Wu Gorge, sometimes called Great Gorge, is the second gorge of the Three Gorges system on the Yangtze River, People's Republic of China. Formed by the Wu River, it stretches 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Wushan to Guandukou, and is located downstream of Qutang Gorge and upstream of Xiling Gorge. The gorge straddles the boundary between Wushan County of Chongqing Municipality (formerly part of Sichuan Province) and Badong County, Hubei Province.
The Gorge has been known as the Wu Gorge since at least the Three Kingdoms Period, when it was recorded in the geographical treatise Shui Jing Zhu. In 589 AD, General Lu Zhongsu of the Chen Dynasty stationed troops in the Wu and Xiling Gorges in an attempt to stop the advancing Sui Dynasty armies. Tang Dynasty poet Yang Jiong wrote a classical poem entitled "Passing Wu Gorge".
The mountains on both sides of the Yangtze, through which the river cuts the Wu Gorge, are known as the Wu Mountains.
Features of Wu Gorge
When the river flows out of Qutang Gorge and passes the broad valley of the Daning River, it enters the scenic Wuxia Gorge. Wuxia Gorge is 45 kilometers long, extending west to east from the mouth of the Danning River in Wushan County to Guandukou in Badong County, Hubei Province.
Noted for its deep and serene scenes, Wuxia Gorge is full of zigzag, weird peaks, rising mists and beautiful sights. The famous Twelve Peaks on both banks of the river, in particular, are the most spectacular. These strange-looking peaks are like a fairy maid dancing.
Wushan, Badong and Zigui are famous towns in the gorge. There are many famous historic sites too. The town of Zigui is attracting a large number of tourists because it is the native place of the great ancient poet Qu Yuan and the famous beautiful woman Wang Zhaojun.
The Daning River at the western entrance to Wuxia Gorge is flanked by continuous strange peaks, including Longmen, Bawu and Dicui, some of them rising into the clouds and presenting an unusual spectacle. The section of the river becomes known as the Minor Three Gorges.
Scenery Spots along Wu Gorge
Twelve Peaks: Along the Wu Gorge, there are twelve peaks on each bank. These are the most prominent aspects of the scenery of Wu Gorge. Many legends relate to the twelve peaks. The six peaks along the northern bank are Denglong (Climbing Dragon) Peak, Shengquan (Sage Spring) Peak, Zhaoyun (Facing Clouds) Peak, Shennu (Goddess) Peak, Songluan (Fir Tree Cone) Peak, and the Jixian (Congregated Immortals) Peak. The southern bank has Feifeng (Flying Phoenix) Peak, Cuiping (Misty Screen) Peak, Juhe (Assembled Cranes) Peak, Jingtan (Clean Altar) Peak, Qiyun (Rising Cloud) Peak, and Shangsheng (Rising) Peak; the last three are not at the riverside. Among the twelve, the Goddess Peak is the highest and most notable. As it is the first peak to welcome the sun's glow and says farewell to its afterglow, it is also called Wangxia Peak (Looking at the Sunglow peak). There are some popular legends relating to it that are worth knowing.
Three Little Gorges of Daning River: Daning River flows into the Yangtze River from the western mouth of Wu Gorge. It is the largest tributary of the Yangtze. The Three Little Gorges located at the lower reaches of Daning River are worth a visit by tourists. When drifting along the Three Little Gorges, historic relics such as the ancient plank road, suspended coffins, and the boat coffins can be viewed.
Also in the Wu Gorge Section, there is the historic relic-Kongming Stele. The stele is beneath the Jixian Peak. On the quadrate white cliff, six characters have been carved. According to legend, the characters are those of Zhuge Liang's handwriting (a celebrity of Three Kingdoms Period).
As the water level rises due to the Three Gorges Dam Project, more scenes in the Wu Gorge will be explored as attractions for tourists to visit.