Elephant Trunk Hill
Elephant Trunk Hill Scenic Area
Elephant Trunk Hill Scenic Area is a five-star tourist attraction, reputed for its green mountains, clean water, spectacular caves and rocks. It is founded in 1986, and consists of elephant trunk hill, samantabhadra tower, and yunfeng temple. It is in the inner city of Guilin, and the junction of Li river and Taohua river. Its name is from its appearance like an elephant in drinking water. This attraction fully shows the landscape of Guilin, and it is a symbol of Guilin scenery.
In elephant trunk hill, there is a cave named Water and Moon Cave, which is naturally formed in crustal movement. It is a round cave between the elephant trunk and elephant leg, 17 meters long, 9.5 meters wide, 12meters high. This round cave looks like a moon, and its inverted image in water lookS like a moon floating in water which would change according to water flow and sunshine. Its fantasy has won lots of praises and admiring, and there are lots of poems and articles delicately describing the mingled scenery of water and cave. In the cave, there are over 50 stone inscriptions, and the biggest one is 257 centimeters high, and 754 centimeters wide, which criticizes Taiping Rebellion. Those stone inscriptions are key historic relics, and they are a part of stone inscription culture in Guilin.
Elephant eye cave, is in the hillside of the elephant trunk hill, 2 meters high, 52.8 meters long, and 5 to 10 meters wide, and hollow from the north side to the south side, like two eyes of an elephant. It is originally a underwater course, and has a longer history than Water and Moon cave. There are stone stairs in the south side leading to this cave, while the north side is cliffy and doesn't have stairs. Viewing from the south eye, you can see the city and its buildings, and viewing from the north eye, you may see the river and tower, and they are perfect observation decks .
Samantabhadra tower is built in the Ming Dynasty to worship samantabhadra. In China, there are two towers which are used to worship samantabhadra, one is in Mount Emei, and another is this one in Guilin. It inherits the feature of brick tower in Tibet culture, and has two floors of xumizuo in octagon, and 13.6 meters high. The design of octagon is from an ancient saying there are eight directions in total, and Samantabhadra hopes he can help all people and Buddhism can light the world of eight directions. It is located on the top of elephant trunk hill, and proves the saying of Samantabhadra's riding of elephant in Buddhism, which symbolizes peace and happiness. In the Buddhism doctrine, Samantabhadra is described as a controller of wisdom and morality, and his riding tool is elephant whose steps are a symbol of down-to-earth attitude.
Yunfeng temple was once the living place of Jianzhen monk, the creator of Japanese Buddhism, and also the commanding place of Taiping Rebellion. In the Tang Dynasty, Jianzhen monk tried to go to Japan to preach Buddhism and failed for five times, then he came Guilin from Fujian province, and lived in Yunfeng temple and preached Buhhdism in Guilin. One year later, he managed to go to Japan from Guilin for the sixth times. In 1852, Taiping Rebellion moved to Guilin, and the insurrectionary army besieged Guilin from three directions and Yunfeng temple became their commanding place in the one-month fight. Now, this temple has an exhibition hall about things used in Taiping Rebellion, like war flag, weapon and cannon.
Sanhua wine cellar is in the cave of this attraction, which has a constant temperature of 20 degree and it is suitable to store wine and liquor. It shows the brewing culture of Sanhua jiu, and becomes an intangible culture heritage.