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Miluo River

Miluo River

Miluo River (mì luó jiāng 汨罗江), located in northeastern Hunan Province, is the largest tributary of the Xiang River (xiāng jiāng 湘江) in the North of Hunan province. Miluo River has a length of 253km overall and covers a drainage area of 5543 square kilometers. The water has two sides of the upper reaches: the east one is originated from Xiushui county (xiū shuǐ xiàn 修水县) of Jiangxi Province (jiāng xī shěng 江西省); the west comes from the Longzhang Mountain (lóng zhāng shān 龙璋山) in the northeast of Pingjiang county (píng jiāng xiàn 平江县), Hunan Province (hú nán shěng 湖南省). The two tributaries converge at the west of Pingjiang county and continually westward till the Miluo City (mì luó shì 汨罗市) and finally empties into the Dongting Lake (dòng tíng hú 洞庭湖).

the upper reachesMiluo River is composed of the confluence of both south and north tributaries: the south is called Mi River (mì shuǐ 汨水), which is the main branch of the river; the north is named Luo River (luó shuǐ 罗水), which is originated in Yueyang County (yuè yáng xiàn 岳阳县), has a length of 88km and covers drainage area of 595 square kilometers. The two rivers become the Miluo river after joining in Daqiuwan (dà qiū wān 大丘湾), Miluo city. Miluo River's main tributaries are Changjiang River (chāng jiāng hé 昌江河), Zhima River (zhǐ mǎ hé 纸马河), Chedui River (chē duì hé 车对河), Zhongdong River (zhōng dòng hé 钟洞河), Mugua River (mù guā hé 木瓜河) and Huangjin Cave (huáng jīn dòng 黄金洞).

Miluo RiverThe river is known because of Qu Yuan (qū yuán 屈原), a very famous politician and poet of state Chu (chǔ guó 楚国) during the Warring States period. He had once lived on the Yusi Mountain (yù sì shān 玉笥山) beside the Miluo River when he was exiled. Since Qu Yuan was exiled by the King of Chu in the Dongting Lake area, never for a single minute did he not feel weighed down with worries about the fate of his country. At 278 BC, the city Ying (yǐng 郢), which is the capital of Chu (modern Hubei Jiangling County hú běi jiāng líng xiàn 湖北江陵县) was broken through by the enemy Qin. However, Qu Yuan was shocked to learn that the king of Chu had left his people and escaped to another country Chen (chén 陈). Thinking of his compatriots were suffering miserable plight in chaos caused by war, he was even more heavyhearted. The harsh reality had finally made him feel hopeless, the ideals and aspirations of his whole life have been wasted. Qu Yuan felt there was no hope of resisting the aggression and saving the nation, so he committed suicide at Miluo River in protest against the corruption of the era after finishing the last chapter of Li Sao (lí sāozongzi《离骚》). Miluo River's people paddled their boats into the river where Qu Yuan had sunk, willing to rescue the patriotic poet. Fears that Qu Yuan’s body would be nibbled by the fish and shrimps in the river, people threw Zongzi (a glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves zòng zi 粽子) into the river one after another. Therefore people formed the custom of the race of the dragon boat (sài lóng zhōu 赛龙舟) and eating Zongzi at the Dragon Boat Festival (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month duān wǔ jié 端午节) every year in memorizing the poet.

the custom of the race of the dragon boatThe corpse was retrieved from the water several days later with only a part of its head left after been bitten by fish and shrimps. So his daughter and son-in law mended Qu Yuan’s head with a half part of gold and buried him in the grave. His son-in laws worried that someone would dig the grave and steal the golden head, so he built 12 suspected mass graves (yí zhǒng 疑冢).

sunset on Miluo RiverOn the riverside, there left Quzi Temple (qū zǐ cí 屈子祠), Sao altar (sāo tán 骚坛), Qu Yuan Tombs (qū yuán mù qún 屈原墓群) and other monuments and relics. On the fifth day of every fifth lunar month, people hold grand dragon boat races on the Miluo River to commemorate the great patriotic poet Qu Yuan.

Admission fee: RMB 20
Traffic: You can get there from Yueyang city by train or car to get off at Miluo city.
Train: The trains from Yueyang to Miluo have 13 runs in total.
Hard-seat ticket price: RMB 5.5 /person   rapid: RMB 7 / person   air-conditioning: RMB 11 / person. It takes about an hour.
Car: Yueyang - Miluo RMB 15 / person
Last Updated on Friday, 09 October 2009 14:17

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