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Red Hill

On the east bank of the Urumqi River, Red Hill, 910 meters or 3,000 feet high, at the very center of the city, resembles a mighty wriggling dragon. This reddish-brown hill is dotted with small pavilions and at the top stands a nine-storied, gray-brick pagoda called Zhenlong Pagoda (Pagoda to Suppress Dragons), 8 meters (26.3 feet) high, facing Yamalike Hill. It has a legend that in 1785 and 1786 the city suffered from severe rive flood, caused, it was supposed, by a vicious dragon. If the two mountains (Red Hill and Yamalike Hill) joined, the Urumqi river would be blocked and drown the city. In 1788, Shang An, the governor of Urumqi, had two pagodas built at the top of each hill to suppress the dragon. Now the pagoda still remains intact. There used to be many famous buildings on the hill. During the time of the nomadic Oyrat Tribe, an "Ebo" - the name for a kind of cairn used by the tribesmen to worship and offer sacrifice to their gods was built here; in the Qing, Temple of the Jade Emperor and Temple of the Great Buddha; the Palace of the Dipper were built at the foot of the hill. Those splendid temples used to hold Buddhist activities and attracted swarms of worshippers. Unfortunately they were burnt down by warlords later.

Now with emerald greenery the Red Hill is a landmark of the city.


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