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Lantern Shadow Gorge (Dengying Xia)

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Dengying Xia (Lantern Shadow Gorge) is located six miles from Nanjin Pass. The gorge, although not long, features some unusual sights on the south side.

Ten kilometers (about 6.2 miles) west of the Nanjin Pass, visitors move into a gorge that appears narrow and straight and is rich in limestone. Many odd rocks and grotesque stelae conjure up different scenes. Looking up to the mountain on the south bank, visitors see four grotesque rocks standing on the top resembling the argus-eyed Monkey, the corpulent Pig, the heavy loaded Sand and the calm Xuanzang on horseback. Every passer-by is astonished by the coincidence of nature. The four characters became alive when sunlight sweeps down, reflecting the exultation after their obtaining of the Buddhist sutras from India. Viewed from afar, the scene looks very much like a local shadow play, so people refer to this section of the gorge as Shadow-Play Gorge.

In addition to admire the figure-shaped rocks, the steep cliffs, peaks and the cliff-side springs are also worth your attention. The narrow and straight gorge will have you believing that you are entering your own gate to paradise.

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