Jinning, home to Confucius and now a tourist draw

Jinning - a legendary 7,000-year-old city in China - which was home to renowned thinkers Confucius and Mencius – is also abundant in natural beauty.
I have seen several Chinese dramas and movies which refer to Confucius and the area where he lived. Fortunately, the Discover China 2018 programme, which was supported by China Daily and local authorities, allowed me to have the unique experience of seeing Confucius’ place of birth first-hand.

People crowd the entrance to the Temple of Confucius.

Confucius was born more than 2,500 years ago. He was a great thinker, educator, and of course the founder of Confucianism.
The biggest takeaway from the trip to Jinning is the visit to Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius and highly revered by most eastern cultures.
When I visited I was happy to learn more about Confucius, the places he lived in, and the challenges he faced.
The Temple of Confucius, known as Kong Miao, turned out to be the most impressive place on our itinerary. Situated in Qufu, it is the largest and most renowned temple associated with the great thinker.
Together with the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Chengde Summer Resort in Hebei province, the temple is one of the top three largest ancient building complexes in China.
Construction of the temple began in 478 BC and it now covers an area of 14 hectares. There are examples of 104 different types of architecture in the complex, dating from the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
There are more than 460 rooms in the temple, built over an area of about 16,000 square metres.
Another impressive section is the gallery of 1,172 stone carvings and more than 1.200 ancient trees.
Every tree has a sign displaying its age and other details. One tree inside the temple area has people believe they will remain or die young if they touch it.
The temple integrates history, architecture, culture, art, calligraphy, cultural relics and tourism, showcasing the wisdom of China’s ancient civilisation. It was listed as a world heritage site by Unesco in 1994.
While you’re there, don’t miss the nearby Kong Family Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius.
Another must-see at Qufu is the Nisan Holy Land in the Nisan Provincial Cultural Tourism Resort, which covers an area of 35.76 sq km. This is believed to be the birthplace of Confucius and is located 25 km southeast of Qufu.
The complex was mentioned as a part of Qufu’s excellent traditional cultural inheritance and development demonstration zone in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
A 72-metre statue of Confucius, the tallest in the world, is located on the site and took three years to build.
A 70,000 square-metre study hall complex has been built, featuring various halls, auditoriums and cultural spaces themed around the ethical concepts and practices of Confucius.
The Confucius academic pavilion complex hosted the 4th Nisan Forum on World Civilisations at the 8th World Confucius Conference.
Jinning’s tourist draws are legendary. To its east, there are three Confucius temples in protection units. Various rich cultures, including Buddhism, are embedded in Qufu and there are four Mencius temples in Zoucheng.
To the west are the Marshes of Mount Liang – a scenic spot - while to the south are the Weishan Lake wetlands and in the north is the Buddha garden.
Not only are the modern facilities which attract people from around the world to visit Jinning clean and green, the delicious food offered is also reason enough for food lovers to pay a visit.

By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update January 29, 2018)

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