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Beijing Fragrant Hills Park: A Mix of Natural Scenery and Cultural Relics

2016-08-23 14:23:41Share:

  Fragrant Hills Park, located on the east foot of Beijing Western Hills in Haidian district, 20 km from the downtown area of Beijing, covers an area about 160 hectares. With a numbers of surrounding hills stretching up and down, the highest peak of fragrant hill is 557m in altitude. The name of the park comes from not the fresh air or aroma in the area, but in the shape of the hills themselves.It is shaped in an incense burner.There are two giant stones lying on its peak. From a distance, on a misty day, it looks pretty like a three-legged incense burner. The peaches, apricots, pears and lilacs may also be reason for the naming of fragrant hills. Travelers who come to the park can reach the peak on foot or a more easy way - by a cable car.

Fragrant Hills Park

 

  Being richly endowed by nature, the park has more than 280,000 various trees in it. Among them there are more than 5,800 ancient rare trees, which take up 1/4 of whole Beijing area.

 

  With a 98% forest coverage, the fragrant hills park is examined to an area with highest negative oxygen ion in recent years. Within the park, birds sing, streams flow, squirrels play with each other in green gaps, and all the things enjoy a harmony with nature.

http://www.beijing-haidian.com/2015/1203/34827.html

 

  In late fall, when hundreds of thousands of common maple trees turn red, the amazing scene is the most distinguished autumn scenery. From the peak of fragrant hills, the winding Yongding River like a white silk belt fluttering among the western valleys, the Marco Polo Bridge on the river, Shijing Mountain, the Summer Palace and Jade Spring Mountain can all be seen from here, and on a clear day one can even make out the skyline of Beijing.

 

  History

 

  In 1186 of the Jin Dynasty, the Xiangshan Temple was built here and for a period served as the emperors traveling lodge. In 1745, Emperor Qianlong had a number of large halls; pagodas, memorial archways and leisure pavilions built and changed the name of the area to Jingyiyuan.

 

  Unfortunately, almost every trace of this landscape architecture was burned or destroyed by the Anglo-French forces and the eight-Power Allied Forces in the 19th and early 20th centuries. After 1949, it was renamed Fragrant Hills Park.

 

  Attraction spots

 

  Fragrant hills park is rich in cultural relics and historic sites and a lot of terraces, pavilions and pagodas are scattered there. among them ,there are Temple of Azure Clouds demonstrating a architecture combining Qing style an Ming style; The sole wooden gilding "500-arhat Hall" in the country; Bright Temple which was built in 1780 as a residence for the Sixth Bainqen Erdeni when he visited Beijing; Palace of Tranquil Heart which is characterized by South-styled elegance; Shuangqing Villa where Gaozehdong and the center of Chinese Communist Party 's office located when they entered Beijing; Temple of Azure Clouds Giant Throne Tower where Doc. Sunyetsin 's coffin was placed, Western Hills Snow which is more of Yanjing Eight Scenes.

 

  Recommended Routes

 

  Many temples and scenic spots are scattered around the hill. Tourists usually take two routes to explore the whole park. The first choice is to go along the path northward and then turn left, where you will see Luminous Temple (Zhaomiao).

 

  Next to the Bright Temple, Studio of Tranquil Heart, down the path to the east, there is a clear lake. The other route goes to the southern part.

 

  Its main attractions include: Tranquility Green Lake, Shuangqing Villa, Ruins of Fragrant Temple, the Jade Flower Villa, the Ruins of Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills) and Incense Burner Peak.