Yinchuan City is the capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and one of the well known historical and cultural cities in China. It is also one of the cities at the intersection where the of the great bend of the Yellow River and the culture of Silk Road join together, which is the most charming and promising city for the development of tourism. The city has a long history of about 1500 years. The city covers 3499 square km with a population of about 1.1775 million. And the population of Hui is 233100, and 807400 residents live in the urban area.
Yinchuan, once as the capital of Western Xia, boasts the mausoleum of Western Xia, the largest cultural relic, and many other cultural relics on the ground and underground. In 1986, it was designated by State Council as a state cultural and historical city. Yinchuan has long been honored as a lush southern style land beyond the Great Wall, where the Yellow River runs through it from south to north. Its vast fields are crisscrossed by waterways, and dotted with lakes and woods, presenting a landscape more beautiful than that in south China.
Yinchuan is a newly emerging industrial city. Making full use of its natural recourses around and energy advantage, the city has built up a modern industrial system. It is also one of the national 20 or more irrigation areas with the most advanced facilities. The city's general target of construction is to build up a modern city be the Great Wall, taking modern agriculture tourism industries as the lead in industrial sector.
Yichuan Chengtian Temple Pagoda(Ningxia Museum)
Museum pagoda is located southwest of the old of Yinchuan city. It is in the temple of Chentian, hence the name, or known as West Xia. It was first built in the third year of the region of Emperor Huanzong of Western Xia, has a history of more than 930 years. The pagoda is constructed with bricks in an octagonal shape with 11 floors, 64.5 meters high. From the corner of its sharp and outstretching eaves hang bells, which ring in the wind. The summit of a green glazed triangle steeple in the shape of a peach, in antique model, bright and rude. Tourists may ascend to it to have a distant view the old city and the landscape beyond the Great Wall. The original pagoda was damaged earthquake in the year of 1738. The present was rebuilt in 1820.
In the temple, halls and houses are arranged before and after the pagoda, involving two courtyards. The pagoda sits in the front courtyard. A flower pattern brick carved gate at west rear of the pagoda leads to the second courtyard, where the Weituo Hall and the Hall of declining Buddha lie. It is, together with the Protect-the-nation Temple (in Wuwei, Gansu) and the Reclining Buddha Temple (in Zhangye, Gansu) known as the sacred Buddhist temples in the Western Xia period.
Ningxia Museum is located within the temple too. Exhibitions of the Ningxia revolutionary history, the history of Western Xia regime, Mt. Helanshan rock carvings and Hui custom and way of life are arranged.
Yinchuan Haibao Pagoda (North Pagoda)
The pagoda is situated on the northern outskirts of Yinchuan city, 1.5 km away from the city proper, or known as North Pagoda. According to historical record, it was rebuilt by Helian Bobo (king of Da Xia state, 407-427), so it is also called He Pagoda. Now it is one of the key historical relics protected by the state.
The pagoda is standing between the Mahavira Hall and the Weituo Hall. It is a typical Buddhist temple. In the temple, there are lively statues of Buddha sitting in the smokes of incense. In the tall hall, a reclining Buddha statue is placed, which is 7.6 meters long and in solemn appearance. Behind it, there are the statues of the ten disciples of the Buddha, painted in color, and modeled in different looks. This design of the statues presents a scene that Sakyamuni gives his death-bed will to his disciples.
The Haibaota Pagoda is the main construction in the temple. It is a square tower of brick built in nine floors with 11 levels, 53.9 meters high. The design is unique with curved doors on the four sides of each floor and the door is flanked by concave eaves. In the pagoda, the square rooms are separated with wood beams and floor planks. Climbing 154 steps along the wood staircase, tourists can reach the summit, where they can see the towering Mt. Helanshan in the west like a running horse, and the oriental ancient Yellow River like a large flying dragon.
Yinchuan Pavilion of Jade Emperor
Situated in the center of the old site of Yinchuan city, the pavilion was first built in the Ming Dynasty, but destroyed by earthquake in the period of the reign of Emperor Gaozong of Qing. After that, it was reconstructed in the old site of Gulou (Drum Tower). And a bronze statue of Jade Emperor was placed in it, hence the name. In front of the pavilion, there is a street garden, called "Ning Yuan." The layout of the garden is ingeniously and delicately wrought. It is dotted with artificial hills and lakes, and it has meandering footpaths leading to reclusive places. There are also forest of tablets and wall paintings.
Yinchuan Nanguan Mosque
The mosque sits at the southeast corner of the old city proper. It was first built in the late years of Ming. The present Nanguan Mosque was rebuilt in 1980, covering 2074 square meters and it bears a distinct Islamic style of architecture and ethnical feature. The temple has a green vault on top, which has a diameter of 9.5 meters. Around it on four corners, there are smaller vaults to contrast with each other. On the summit of the central vault, there is a lamp of moon, just looking like a rising crescent.
The lower courtyard in the temple has spacious and bright bathrooms for men and women, and small service hall and bedrooms for imams, linking with each other with winding corridor. In the hall, many double-leaved and curved wall niches in the form of multiple centers of circles are inlaid on all sides for worshippers to pay respect. On them, Koran is carved, simple and exquisite. The whole construction is elegantly modeled with clear-cut outline and bright color. Many Moslems go to the mosque to do service every day.
Located at the Najiahu Village, Yongning County, the Najiahu Mosque was first built in the third year of the reign of Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty (1524), one of the oldest mosques in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, covering 8000 square meters. It is composed of the Great Hall of Service, the Bangke Building, Wangyue Building, chambers, and a bathroom. The Great Hall of Service covers 1102 square meters, capable of holding a service for more than 1000 Muslins at one time.
According to the Chronicle of Shaanxi Province, during the early Yuan Dynasty, a noble family named Zhan Siding who had a son called Nasulading. Nasulading had many children who were named Na, Su, La and Ding respectively and settled in various provinces where they grew up. So there is the Na family in Ningxi and the La family village at Chang'an. But much well developed family is the Na family village in Ningxia. Today, it has a population more than 4000, of which the Hui minority ethnic group makes up 97 percent. And about r percent of them named Na. In the most recent years, numerous travelers have come to visit the Najiahu Mosque.
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