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Bellows Gorge

Opposite Meng Liang Stairway is a coffee-colored precipice called Bellows Gorge (Fengxiang Xia). On the upper sections of some fissures in the cliff are some rectangular wooden boxes which look like bellows used by Chinese blacksmiths. It was said that these bellows belonged to the master carpenter Lu Ban, who came to help Yu, the legendary emperor of the Xia Dynasty, dredge the river. The best place to view the "bellows" is from the cliff path. Upon the cliff, several rectangular wooden boxes suspended high within the crevices can be seen clearly. It was said that towards the end of the 19th century in the Qing Dynasty, a climber got a wooden case down from the crevices for sale. His deed was considered blasphemous and the case was sent back.

The age-old puzzle was eventually solved when two skilled herb gatherers climbed to the upper part of a fissure in 1971. The so-called "bellows" are in fact coffins of the Ba people, an ancient tribe in the period of the Warring States about 400 BC. Suspending the coffins on the mountains was an ancient burial custom that prevailed in Sichuan during the time from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.A.D. 24) to the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589). Inside the coffins, many precious relics such as bronze swords, axes, straw shoes and coins were found. Three coffins still remain here and can be seen from the river.





 
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