Situated some 50 kilometres away in the north western part of Beijing (China), the royal Ming dynasty tombs serve as the resting place of 13 eminent emperors of China. The site is very famous and notable as it houses the highest concentration of imperial tombs as compared to any other region of the world and due to its uniqueness and magnificence, the place is visited by thousands of people annually who take to spend and amazing and exciting time of their lives.
Its location was carefully chosen and is considered to be the ideal one as it is believed by the Chinese that this settlement deflects the evil winds and bad spirits. During 2003, these tombs were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site and with the passage of time it has gained much fame and have become one of the best-loved and must-see tourist’s destinations of Beijing.
You can enter these tombs by following the long 7 kilometres road which is known with the name of ‘Spirit way’- declared to be the largest stone archway of China.
The road is bordered with the beautiful sculptures of officials and animals, followed by a front gate that comprises 3-arches blanketed with the red colour and that is why it is known as ‘the Red Gate’. This archway is considered as one of the most spectacular and important historical treasure whose history date back to 1540.
Moving further you will be able to have the sight of the Shengong Shengde Stele Pavilion, where there is the statue of a gigantic tortoise shaped dragon-beast, that has the weight of about 50 tons and it is holding a stone tablet. It was installed here during the time period of Qing dynasty. There are 4 erected columns called as the ‘pillars of glory’ and on the top, mythical beasts are perched.
The tomb of Chang Ling is the final resting plot of emperor Yongle and is known to be the most inspiring and impressive because of its opulently-styled halls and unique architecture. It also houses an upright statue of Yongle and many other superb cedar-wood pillars. The 2nd largest is the tomb of Ding Ling and it is also situated within the compound.
Here the emperor Wanli is buried and this tomb is also commonly called as ‘the Tomb of Stability’. The crypt is very significant as this is the only one where the tourists are permitted to hit the underground vault. The 3rd one is Zhao Ling tomb where Longqing- the 13th Ming emperor is having his final sleep.
It is designed in a standard yet awe-inspiring tomb-style. All the tombs share a common layout, although they differ in architectural complexity and size. They all contain a Precious Hall, a watchtower, the Hall of Eminent Favour, the Gate of Eminent Favour, a stele pavilion and a front gate.
For the time being only three tombs allow the visit of the people as new researches and excavations are being carried out in the rest. So to explore the beauty and elegance of these astonishing tombs, just get ready and head towards Beijing.