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Sun and Moon Mountain Guide

-Travel to Sun and Moon Mountain

Sun and Moon Mountain also known as Ri and Yue Mountain is located in the intersection of Huangyuan County and Gonghe County in Qinghai Province, 100 kilometers away from the city center. It is also the boundary of agricultural area and pastoral area of Qinghai Province, with the average altitude of 4,000 meters high above the sea level.

During the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese Emperor sent his daughter Princess Wencheng to make a strategic marriage with the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo. Legend has it that on reaching the mountains near Xining, she took out the Sun-and-Moon Treasure Mirror given to her by her mother and saw within it her homeland. She was overwhelmed, but knew she had a duty to the two nations, and threw the mirror down onto the mountain. The mirror turned into Qinghai Lake and her tears into Daotang River (back flowing river). Its flow westward symbolizes the princess's resolution to never return. The mountain was renamed the Sun-and-Moon Mountain, and on either side of the pass, the Ri (Sun) and Yue (Moon) Pavilions were built to commemorate Princess Wencheng's sacrifice.

Two pavilions stand on the top of the opposite peaks on Riyue Mountain, which are called Sun Pavilion and Moon Pavilion respectively. The pavilions were built for the marriage of Princess Wencheng and the King of Tibet Songtsan Ganbu, delicately decorated by murals. There is a memorial monument in the Sun Pavilion, recording the great contribution of Princess Wencheng to the development of Tibet in many aspects, and the murals in the pavilion recreate the historical screen of “Princess Wencheng Getting into Tibet”, which are very grand in a vivid way. There is a “Boundary Monument between the Tang Dynasty and Tibet” and murals in the Moon Pavilion, among which the murals record the great contribution of Princess Wencheng to Tibet in culture dissemination. There is the statue of Princess Wencheng at the foot Riyue Mountain, and the Daotang River flows along the Riyue Mountain to the vast Qinghai Lake, which is filled with a deep sense of history.

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