Located at the east of Nanjing town, Zijin Shan (Purple Gold Mountain) serves as a park for the locals, especially during the summer. Locals spend their weekends here, gathering with family and friends with a little picnic. However, this same place serves a different purpose to tourists.
Most of us visit Zijin Shan to see three main sights located here:
1. Lingu Si (Linggu Temple)
2. Zhongshan Ling (Dr Sun Yat-sen Mauseleum)
3. Ming Xiaoling (Ming Tomb)
I went to Zjin Shan after spending half a day at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial and Museum. Knowing that I did not have much time to cover all three of them, I decided to just concentrate on Lingu Si and Zhongshan Ling.
I started my journey from Linggu Si, which is located at the eastern side of the hill, farthest from the town, so that I could visit Zhongshan Ling after that without back tracking on the same road.
There are two main architectures here in Linggu Si, namely the Beamless Hall and the Linggu Pagoda. Beamless hall is an unusual construction that isn’t built with any beams, but is only made of five columns. The hall was originally used to display Buddhist statues, but it is only an exhibition hall today, displaying mannequins of important Chinese heroes with their history.
Walk east when you come out of the Beamless Hall, and you will see the 60m and nine-storey high Linggu Temple. Climb up to the top and you will be able to enjoy great views of the surrounding countryside and the city. There is also a shrine in the temple containing the skull of the Chinese monk who went to India to collect the Buddhist scriptures.
I then took a very slow walk to the main entrance and caught a tourist mini-train to the nearby Zhongshan Ling at RMB3.
Opening hours: 8am to 5pm daily
Entrance Fee: RMB15
If you have traveled around China long enough, you will realized that most of the cities in China have a Zhongshan Lu, a Zhongshan Park, a Sun Zhingshan Museum…This is no exception in Nanjing. However, Zhongshan Ling in Nanjing is something that is more extraordinary because this is where Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum is, and, of course, there is the ONLY one in the world.
Located at the center of Zijin Shan (Purple Gold Mountain), Zhongshan Ling is very famous for its marble staircase up to the green hill. However, a slow walk up the steps is not too difficult, as the fresh air around gives you a peace of mind.
The first pit stop of the walk is the Memorial Hall where you can a white statue of Dr Sun Yat-sen sitting elegantly. The second pit stop is where the tomb itself, which is striking. The blue and white tiles in the Mausoleum symbolize the Kuomintang flag and the wall are decorated with "The Guidelines for Establishing a Nation," written by Dr Sun himself. The tomb is covered by a white sleeping statue of the revolutionary hero.
As you finish with the tomb, take a few steps to the back of the tomb. There is a small outdoor display hall demonstrating the construction and architecture of the entire place with some history on how Dr Sun Yat-sen was unearthed in Beijing and delivered here.
Opening hours: 6:30am –to 6:30pm daily
Entrance Fee: RMB40