Generally speaking, our concept of caves is that they are hidden between rocks and mountains, small and cramped, difficult to fit anything in. Because many caves are formed by water erosion, they are not very spacious unless they are very old.
Tao Yuanming wrote in "The Peach Blossom Source" about a fisherman who found the source of peach blossoms only after mistakenly entering a cave. The cave in "The Peach Blossom Garden" was "extremely narrow at first, but only then did it lead to a man, and after a few dozen steps, it opened up"; it is clear that the world behind was already out of the cave.
But in Hubei, found one of China's largest cave, the height of 200 meters, the length of more than 60 kilometers, not exaggeratedly said in a helicopter in the inside of a circle are no pressure, the internal space than the "Peach Blossom Garden" is also large on many times, it is also counted as the largest cave in Asia.
01 There is a hole Tenglong, the world is unique
Tenglong Cave, located in Lichuan City, Hubei Province, is only 6 kilometers away from the city. The cave is worthy of the name "Tenglong", and its entrance alone is 64 meters wide and 74 meters high, enough to fit a 20-story building into.
Tenglong Cave has the largest volume among the caves that have been explored in the world so far. It can accommodate 10 million people at the same time without any overcrowding, and there is more than enough space to park 52,000 Boeing 747s.
The ghosts of God, the creation of yuxiu, walking in which, in addition to looking up and not seeing the sun, it is not even aware of being in the cave, more like walking from the day into the night at once.
According to the analysis of the rock formations found in the cave by researchers, the formation of such a mind-blowing miracle dates back to the Quaternary Ice Age, which is 300,000 years ago. Three hundred thousand years of accumulation and polishing have shaped the present "Tenglong".
However, it has been less than 40 years since Tenglong Cave was really discovered and valued by our scholars, and developed as a tourist attraction. Until then, Tenglong Cave was unknown and little known.
02 The Secret History of Tenglong: A Thousand Years of Continuous Exploration
In ancient times, the Tenglong Cave was called the Nitro Cave, although people know that there is such a cave, but few people enter the adventure, because the cave is too big, people who enter even some people get lost in it and never come out.
According to "Lichuan County Records", during the Guangxu period, a group of local saltpeter quarrymen, about a few dozen, boldly carried a large number of torches and lime into the cave, expecting to make a harvest.
They used lime as a marker along the way and held torches as they advanced. But after 50 miles, they still had not reached the end. The crowd was horrified, seeing that the torch had been used more than half, so they had to exit the same way.
Since then the mystery and danger of this cave is even more frightening, no one dares to go in to explore. In modern times, the Chinese land has suffered repeatedly, fighting in the alternation of sinking and restoration, and no one cares about this cave.
It was not until after the founding of New China, when scientific research was taken seriously, that someone turned his attention to this mysterious nitrate cave. The earliest group of scientists entered the cave to study it, but due to technical conditions and very limited funds, they could only do some relatively superficial exploration.
Zhang Lianggao, a professor in the Department of Ancient Architecture of the Huazhong University of Technology. He was so obsessed with the mysterious Nitro Cave that he went into it himself many times, despite the danger, to examine and study it. At the time when rumors about the nitrate cave, either true or false, were flying around, he already had a basic understanding of the cave and began to compile documents.
In 1985, Prof. Zhang Lianggao published the article "Lichuan Lishui Cave Should Capture the World Ranking", which stirred up a thousand waves with one stone. In the article, he made bold assumptions and conjectures about the cave, while building on rigorous examination and precise figures that made it impossible not to believe.
Soon, the local county People's Armed Forces formed an expedition, led by the minister and political commissar himself, into the nitrate cave to explore. They used advanced exploration equipment to decipher while taking notes and exploring.
But this cave is really too big, only by a small team of six people is really difficult to complete the task of exploration. So the local government recruited a number of experienced squads from the private sector to take turns to explore the cave, and only after more than a year of efforts was it completed.
From June 1985, hundreds of people divided into dozens of small teams, and explored until October 1986, only to declare that the basic exploration of the internal situation of the nitrate cave. They submitted the complete exploration report to the government and gave the cave a very apt name: Tenglong Cave.
