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Factfile
Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
location
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
Administrative divisions
Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
History
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
One of the “Eight Ancient Sights” in Natural and Beautiful Chongyang—Gexiandan Well
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 11-05-31
 

  Chongyang has beautiful nature scene and strong atmosphere of history and culture. The “Eight Ancient Sights” has been recorded in the history for more than 600 years since Yang Bing, a person of the Yi nationality who compiled The Record of Emperor Xuande in Ming Dynasty, and it has become a perfect record about the culture of mountain and water in Chongyang. As time pass by, although the “Eight Ancient Scene” has changed, the cultural features of which are still as new as before in the people’s heart of Chongyang. It has become the spiritual food of people to keep happy and calm and it’s a pride of local people.

  Gexian Mountain is located at the place which is far away from the northern county, belonging to the branch of Damu Mountains and bordering to Chibi. At the bottom of the mountain there are some historic sites like “Gexian Stone Cave”, “Gexian Cherry Garden” and so on. On the top of the mountain is the Gexian Altar, in the west of which locates the natural stone ovens and stone well which are made by nature. The spring in the well never dries up. According to the legend, in the era of Emperor Jinyuan (namely Sima Rui, 276 AD—322 AD), the personality of Taoism, Ge Hong and his disciples once cultivated themselves in the Gexian Stone Cave for eight years. Finally they became immortals. They cultivated themselves and carried out Taoist alchemies, and eventually achieved themselves. So the futurities built Gexian Temple, stone pagoda and stone house, and carved stone statue to honor him. Before 1933, the Red Army troops of workers and peasants stationed in the area around Gexian Temple and made the ancient temple as the base. In 1933, the White Bandits (namely the Nationalist Party) set fire to burn down the ancient temple which was one thousand years old.

  The former address of Gexian Temple which has been restored is a monastery. The temple is a concrete iron structure with two entrance doors. It locates in the south and faces the north, covering an area of two acres. The gates are circular, and the top of the door is drawn Tai Chi diagram, the Eight Diagrams, etc., and the pillar of the door is carved with antithetical couplets: “The trace of Caiyao Peak is still high, and the mark of Alchemy Well is still limpid.” Climbing along the rugged and rough mountain road in front of the temple for about 100 meters to the top of the Tajian Mountain, you will come to the place where Ge Hong made Chinese alchemies. The top of the mountain is level, it has many strange stones, and covers about one acre. At the top of the mountain stands a square stone pagoda as high as around two zhang (namely 0.3 meters). In front of the stone pagoda engraves Ge hong's life introduction. Before the pagoda there is an herbal garden. It is said once Ge Hong picked and collected a variety of herbs, and then established them in the garden to make pharmacy to cure diseases. In the east of the stone pagoda from the east there is an 8-feet square stone chamber where it is said Ge Hong made Chinese alchemies and cultivated his morality. On both sides of the door of the stone pagoda engraves: “There is a knack to change skins and go to the paradise, and there is a saying to come up and let the stone speak.” Inside the chamber stand several stone arhats. In the west of the pagoda bulges a huge narrowing boulder, at the waist of which there are several karst caves like hives. In a small karst cave that only the half of the body of a stand-up person can enter there is an oblong shaped stone well, whose water depth is less than one meter. The water of the well is always full but not spills, and never dries out, which is called Gexiandan Well. According to legend, there was no water on the mountain when Ge Hong made Chinese alchemies. One day, he came down the mountain for water, and met an old woman carried a bamboo basket, inside which put a broken bowl, walking with a cane and staggering up the top of the mountain with effort. Seeing this, Ge Hong voluntarily carried the old woman to the top. When the old woman was put down, the bowl suddenly flew out of the basket, falling at the foot of the huge stone boulder at the pagoda. Looking down, Ge Hong found a stream of clear water flowing out of the swallet, and the broken bowl turned into a stone well. Ge Hong overjoyed, but the old woman was gone, only to find that a Buddhism Goddess Guanyin carried a basket full of flower, flying to the south. From then on, people lived on the top of the mountain had water to drink, and whoever went up the mountain for cure would get well. Up to now, the water of Gexiandan well is still full but not spills and never dried out. (Written by Wang Mingliang) 


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