|Cuiyun Corridor |
Approved by the ministry of forestry as a National Forest Park in 1992, Cuiyun Corridor is a world wonder as marvelous as Road of Rome, winning a reputation as “one hundred thousand trees on the three hundred Li path”. Following the south of Jianmen Pass, one can find the nearly 150 kilometers long ancient road twisting among the lofty mountains of Jianmen. The ancient road was first built in West Zhou Dynasty with green stones. Age-old cypresses line both sides of the road. These green cypresses are so high that they nearly cover the sunshine, making the mountain quite comfortable in both summer and winter. In addition, there is a rare tree with pine and cypress growing together. The ancient road in Qin Dynasty had already been used quite well for transportation since the former Qin Period. In the following dynasties, it was further repaired and expanded with post house built there. Cuiyun Corridor is two thousand year old. According to the prose “E’pang Palace Ode”, when E’panggong was completed, Shushan Mountain became a bold mountain. Emperor Qinshihuang had lots of trees in Shu cut for building E’pang Palace, which enraged the people of Sichuan. To ease the angers of people, Qinshihuang advocated to plant pines and cypresses along the ancient post road. Thus, the cypresses of Cuiyun Corridor are also called “emperor cypress”. After six times of large-scale tree-planting, Cuiyun Corridor took the present shape. Qiaobo, a poet in Qing Dynasty, acclaimed that “the road in Jianmen is a twisting stone road with one hundred thousand cypresses on the two sides. The long corridor is hidden in the elusive frost and clouds, which, altogether with the moss and drizzle. It is beyond words to describe the coolness in the forest. Every rock can be a natural bed for people to have a good nap and every place inspires people to compose beautiful poems. The path in Jianmen can compete dangerousness with the renowned Shu Road with winding and narrow passages”. Hence, it was entitled “Cuiyun Corridor”. As the oldest post road in the world, it is thirty years old than the road of Rome, and is praised as the living example of land transportation.
Centering on Jiange Old Town, Cuiyun Corridor extends to Langzhong in the southeast, Zitong in the southwest, and Zhaohua, Guangyuan, in the north. There are still eight thousand cypresses in the just one hundred fifty thousand km. Plus the cypresses planted later on the sides of highroads and old roads, the trees there total to one hundred thousand, and wind around the mountain like a green dragon meandering the mountains. To be personally on the scene, it looks like an overflowing green gallery.
Cuiyun Corridor was first begun to be built in Qin and Han Dynasties and perfected in Ming Dynasty. One thousand years has passed, and it is still of vital force and integrated mass, which is a miracle even in the world. It has won the reputation of “the soul of Shu Road” and “the treasure of nation”. Composed of nearly one hundred thousand cypresses around the road, Cuiyun Corridor is still exuberant after one thousand years. As rarely seen old trees built by man along the road, it is recognized as a world wonder, the soul of Shu Road. Cuiyun Corridor still has a reservation of eight thousand trees, among them there are four hundred thirty ones with 1.5 diameters. These cypresses are also named “Zhangfei cypress”, because they were said to be planted by Zhangfei, a brave general in Three Kingdoms Period. According to the legend, being the governor of Baxi (Langzhong, Sichuan), the military administration intercourse is frequent with them. Jianzhou at that time was the place to Zhongyuan (central china). To meet the requirements of politics and military, Zhangfei ordered that the soldiers and the common people plant trees along the Yidao. With their efforts, the tree-planting project was successfully completed.
In accordance with the records of literature and scientific research, the cypresses of Cuiyun Corridor was completely finished after six times of large-scale plantings in Qin, Three kingdom, East Jin, Tang, North Song, and Ming Dynasties rather than only one planting. The perseveration of these cypresses for such a long time is closely related with the strict protection policy of the past dynasties and the good tradition of the people and officials to protect trees and roads.
Resembling a green dragon, Cuiyun Corridor twists along the rolling mountains and the old post road of Jiange. Literators in the past dynasties have described and eulogized its majesty, lushness and magnificence which appeal to travelers in the past and even nowadays. Cuiyun Corridor, a name full of romantic features, becomes the refined title of “Jianmen cypresses on the road”.