Tenglong Cave is not a complete huge cave, its interior is divided out into five layers, arranged up and down, as if five intertwined and side by side giant dragons. These five layers of caves each contain dozens of branch caves of various sizes, totaling more than 300.
The "Cave of Bliss" is the true description of Tenglong Cave.
The Tenglong Cave is so huge that the interior actually gives birth to a large mountain hundreds of meters high, and within the large mountain, there are even strange caves, and within the strange caves, there are small mountains tens of meters high. The cave and the mountain contain each other, making people dazzled.
There are also countless water streams in the cave, different streams in different caves, thousands of water converging together, weaving through the vast group of caves, as if connecting them to the blood.
However, just one exploration could not completely unlock the mystery of Tenglong Cave, and in the years that followed, many more people came to conduct scientific exploration and research.
In 2006, the Lichuan Municipal Government invited experts and scholars from China University of Geosciences, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, and 15 renowned geologists from the UK, Australia, Ireland and other countries to form a joint Chinese and foreign scientific expedition.
This expedition team has a stronger level of theoretical knowledge and analytical ability than the previous armed and civilian teams, and is better able to build on the original foundation to find out the specific year of Tenglong Cave, its causes and other issues of great concern to the people.
The Qingjiang River, a first-class tributary of the Yangtze River, was known as "Yishui" in ancient times.
Qiyue Mountain in Lichuan City is its source, and according to the research, the preliminary judgment is that Qingjiang River is the root of the formation of Tenglong Cave, a water cave.
Therefore, scientists started along the Lichuan section of the Qingjiang River and explored it by pulling out the threads. After 20 days of scientific research, a report of the results was finally released to the public, a report that hid a lot of exciting and good news.
Yan Zhiwu, a professor at China University of Geosciences and the leader of the joint Chinese and foreign expedition, said in the released results that after actual measurement and comparison, the area of Tenglong Cave is 23 square kilometers from the entrance of the cave to 4,000 meters inward, which is the largest in the world.
The length of Tenglong Cave, 52 km, which was explored in 1988, was also refreshed again to 59.8 km. Mostly because the previous exploration was not as detailed as this one, the first exploration was inevitably somewhat inadequate.
In a branch cave of Tenglong Cave, the scientific research team also found the fossils of a group of mammals. This small group of things is a big treasure in the eyes of scientists and very valuable. Among them are the giant panda, a big treasure in everyone's eyes today, and the long-extinct saber-toothed elephant.
These fossils are all relics from the Quaternary Period, which is already 200,000 to 300,000 years old, so it is assumed that the history of Tenglong Cave is at least that old. It is hard to imagine how many drops of water and how many years it took to dissolve such a large cave.
In 2005, China National Geographic named Tenglong Cave as "the most beautiful place in China" and "one of the six most beautiful caves".
In addition, the Central Military Commission named the navy boat 69i "Lichuan Boat" to highlight the magnificence of Lichuan Tenglong Cave. It is only natural that Tenglong Cave should have this honor.
03 Explore Tenglong-Water Cave: lying dragon swallowing the river, close to the wall and the wind
After decades of development, Tenglong Cave has become a well-established scenic spot rated at 5A. This world's first cave, which was carved out by Qingjiang over 300,000 years, is worth making people travel thousands of miles to see.
Perhaps for many reasons, even though you are eager to see it, it is still difficult to have the opportunity to come and see it. But it does not matter ah, follow the guide today, see the words and understand the map, can also appreciate a little.
In Lichuan, one may not be able to find a bus to a big hotel or a school, but one can definitely get a bus to Tenglong Cave.
There is a special bus to Tenglong Cave right after getting off the train station; there are also buses to Tenglong Cave at the East Gate and West Gate, which are not expensive, a few dollars to say go. If it's too crowded, you can also call a taxi, which is very convenient. But the best way is still to drive yourself, save your energy.
When we arrived at the Tenglong Cave Scenic Area, the first thing that caught our eyes was a skyscraper-like cave entrance, so we couldn't see the top with our heads up and our necks were tired. If you look down, you can see a rapid river pounding into the cave from the outside and eventually disappearing into the darkness.
