Guilin Elephant Trunk Hill, China

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Elephant Trunk Hill

The Elephant Trunk Hill lies in the junction of the Yangjiang River and Lijiang River in Guilin. Also called the Elephant Hill because the shape of the whole hill is like the model of an elephant hanging its trunk and absorbing water.

There is a Water-moon Cave between the elephant trunk and elephant body of the Elephant Trunk Hill. The water flows into the cave directly and the small boat can easily pass from this cave.

If you select a good angle to take photos, you will look as if a little person was standing in front of the elephant mouth and next to its long trunk. The most interesting of all is: when there is full moon and the moon is bright as ever, the reflection creates a unique scene of "there is water inside the cave and on the water there is a moon".

Ancient scholar praised it as a strange illusion with poem:

"There is a moon at the bottom of the water;
on the water the moon floats.
Water is flowing away but the moon stays;
when the moon is gone the water still remain."

There is a pagoda built in Ming Dynasty (1386 ~ 1644A.D.) on the top of the Elephant Trunk Hill, called the Universal Wisdom Pagoda. From a distance, it looks like a precious bottle and yet like a short sword too, so people called it the Precious Bottle Pagoda or the Sword Hilt Pagoda.

There are over 50 stone carvings of Tang Dynasty (618 ~ 907A.D.) and Song Dynasty (960 ~ 1279A.D.) on the wall of the hill. The most famous are the stone carvings of Song "Poem Letter" written by the Song poet Luyou, "The Grave of Flowing Water and the Moony Cave" written by Fandacheng and "The Foreword of the Poet of Zhaoyang Pavilion" by Zhangxiaoxiang.

In fact, the Elephant Trunk Hill has a unique flavor in sunrise and sunset. Additionally, there is the Yunfeng Temple at the southwest foot of this hill. Legend shows this temple was build in Tang Dynasty and it was one of the four famous temples in Guilin.

During the period of Heavenly Kingdom of Peace (1850 ~ 1864A.D.), and the period of the Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in 1911, this temple plays the important role as gathering place for all the comrades. Therefore, there are many historical cultural relics in the temple. We suggest that after you visit the unique landscapes of the Elephant Trunk Hill, stop by and see the Yunfeng Temple.

When the army of the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace surrounded and attacked Guilin in 1852, they once bombarded on the Elephant Trunk Hill to the whole city. When the army withdrew, they misled the enemy with many scarecrows standing on the Elephant Trunk Hill like many soldiers carrying guns on the shoulder and waiting for orders.

This let the soldiers of Ch'ing Government shrink back at the sight if danger and they thought there are many soldiers standing ready in battle array and didn't dare to attack up to the hill. In the 17th year of Emperor Guangxu times, the Yunfeng Temple was rebuilt and changed the name "Fuyin Temple". Inside, there are displays of the historical materials such as the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace and the Revolution of 1911 and concerned cultural relics.