Qutang Gorge runs eight kilometers from Baidicheng in Fengjie County in the west to Daxizhen in Wushan County, Chongqng City. The shortest among the Three Gorges, it is the most spectacular. As soon as the roaring Yangtze River rushes into the gorge, it meets head-on with the imposing Kuimen Gate.
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Rocky mountains rise perpendicularly like walls on both sides of the river squeezing the broad river into a narrow ribbon threading its way in the gorge. There are many historical sites in Qutang Gorge. On a hilltop on the north bank are the town of Baidicheng, boasting many rare historical relics. On the south bank are the Whitewashed Wall covered with carved inscriptions, the legendary Meng Liang's Ladder, the Upside Down Monk, Armour Cave and the sweet-tasting Phoenix-Drinking Fountain in a deep cave. Also on the south bank, not far downstream, is a very strange-looking peak standing by the river; it is called the Rhinoceros Watching the Moon because it looks like a rhinoceros.
Baidicheng was an ancient city on the northern shore of the Yangtze River. Baidicheng was also where Liu Bei, first emperor of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms era, died. There is a Liu Bei Memorial Temple and a Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple in Baidicheng. Baidicheng is a major tourist attraction of Yangtse cruise
The Chalk Wall is a white cliff face on the southern bank of the Yangtze River at the entrance to the Qutang Gorge (Kuimen Gate). The Chalk Wall can be easily recognized by the numerous characters carved into the rock, many of which were done by famous Chinese calligraphers. Nearly 1,000 characters in all are carved into the rock wall, with the oldest dating to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The wall has characters carved in many different styles of calligraphy and in various sizes. The largest characters are approximately 1.7 metres (6 ft) wide.
The Meng Liang Stairway: On the south side the river (Baiyan Mountain) there are a series of rectangular shaped holes carved into the cliff face. The holes are almost exactly 1 metre apart and 1 metre deep. The holes zig-zag up part of the cliff face in a Z-shape. These holes are known as the Meng Liang Stairway.
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