Dujiangyan Irrigation System great hydraulic engineering project

Dujiangyan Irrigation System Chengdu Sichuan
The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is an architecture masterpiece of ancient China. Dating from the third century BC, this great hydraulic engineering project tamed the Min River and irrigated the arid lands of Sichuan, which still in use nowadays. Improved over the millennia, this system did not cause adverse effects on the environment. The techniques used at the time show a great genius.

Evidence of Human Genius 

In 256 BC, Li Bing, magistrate of the kingdom of Shu, created an irrigation system beyond any imagination. There are no modern equipments and techniques at that time. The Chengdu region was then a set of dry lands. To tame the river and develop agriculture in Sichuan, Li Bing had the ingenious idea of creating an irrigation system using water from the river. At 726 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Qingcheng, he tried to control the course of the Min River. In the middle of the river, he installed a dam whose base is bamboo. A series of weirs diverts water from the river into a channel that was drilled into the mountain! In the context of the time, more than 2250 years ago, it was a real feat to get to dig the mountain. It was by using a heating and cooling system the mountain was finally pierced after 8 years! No more floods occurred after the system was finished,

An Ecological System 

This system has served to water the dry land and develop agriculture. What is surprising is that, even transforming the land condition, it did not damage the ecological balance of the region. This system of water conservation has therefore not destroyed the natural environment and is an excellent example of coexistence between man and nature.

The Oldest Irrigation System still in Active 

The early use of this system made it possible to irrigate more than 100,000 hectares of land. With advancements made by the following dynasties, Sichuan became one of the granaries of the country. Today, the irrigation system is still in use, about fifty kilometers from Chengdu. For improvement, it now makes it possible to water almost 700,000 hectares of arable land!
This is one of the oldest irrigation systems still in use today. Visiting this site, you will learn more about ancient China and the amazing inventions of the people.

Attractions around Dujiangyan 

To appreciate the beauty and ingenuity of the irrigation system in a more comprehensive viewpoint, it is better to visit the nearby sites that offer stunning views of Dujiangyan. Firstly, the Taoist Temple Chenghuangmiaod is highly recommended. Dating back to the 18th century, this was an unprecedented temple due to its style and its size. The best view can be seen from the Pagoda Yulei. Just take an escalator to reach 128 meters above the top of the hill, which stands a pagoda. The cable-stayed bridge Anlan is one of the five most important bridges of ancient China. Formerly supported by wooden pillars and bamboo strings, it is now constructed by concrete and steel materials, allowing visitors to cross the Min River and thus to approach the site. In addition to these wonderful sites, it is possible to stop at the Covered Bridge Nanqiao at the end of the day. Fully covered, it is definitely an architectural masterpiece. Nearby restaurants and hotels allow visitors to stay overnight.

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  • Altitude

    341M Altitude Dujiangyan Irrigation System
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