This river is the Qingjiang River, which will emerge after lurking in the cave for about 16 kilometers, and then flowing eastward in a vast manner. And the place it passes through is the first half of Tenglong Cave: the Water Cave.
Although the Tenglong Cave is complicated and intertwined, it can be divided into water cave and dry cave as a whole. Although the main body of the visit is the dry cave, the water cave takes the front position and is a must-see.
Besides, the water hole has a skill of its own.
Due to the presence of Qingjiang River, the river at the mouth of Shuidong Cave forms a waterfall with other falling rocks, and it has a rather loud name: Wolong Swallowing River.
The whole water flowed like a clear ribbon and eventually disappeared into the dark hole. This water hole is like a lying dragon, a mouth will be swallowed into the Qingjiang River, the name is derived from.
Wolong Swallow River Falls has a high and low drop of more than 40 meters, the sound is huge, moving like thunder. I'm afraid that only the pot mouth waterfall and so can compete with it, but the water of the pot mouth waterfall is the Yellow River water, seems muddy and pale; Wolong swallow river waterfall is the water of the Qingjiang River, known as "river clear as the lotus, the water is ten feet deep and see the stone" reputation.
The access to the water cave was carved out of the rock wall in a raw way.
Walking against the rock wall, looking up is the top of the towering cave, underneath the feet is the rapid river, the sound of the whistling water in the ears makes the soul shock, the footsteps are unconsciously speed up a few points.
04 Dry cave: immortal cave, the spirit is beautiful
After the water cave, there is the real Tenglong Cave: the dry cave. The entrance of the Dry Cave is much bigger than the Water Cave, more than 60 meters high and 70 meters wide, unlike a cave, people prefer to believe that it is a door to the sky.
Scenic officials once used a real helicopter to develop Tenglong Cave, and the flight from the cave was not hindered in any way, which shows the high and wide Tenglong Cave.
Scientific research found that the dry cave was actually the earliest Tenglong Cave, but the vicissitudes changed and the river was diverted. Later the Qing River crashed into a new path, the present Water Cave, and the old cave has since dried up and become the Dry Cave.
The two caves are adjacent to each other, one is like a sea dragon wandering, gurgling and pattering; one is pure and relaxed, beyond the cave.
When you first enter Tenglong Cave, there is still bright light, but the further you go in, the dimmer it gets, and eventually you lose natural light completely at a corner. As the scenic area has been very well developed, not only are there specially built paths for visitors to walk on, but also lights have been arranged in different places, combining with the nearby conditions, either bright or dark, or bright white, or dim yellow, as if they were made in heaven.
Walking in the cave, underfoot is a solid stone path, surrounded by the whistling water, the head is a strong wind swirling. If one were to wander aimlessly, one would soon lose focus and not know where to go. The interior of Tenglong Cave is so complex, with hundreds of branch caves, that it is impossible to remember your way around without spending a large amount of time inside.
Many people also choose to rent a scenic electric car to travel through the cave, otherwise it is really a bit tiring.
Nothing is more interesting than that there is a mountain inside Tenglong Cave and a cave in the mountain. The mountains and caves are so intertwined that people are dazzled. Among these caves, the cave in the mountain is a sacred place, which is cool and refreshing all year round, wet but not damp, cool but not cold, most suitable for healing and rest.
Such a huge dry cave, the most rare place also lies in the air circulation, will not be stuffy wet, and does not give birth to insects and snakes, just find a place to sit on the ground, without a trace of worry. I think we are not willing to give a scientific point of view, more willing to believe that this is the creation of God's show, insects and snakes and so dare not make trouble.
As Tenglong Cave is too complicated, if one wanders aimlessly, one week may not be able to enjoy it all. The Tenglong Cave Scenic Area has already designed the best route for visitors and related exhibition halls for them to take the essence.
More than 50 exhibition halls have been built inside the cave, each with a different theme, style and breeze. Some of the exhibition halls also have a collection of pictographs, which are lifelike and often the most attractive objects.
If you bring your own food, of course, it is best, but it is also necessary to try the delicious food of Tenglong Cave.
