Baiheliang Underwater Museum – World First Underwater Museum
Baiheliang Underwater Museum (白鹤梁水下博物馆) or called White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum is the precious archeological site in Fuling District, Chongqing Municipality. 1600 meters long and 15 meters wide averagely, this natural stone ridge recorded and witnessed the water level changes of over 1200 years. Carving fishes as the water gauge on the ridge, it is the only place using such great method in the whole world. This underwater museum has been praised as the World First Ancient hydrologic station by the UNESCO. Furthermore, having maintained 165 inscriptions underwater and a series of key historical relics, it was selected in the World Cultural Heritage tentative list in 2012.
Recent notice: Baiheliang Underwater Museum is currently not available for visiting for its periodical escalator maintenance for tourists’ safety reasons. For guests taking Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, Fuling’s Ancestral Library will be arranged in stead to admire the very rare ancient books and the pages derived from the country’s most protective trees several decades ago.
History of Baiheliang Underwater Museum
Before 763AD, ancient Chinese people began leaving inscriptions at the White Crane Ridge and some works are about the water changes at those times. To record the water level, people carved stone fishes. Those inscriptions and carvings records the water level changes of the upstream of Yangtze River from Tang dynasty to 1960s, for over 1200 years. As the construction of the Three Gorges Dam project, the White Crane Ridge has been submerged about 40 meters under water, and only in some water shortage months, the relic site could come out in the air. Until now, there are 165 inscriptions, over 30 thousand characters, 18 stone fishes, 2 Bodhisattva, and 1 crane. To well keep this treasurable historical and cultural site, the Underwater Museum of the White Crane Ridge was built with the advanced technological method of “unstressed container” for people to see the authentic view underwater and many cultural relics in the exhibition hall underwater.
Baiheliang Underwater Museum
Excellent Highlights to See at Baiheliang
Baiheliang Underwater Museum boasts the world outstanding skills of recording and measuring water level by stone carving, which is especially unique and praisable among methods in other ancient cultural countries like the Ancient Egypt, Ancient Babylon, etc. If you visit this great place, remember to cover the highlights like the outstanding inscriptions, stone fishes, etc.
Calligraphic Inscription Underwater
As a rare “forest of steles underwater”, the White Crane Ridge presents the lively folk culture, excellent calligraphy, exquisite stone carving skills and beautiful poem works by its inscriptions of over 30 thousand Chinese characters and the now existing 18 stone fishes. As those inscription forms an elegant and wonderful artistic carving cluster, you could admire the inspiring masterpieces freely in the museum. Characters are best presented in various shapes and ways, including different types and styles of calligraphy, like seal, regular, running hand, cursive, and official, diverse styles of various famous calligraphic masters like Yan Zhenqing style, Liu Gongquan style, etc., and distinct styles in each ancient dynasty in China, like Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. This art gallery of inscription is an outstanding demonstration of Chinese culture and your great place to know it.
Among all the 165 inscriptions, there are 108 works truly recorded the water level of those 1200 years, reflecting the changing regulation of water level of the Yangtze River during the water shortage months, which also provides the helpful scientific proofs for the shipping and hydraulic engineering on this great river in China.
Water Gauge of Stone Fishes
Carving fishes on the stone ridge to record the water level, Baiheliang turned into the "world first ancient water station"" by its water gauge of stone fishes, which is really an innovative and magnificent feat in the field of ancient hydrological observation. At present, there preserve 18 stone fishes. Among all the fish carving, the eye of one fish rightly records the water level of the middle and upper stream of the Yangtze. You could go there to find the mystery in those fishes in Baiheliang Underwater Museum to know about the
Inscription Site Under Lights
Stone Fish at Exhibition Hall
Tips for Visiting Baiheliang Essences
To have a brief understanding of Baiheliang Underwater Museum, you could visit the exhibition hall on the 2nd floor to see those introduction words, pictures, and relics.
To visiting the underwater part and also the highlighting inscriptions, you could take the escalator of 90 meters long and 40 degrees inclining to enter the tunnel underwater. In the 70 meters long visiting gallery, you could admire the inscriptions through the 23 observation windows or through the 28 rotating cameras.
Appreciate through the Windows
Map & How to Get To Baiheliang Underwater Museum
Baiheliang Underwater Museum is located at No. 185, 2nd Section of Binjiang Avenue, Fuling District, Chongqing (重庆市涪陵区滨江大道二段185号), which needs about 1.5-2 hours to drive about 110km from Chongqing downtown. Besides, you could take a high speed train from Chongqing to Fuling North Railway Station for about 40 minutes and transfer by local taxi for about 30 minutes to get to the museum. However, to enjoy the best highlights, we highly recommend you take a Yangtze River cruise that offer the shore excursion visit to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and provide great tour guide as well as convenient transfer services.
Baiheliang Underwater Museum Location Map
Note: to enjoy the Baiheliang Underwater Museum, you could choose the Yangtze Explorer cruise that is the top luxury and popular cruise and arrange this museum as a shore excursion site during both upstream and downstream cruises. Check the detailed itinerary and calendar of Yangtze Explorer! If you have any questions about Baiheliang Underwater Museum, please feel free to ask our professional travel expert for help.
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