In 2000, a farmer climbed up the Flower Hill(Hua Shan) in Huangshan and discovered impressive caves that until now remain a mystery even to experts. There are numerous speculations as to why and how these caves were built. Some people think that the grottos were made for troop shelter while others believe that they are ancient emperors’ tombs or ancient stone quarry. However, even the archeological and scientific societies do not have enough evidence to support any claim.
There are no recorded writing materials in history that pertain to the grottos. It is calculated by experts that the caves were chiseled before the Jin Dynasty based on the deposit height of the stalactites. Experts also say that they are at least 1,700 years old. However, these experts failed to find answers to several questions like who made the grottos? What is the purpose of these people?
What is it like?
There are 36 artificial caves in the hilly area of Huangshan and some were already opened to tourist since 2000. Among all, travelers are most impressed with cave 35, 2, and 24. Cave 35 is the largest and it was extolled as the Underground and Cool Palace. It measures 18 meters in height and 170 meters in length. It covers 12,000 meters of land and is supported by 26 stone pillars. It has several stone beds found on the many stone rooms and stone gutters.
The grottos were well-made and they are properly ventilated. Going through each of them, travelers will not feel any slight discomfort. The structure of the wall was made in such a way that they absorb acoustic waves and no noise outside can be heard inside.
The neatly chiseled roofs and walls, the big stone stairs and big pillars, indicate that the caves were not product of nature but made by men. Even if they are now the biggest caves found in China, there isn’t a single word in ancient records that can tell anybody when, how, and why there were made.
Inside the cave, a stone bridge can be found above the underground river. It follows stone paths leading to different halls. Nearby, a two-storey stone structure can be found. This gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the huge cave from a balcony.
On May 20, 2001, ex-president Jiang Zeming gave the name Huashan Mysterious Grottos. To attract more travelers, new waterfalls and rare waterfowls were developed within the scenic area. There are also now European style teahouses where travelers can buy snacks and drinks.
Location: Wu Village, Tunguang Town, Tunxi District, Huangshan