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Zhongwei - A Rendition of The Buddhist Hell

Zhongwei

Zhongwei (zhōng wèi 中卫) where isLocated at the middle west of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (níng xià huí zú zì zhì qū 宁夏回族自治区), Zhongwei borders Inner Mongolia (nèi méng gǔ 内蒙古) Autonomous Region in the north, Wuzhong (wú zhōng 吴中) in the east, Gansu Province (gān sù shěng 甘肃省) and Guyuan (gù yuán 固原) in the south. It is one of the most important traffic hubs in northwest China. Covering an area of 17,000 square kilometers, Zhongwei has a population of 1.012 million, 31.7% of which are ethnic groups and most of them are Hui (huí 回) ethnic group. Map
 
History
Zhongwei SandThirty thousand years ago, human settlers lived there. Before the Qin (qīng 清) Dynasty (221BC-206BC) established a shire to administrate this area, it was inhabited by ancient ethnic minorities, including Qiang (qiāng 羌) and Rong (róng 容). By the Ming (míng 明) Dynasty (1368-1644), the name of Zhongwei was in use.   
 
Climate
By the influence of temperature zone continental climate with desert feature, Zhongwei has abundant sunshine and relatively little rainfall. The yearly average temperature is 7.4 and in spring, it is cold and dry with fierce sandy weather. And in summer, it is hot and dry with large temperature range between day and night whereas in fall, it is a little bit cold.
 
Language in Zhongwei
In Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the dialect of Zhongwei is a particular case, which is apparently different from the dialect in Shaanxi Province (shǎn xī shěng 陕西省), Gansu Province (gān sù shěng 甘肃省) and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and it is also different from the dialect in Wuzhong and Yinchuan (yín chuān 银川) of the same province. The phenomenon formed a unique cultural feature in Zhongwei.
 
Physical Features
The terrain of Zhongwei declines from the west to the east and from the south to the north. Mountains and loess hills constitute most of the city's territory. Generally, desert, alluvial plain, terraces, mountains and basin are the main types of the city’s landform. The Yellow River flows through the northwestern part of the city.  The best to go is May to October 
 
Attractions
ShapotouShapotou (shā pō tóu 沙坡头) where is located 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of downtown Zhongwei, Shapotou is a 2,000-meter (2,187) long and 100-meter (328 feet) high sand mound on the northern bank of the Yellow River, at the southern edge of the Tengger Desert (téng gé lǐ shā mò 腾格里沙漠). It is also an echoing sand mountain, singing as people slide down the slope.  
 
Admission Fee: CNY 70 
 
High Temple
High TempleHigh Temple which named Gaomiao (gāo miào 高庙) and located in northern Zhongwei County, High Temple represents a unique amalgamation of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Construction was completed during the Ming  Dynasty (1368–1644) and was subsequently repaired in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). The present structure is composed of the Baoan (bǎo ān 宝安) and High Temples. Baoan is a Buddhist Temple. It has a mountain gate facing south and rooms on each side similar to a phoenix spreading its wings. The Hall of Mahavira stands in the front. 
 
The High Temple can be reached by ascending 24 stairs. Visitors will see archways, Southern Heavenly Gate, Wuyue (wú yuè 吴越) Hall, Jade Emperor Hall, and Heavenly Mother Hall in succession. On the two sides of the temple lie the symmetrically shaped Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Lingguan (líng guān灵官) Hall, Literary Tower and Military Tower. These compact structures all feature Taoist architecture. There is an elaborate sound and light show under the temple’s platform conveying what hell must be like. This startlingly vivid presentation is frightening, but is also intended to be educational.
 
Admission Fee: CNY 20
 
Transportation
By Air:  There is no airport in Zhongwei and if passengers prefer to take flight, the nearest airport is Yinchuan Hedong Airport (yín chuān hé dōng jī chǎng 银川河东机场).
 
By Train:  Located at the west of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Zhongwei at the conjunction of many railways and it is the vital city of Bao (bāo 包)-Lan (lán 兰) Railway and Gang (guǎng 广)-Wu (wǔ 武) Railway as well as Bao (bǎo 宝)-Zhong (zhōng 中) Railway and it is also the core station to link northwest and eastern China. The trains to Beijing (běi jīng 北京), Shanghai (shàng hǎi 上海), Xining (xī níng 西宁), Hohhot (hū hé hào tè 呼和浩特), Xi’an (xī ān 西安), Yinchuan, Lanzhou (lán zhōu 兰州) and Chengdu (chéng dōu 成都) are available.
 
By Bus:  The traffic hub function of Zhongwei is not only important in Ningxia but of great importance in northwest China for GZ25, GZ35, GZ45 National Highway link Xijiang (xīn jiāng 新疆) and Hexi Corridor (hé xī zǒu láng 河西走廊) with eastern area via Zhongwei. Besides, Yin (yǐn 尹)-Ping (ping 平) road, Zhongjing Road, No.109 national Highway, Zhong-He Highway are also traffic ligament between Zhongwei and other areas.
 
Travel Tips
1. From the Yinchuan bus station at the South Gate, buses to Zhongwei depart once an hour and arrive in about three hours. In addition, direct buses to Shapotou and the High Temple are also available in this bus station as well as in the tourism bus station at the North Gate.

2. Zhongwei Bus Station is located in Chengdong Dajie (chéng dōng dà jiē 城东大街), Shapotou District. Otherwise, the High Temple is near the railway station, from which the temple can be reached by foot.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 October 2010 02:44
 

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