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“A Romantic Place, Overpass Notwithstanding”

Sima Qian Ancestral Hall
Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
1,274 reviews
761 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,204 helpful votes
“A Romantic Place, Overpass Notwithstanding”
Reviewed 3 September 2011

We're not going to pretend that we had heard of Sima Qian before we had come to Shaanxi, but it seems that the guy was some kind of Chinese Herodotus: the father of Chinese history. His tomb, located on a suitably lonely outcrop above the Yellow River, has become a pilgrimage site for certain Chinese. Being in the vicinity, we decided to stop by for a look.

All things considered, this was the best bit of sightseeing we did in the Hancheng region. Set atop a rocky pinnacle, the tomb requires a bit of scramble uphill. Part of this is along an ancient road and road-cut, dating back some 1500 years. There are pines, cypresses, carved gateways, stone terraces and curving stairways, all of which makes this place seem like the home of a sage from a shaolin flick. The views back to the Yellow River don't hurt either, even if the whole landscape, like much of China, was on the smoggy side. The other modern touch was the three kilometre long overpass above the Yellow River. This was quite a remarkable structure in its own right, but it didn't add to the old-time historical mystique.

The tomb itself is a round, stone structure, split through the middle by an ancient tree. All in all, our visit here was the highlight of a trip to Hancheng.

Visited August 2011
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