arhats.

Dreaming of Tigers (梦虎)- Tiger Spring stems from the fairy tale in which Boy’s Spring water in the Southern Mountain was brought over here by two tigers. The sculpture of a monk dreaming of tigers was cast in 1983 to embody the tale. Dreaming of Tigers is inscribed by the well known scholars Gu Tinglong, while Tigers Carrying the Spring Water over Here is by Sha Menghai, a noted calligraphist.

The cliff carvings in Running Tiger Spring   The wall with the name of Hu Pao Quan

Monk Ji Gong Memorial (济祖塔院) – Ji Gong was born in Tiantai, Taizhou, Zhejiang province, in the Southern Song Dynasty. His non-religious name was Li Xiuyuan, while his religious name Dao Ji. He started a monastic life at Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou and later moved to live in Temple of Pure Benevolence for a long time before passing away at Tiger Spring Temple. The memorial is his burial place. Across the main hall is a semicircle court. On the courtwall are carved five relief sculptures about popular stories of Ji Gong, known as a Robin Hood in China. The sculpture in the middle is a lifelike portrait of Ji Gong. The rest from left to right are Ji Gong Holding a Cricketfight, Ji Carrying Timber from the Ancient Well, a Tale of Peaking Flying from Afar, and the Crazy Monk Sweeping the Treacherous Prime Minister. Ji Gong has long been popular among the Chinese both at home and abroad. A movie actor known for playing the part of Ji Gong once made a donation to the renovation and extension project of this historic site.

Great Nobility Pavilion (仰止亭)- Built in 1984, it is a hip-roofed square pavilion with stone railings. The meaning of this name is derived from two lines from the earliest Book of Poetry- “you are good like mountains high/like the road you go long” – to acknowledge the great nobility of the character of Master Li Shutong.

Green and Shady Hall (翠樾堂)- No long before, a new program has been featured to let the lost music be heard again and let the golden sound reecho. This special place i called Cuiyue Hall. Green and Shady Hall houses ancient chimes and other traditional Chinese musical instruments, such as zheng (a 25-stringed plucked instrument), and xiao (a vertical bamboo flute), Sheng (a reed pipe wind instrument), and gu (a drum). With time-honored song and dance and music are vividly represented folk feelings of the Kingdom of Chu(11th century – 256 BC) and graceful imperial court dance. The scenic spot features murmuring Tiger Spring accompanied by the sonorous sound of chimes. Here, one might be able to appreciate how ancient Chinese felt about “listening to a melodious tune from peaceful ravines when the string instrument was plucked and hearing the soughing of the wind in the pines when the drum was sounded”

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 The Travel Guide of Hangzhou

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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