- Posted July 23, 2014 by
De Yang, China
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Life in China
The travelogue to Luo Jiang County(罗江县):TWO
Luo Jiang is also known for Pang Tong’s Tomb. If you pay a visit to it, you should not miss the place of interest. Pang Tong was a warrior living some 1500 ago. Pang Tong (179–214) courtesy name Shi yuan, was an adviser to the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty. Originally a minor official in Nan commandery in Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan), Pang Tong came to serve Liu Bei in 209 after the latter was appointed as the provincial governor. In the early 210s, he accompanied Liu Bei on a military campaign to seize control of Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) from the warlord Liu Zhang, but was killed by an arrow that fell short of its target that was Liu Bei in a battle at Luo County (north of present-day Guanghan, Sichuan) in 214. We took a taxicab to Pang Tong’s tomb with a fee of 20 yuan. It took us about 15-20 minutes to reach the tomb from the downtown. The roads clinging around these mountains are extremely winding and twisty. So our taxicab moved around and through these big mountains. One couldn’t image how the soldiers made their living and did the military exercises in that remote place, when it came to the war where Pang Tong was killed by an arrow short of its target.Before we entered into the tomb, we went to another place called the appointing platform where it was supposedly believed that Zhu Ge Liang appointed a person as a general of an upcoming war. On the platform you could take a good panorama of the terrain of the battle field.
What was next was our destination, Pang tong’s tomb. There was a temple in the front of his tomb. His tomb was surrounded by a forest of very towering trees, which brought a sense of much gravity and history to visitors. In front of the temple there is a tattered p’ai-lou
which has weathered hundreds of years and has been eroded too much by wind and rain.2 stone lions sitting in front of the temple are protecting and guarding Pang Tong’s Tomb from being stolen and interrupted.An avenue that directly cuts through the gateway of the temple is connected to the first hall of the temple. There is a little yard behind the gateway, a very towering ancient tree erecting here. A scaffold has been built up to prop the tree up. Two people are paid tribute to inside the first hall. They are Zhu Ge Liang and Pang Tong respectively.When we got around the hall, the tomb of Pang Tong suddenly sprang into our eyes. The grave tomb is encompassed by a forest. The tomb takes the shape of cylinder and the top of the cylinder has been covered with something like what looks like the top of a traditional Chinese old tower. The tomb is composed of a great number of big black bricks. A grave stele is standing before the tomb, a line of characters inscribed on it. The characters (漢靖候龐士元之墓)means that the owner of this grave tomb is pang tong. Many stubs of bars of incense were burning and smoking in a big vessel and the white fumes brought people’s respect and homage to Pang Tong. Two war horses on the both sides of the tomb revealed the braveness and persistence of Pang Tong as a renowned warriorI can imagine that how gloomy it will be, when night descends on the tomb.
According to the recording of history books, Pang tong was killed by an arrow short of its target in a place that the local people called the slope of the fall of phoenix in memory of Pang Tong (Pang Tong was dubbed as Mr. Young phoenix at that time). Since the slope of the fall of phoenix is 1-2 kilometers away from the tomb, we decided to pay a visit to the place where our hero was killed. Along a winding ancient path, it took us about 15 minutes to get to the slope. It’s actually a remote and tranquil slope. People built a small tomb that is in fact a hump in the slope of the fall of phoenix in tribute to our brave hero. I guess the hump is the exact criminal scene of the death of Pang tong. We bowed deeply to the hump as a mark of respect to Pang Tong. The top of the hump is lavish with wide grass, which shows us that the lonely tomb is very short of care in a very isolated and barren place. The tomb is just quietly lying down there, telling us the stories about the ferocious ancient battle. There is located a farm which was built about at the age of Cultural Revolution beside the path connected to the slope of the fall of phoenix. The Cultural Revolution slogans from Chair Mao’s abstracts are painted on the walls of the farmland. After visiting the slope of the fall of phoenix, we hurried to the train station of Luo Jiang County. When I was on board the train to Mianyang, I indulged in the retrospection of this travel, the tradition and modernization of Luo Jiang, and its past and the present all having impressed me so much. I love this quiet county. It is just sleeping there, time passing away, many dynasties having been through the ebb and flow and telling current Chinese the stories about its past and waiting for its future!