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Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

dujianyanThe Dujiangyan is a town 60km northwest of Chengdu, and Dujiangyan Irrigation System is situated on the upper reaches of the Minjiang River, a tributary of Yangzi River that flows through Dujiangyan City.

dujianyan01This great project is a miracle of ancient Chinese ingenuity, which was begun in 256 B.C. and expanded more than three times. Before the project of Dujiangyan, this area was plagued by frequent floods and droughts caused by the Minjiang River. To avoid disasters, Dujiangyan was built.

The construction of the Dujiangyan irrigation project was begun by Li Bing, king of west Sichuan, in 256 B.C. and completed by his son, Er Lang. When Han settlers first arrived 2,200 years ago, the area was a flat plain plagued by frequent summer floods (and winter droughts) caused by the Minjiang, a Changjiang tributary that flows through the Chengdu/Chuan Xi plains. Workers using only hand tools cut a trunk canal, called the "Mouth of the Precious Jar," through a towering mountain in order to feed an extensive system of canals on the plains, thereby turning the Chengdu plains into one of the most fertile in China and giving rise to the description of Chengdu as Heaven on Earth.

The project has been maintained and expanded ever since, and it is perhaps one of the world's oldest irrigation schemes in continuous use today. The Sichuanese are very grateful to Li Bing and his son. Both men have been deified (with temples built for them at Dujiangyan and elsewhere), and ceremonies are held every year to commemorate their achievements

On November 29th, 2000, UNESCO listed Dujiangyan as a world cultural heritages site.

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