One of the most well-liked tourist locations in China is Guilin, which is known for its fascinating karst mountains and lovely countryside. Learn more about the magnificent Reed Flute Cave in Guilin, a spectacular natural wonder.
How was the Reed Flute Cave formed?
The Reed Flute Cave, like all karst topography, is the end consequence of millions of years of water erosion wearing away the layer of limestone bedrock on the earth’s surface. Water seeped into the limestone bedrock fissures as they developed, forming drainage networks that later developed into full-fledged caves, like Reed Flute Cave, which formed around 180 million years ago.
There are numerous of these caves in South China’s Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan provinces, but the Reed Flute Cave is one of the most beautiful and has drawn tourists for more than a thousand years. The name of the cave is not derived from its shape but rather from the flute-making reeds that grow at its base.
What makes the Reed Flute Cave special?
The Reed Flute Cave is home to a variety of stalagmites and stalactites which have been given names such as Crystal Palace, Fish Tail Peak, and Dragon Pagoda based on their appearances and mythology. In the Chinese Buddhist classic Journey to the West, the Monkey King Sun Wu Kong is supposed to have utilised a single enormous stalactite as the magic spear of the Dragon King.
Additionally, the cave’s walls are covered in calligraphy writings by visitors dating back to the Tang Dynasty in the eighth century, most of which are poetry and travelogues. These inscriptions may provide a glimpse into a mediaeval Chinese variant of graffiti. In more recent times, the locals used the Reed Flute Cave as a hideout and shelter during the Sino-Japanese war, making it an important location. Hospitals and newspapers were run from inside the cave, which was unaffected by Japanese bombing. Modern day multicoloured lights create vivid paintings on the cave’s walls, enhancing its unique mystical energy and lending it an almost magical feel.
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