Lichuan's special delicacy is called "combined crumbs", as the name implies, tofu crumbs, peanut crumbs, meat crumbs and so on mixed together, it constitutes the base and main ingredients of the dish, mixed with the Liqiu bok choy and thread pepper stewed together on some, served and sprinkled with scallions, meat crumbs, a plate of combined crumbs on the pot.
The joint crumb is unattractive, but actually fragrant and oily. Several kinds of "dregs" is the soul of the dish, building the aroma and freshness of the whole dish, tender meat crisp and crisp, full of taste, the pepper is the finishing touch, let people smell the finger, mouth-watering.
Such a plate full of portions of combined crumbs, the price is not expensive, often in seven or eight dollars a plate, a slight increase in price, will send some refreshing small dishes.
Imagine, in the wind and water in the cave, feel the cool and pleasant temperature, eat a plate of combined crumbs, and then with some wine and tea, is really a kind of heavenly God's taste, not like on earth.
Besides Hopscotch, the region is most famous for its roasted bacon.
The bacon is cured in advance, the customer only needs to choose a good portion when buying, and a quick knife cut down, the knife surface is covered with a layer of fragrant oil. Burn a charcoal fire, put the bacon on it and roast it until it is golden brown and the skin is crispy, brush off the outermost layer of oil, and what is left is fragrant but not greasy meat.
The locals love this grilled bacon so much that there is even a saying that hails it as dragon meat. But the taste of this bacon is indeed different from ordinary meat, the first taste did not know what is made; plus the special marinade, not the bacon kind of "stink", half-heartedly, also as a dragon meat to eat it.
Of course, in order to protect the sanitation and sustainability of Tenglong Cave, these stalls selling delicious food are either sold in the officially set aside commercial area or outside the cave, and cannot be found everywhere.
So if you feel like you're getting hungry, make sure you go find food as early as possible, don't run around hungry, it's not pretty.
The natural scenery of Tenglong Cave is one of the best in the world, and after careful study, the scenic area has been officially choreographed and designed to display two kinds.
One of them: the laser show. The dazzling laser shines on the thousand and one stalactites, stalagmites, carving out a thousand and one shapes. Each stone is given life by the halo and represents a historical legend and curiosity.
The second: the song and dance show. The songs and dances are all choreographed based on local Tujia mythological stories, which are subtle and moving, lingering and gentle. The interweaving structure of humanities and nature is quite a flavor.
05 Climbing Mountains when climbing Mount Everest, the victory should be explored Tenglong
But no matter what, the most attractive thing will always be the natural scenery of Tenglong Cave, which no one can deny, and everything else is just icing on the cake.
It also exists not only as a tourist attraction, but also as an important base for scientific research and education in China. Tenglong Cave provides an excellent site for crustal research, hydrological system research, eco-environmental research and biological research, which not only attracts a large number of experts and scholars from home and abroad, but also many university-related majors bring their students here for internship research.
However, college students can come naturally is a good thing, never as a publicly funded tourism on the good. It is good to learn new things and understand new concepts. If the original intention of learning to learn, but only send a circle of friends back to sun some pictures, but is down.
Because of the unpredictable nature of Tenglong Cave and the surrounding area, some adventure enthusiasts and professionals also like to use it as a testing ground with a special flavor. But we must pay attention to safety. In recent years, there is no shortage of cases of tragedy in our society when we were trapped in the unexplored areas without permission.
"Mountaineering when climbing Everest, the victory should explore the Tenglong". This is the couplet inscribed by Feng Mu, the former vice chairman of the National Writers' Association, for Tenglong Cave. He compared Everest with Tenglong, which shows his deep love.
Tenglong Cave is also worthy of any reputation, for it is a miracle opened up only after 800 miles of Qingjiang River and 300,000 years of painstaking chiseling.
The Tenglong Cave has not only won a number of "world firsts" for our country, but also provided a wonderful natural sanctuary and a wonderful journey for people all over the country and the world.
1, "Exploring the Secret Tenglong Cave: Joint Chinese and Foreign Scientific Research" - Enshi.com
2, "Enshi Tenglong Cave" - You Lei - "Road Traffic Management (2016.2)
3, "Tenglong Cave: The World's "Cave Fighter"" - Zhong Daigao - "China's Old District Construction