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Zigui

 Fragrant Stream

Rising from the area of Shennongjia, Fragrant Stream lies to the north of the Xiling Gorge bank. Through cracks of limestone, the current is filtered to become more transparent. At the entrance to the Yangtze River, the crystal green stream and water of another color converge, adding more interest to the scene.

Its upper reach traverses a small country, site of the hometown of Wang Zhaojun, one of the four beauties of ancient China. It is said that in her girlhood she had dropped her pearl necklace into this stream, and since then, the water had become crystal green and fragrant.


According to historical records, she married the king of the Hun, ordered by the emperor in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). Her marriage promoted friendship and the exchanges of economy and culture between the two nationalities.

In honor of Wang Zhaojun, people named constructions and natural scenes for her. Thus there are Pearl Pond, Zhaojun Stronghold, Dresser Terrace, etc.


 Qu Yuan Memorial Hall

Qu Yuan was a patriotic poet of the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC). He had assisted the king of the State Chu, but was dismissed from his post owing to slander. Before long, his country was captured. Regretting the failure to realize the political ambition of vitalizing the state, he threw himself into the Miluo River. After his death, people conducted activities to commemorate him. Every Dragon Boat Festival, they would hold dragon boat races and make 'Zongzi' (sticky rice dumpling wrapped in leaves) to throw into the river to share the delicacy with Qu Yuan.

The Qu Yuan Memorial Hall was built in the Zigui County during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Embraced by forests of mandarin orange and cypress, it stands against the hill and faces the river. In a serene and solemn atmosphere, the whole construction includes a gateway, a bronze statue of Qu Yuan, galleries with inscriptions, a museum and monument displaying calligraphy in the theme of Qu Yuan's poems.

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