Military Book and Sword Gorge
A folk story says that when Zhuge Liang (181---254) , a statesman and strategist of the Three Kingdoms period (220---280) , was travelling along the Three Gorges , he stored on a sheer cliff a military book he wrote and also a sword , hoping that some talented person in the future might be bold enough to take them for his use . but another version goes that Zhuge Liang stressed commanding troops in a way suited to the actual circumstances instead of according to dogmas . Thinking that what he wrote in his book on the art of war should not be mechanically followed by the future generations , he put it away in a mountain valley .
Today , the "military book " and "sword" are found in a cliff side about five or six kilometers downriver from Xiangxi. In fact , the "book" consists of some fossilized ancient coffins and the "sword" is a rock resembling such a weapon pointing skyward !
The Military Book and Sword Gorge is otherwise called Granary Gorge . Opposite the "book" and "sword" is a rock cave into which dust falls through a fissure on a windy day . The accumulation looks like a heap of grain . A story says that this is where Zhuge Liang stored grain for his troops .
This gorge is a narrow , four-kilometer-long strip sandwiched between Baituo and Xiaoqing shoals . A stone statue of Qu Yuan was excavated at the latter shoal in 1978 . It is a legacy from the Jiajing reign (1522---1565) of the Ming Dynasty , and is now on display in the Qu Yuan Memorial Hall of Zigui Conuty .
Downstream from Xiaoqing Shoal , the tourist finds on the north bank a rock face shaped like an old man fishing with a rod . People refer to it as
"Duke Jiang Fishing on a River". ( Duke Jiang was a statesman of the Zhou Dynasty , who lived in the 11th century B.C. ) . A little distance further down lies the Moon Cave , so named because , in the high-water season , the sun shines into the cave entrance to produce a moon-like circle of light .
Back to Xiling Gorge