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Hangzhou : The Most Elegant City

Popularity 7Viewed 12428 times 2016-9-25 09:45 |Personal category:Travelling|System category:Life| Hangzhou, Heaven, G20, West Lake


Hangzhou, with its picturesque scenery, can be called the Paradise on Earth. With its numerous mountains, hills, rivers and lakes, Hangzhou is a beautiful landscape city that possesses a unique oriental flavor. When Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the 13th century, he declared it “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world.” There is a popular Chinese saying “Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.” 

Hangzhou is a model city of beauty. It not only shines with its thousand-year beauty of the landscapes and artistic conception, but also sparkles with the heart-warming beauty of care, civility and humanity. Since time immemorial, Hangzhou has been portrayed in numerous poems and paintings, making it a place of great appeal. Today, Hangzhou is in the spotlight as the host of this year’s G20 Summit. Now, it has grabbed the world’s attention. Tourists from various places visit to this charming place to enjoy its slow life tempo and exquisite landscapes. 

Hangzhou, the city that has prospered by and is known for the West Lake, is a great masterpiece with its long and rich culture. The west Lake boasts picturesque scenery, with its three sides surrounded by mountains and the other side facing the city. It is divided into five sections by three causeways. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. Peaks rise one upon another with azure lake rippling gently in between. Several causeways stretch across the lake and many isles dot the water, unfolding a natural panoramic scroll of landscapes. One will never be tired of visiting the West Lake.

The West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has attracted generations of writers by its beautiful view and culture. It has also been among the most important source of inspiration for Chinese garden designers. It remains an object of eternal fascination despite various poets’ writings, painters’ depictions, craftsmen’ carving and horticulturists’ decoration. Those writers also left many literary masterpiece and poetries, recording a lot about the west lake and the ancient Hangzhou anecdotes. In addition, modern writers also fell in love with West Lake. In terms of poetry, Juyi Bai, Shi Su, Zhimo Xu and Shi Hu also wrote countless poems about West Lake. There is a myth of story talking about a white snake falling in love with a man. No wonder Marco Polo preferred Hangzhou to his hometown Venice. To me, Hangzhou is a blessed land that has such a miraculous West Lake.

It is said that to capture the essence of the West Lake, one has to adopt the right method and approach. However, I think it is hard for a poet to define the indescribable, fast-changing creative power of Heaven and Earth. According to me, The West Lake is a song as well as a poem. It symbolizes harmonious relationship between human and nature. It is a great example of how generations of Hangzhou people respect, protect and interact friendly with nature. Therefore, the West Lake well deserves the honor of being listed as World Cultural Heritage.

Since ancient times, Hangzhou has been widely acclaimed as the Buddhist center of southeastern China for its large number of Buddhist temples built by eminent monks from both home and abroad, and its profound Buddhist culture. Buddhism in Hangzhou was introduced by an Indian Monk Master Huili in the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420 AD), grew in the Southern and Northern dynasties (420-589 AD), and flourished in the Southern song dynasty wherein Master Monks cropped up, academic research boomed, temples mushroomed, and its influence penetrated to the core of Chinese spirit. 

Among all the Buddhist temples in Hangzhou, Lingyin Temple is one of the most famous. Lingyin Temple, also called Yunlin Temple, with a history of nearly 1700 years, is the earliest one in Hangzhou, and one of the top ten most famous zen temples. Lingyin Temple is a great experience for travelers who are into Chinese and Buddhist art and history. The temple, now esteemed as the most prestigious temple of Han-style Buddhism, also as the hall of Oriental Buddhism Arts for its long history, quaint architecture, exquisite carving, now serves as the window and eye of Buddhism in Hangzhou. Hence, “A Buddhist World in Southeast China” was the synonymous accolade of Hangzhou. 

Today’s Hangzhou is trying to build itself into an open, Charming, exquisite and invigorating city where people both in urban and rural areas live happily, abundantly and harmoniously. It is striding toward the goal of an internationally renowned city. Hangzhou will endeavor to build itself into a Hi-Tech production base, and a national and international center for tourism, cultural creative industry, e-commerce, and financial service. It will enhance its overall strength, improve its eco-environment, and better the life of its citizen. May this most beautiful and elegant city of the world go on shining in the East.

 (Writer: Akhil Parashar, Foreign Correspondent for China Radio International)

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(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (12 comments)

Reply Report Dracarys 2016-9-25 16:51
Hangzhou and Xi'an are two cities I really wanna go ..
Reply Report Akhil_Parashar 2016-9-27 09:17
Dracarys: Hangzhou and Xi'an are two cities I really wanna go ..
I have already been there.... both cities are great in terms of all aspects.
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-9-30 09:18
thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report sube 2016-9-30 15:05
I am also living in this city, this is a city everyone must visit one day
Reply Report dannieer 2016-9-30 15:35
have never been there
Reply Report 谢毛毛 2016-10-1 09:28
I have traveled almost 2/3 of China btu I have to say hangzhou is the most beautiful city i've ever been.
Reply Report forrest_fly 2016-10-2 22:18
Woo, you are very good at writing... I like your blog very much! Keep going!
Reply Report Akhil_Parashar 2017-3-1 20:55
forrest_fly: Woo, you are very good at writing... I like your blog very much! Keep going!
Thank you so much...!!!
Reply Report Akhil_Parashar 2017-3-1 20:56
谢毛毛: I have traveled almost 2/3 of China btu I have to say hangzhou is the most beautiful city i've ever been.
Yes.. True! I also think same. Hangzhou is really beautiful city.
Reply Report Akhil_Parashar 2017-3-1 20:58
dannieer: have never been there
You should go there and explore the city's beauty....
Reply Report Akhil_Parashar 2017-3-1 20:58
sube: I am also living in this city, this is a city everyone must visit one day
Yes... my dear friend...! I agree...

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