Zhijin Cave

The Zhijin Cave is like a vast underground palace, complete with a velvety moss around the first ’reception hall’ cave and sparking rare rock formations though out. It’s also China’s largest, at a gaping 173 metres wide and 150 meters tall at the cavern’s largest point.

Visitors are taken past a dense forest of glistening stalactites and stalagmites deep under the surrounding hills; the whole tunnel and cavern complex is over 12 kilometres in length. There’s a superb array of different karst formations, including one large and particularly unique example in the main cavern and unusually shaped passages and grottos which you explore in the oily semi darkness down paths created by felled stalagmites and hacked into the limestone.
At present, the cave is divided into 10 scenic zones, namely, the Yingbin Hall, Sutra Hall (jiǎng jīng táng), Pagoda Forest, Wanshou Palace, Wangshan Lake, Jiangnanzeguo, Xuexiang Palace, Lingxiao Palace, Guanghan Palace and the Shiwan Hills‘ Mountain.

Yingbin Hall is more than 200 meters long. Because of the sunshine from the outside, the hall is covered with moss. In the top of the hall, there is a round hole, through which the sun can go directly to the bottom of the cave. On the edge of the hole, there are drops of water, falling down continuously. In the sunshine, all the drops are like hundreds of thousands gold coins.
Thus the hole is called Luoqian Hole (means coins are falling down from the hole). In the little hall beside the Yingbin Hall, there is a stalactite, which is more than 10 meters high and in a shape of the mushroom cloud formed after nuclear bomb explodes, hence the name of Mushroom-Cloud Hall. In the hall there is also a pond named Shadow Spring, because you can appreciate the shadows of the stalagmites in the cave.

Sutra Hall gets its name for the arhat shaped stalactite. The hall is about 200 meters long and 50 meters wide. In the center of the hall there is a pool, covering an area of 300 square meters. The pool is divided into two parts by the stalactite, hence the name Riyuetan Pool.

Pagoda Forest, also called Golden Pagoda Forest, covers an area of over 16000 square meters. There are more than 100 stone pagodas in the hall, which are in golden color. Wangshan Lake is a underground lake, which is 170 meters long, over 40 meters wide.

It is the terminal of the whole cave, which can lead you to every scenic zone. The stalactites around the lake are in black. The highest one among them is up to 10 meters, like a sago cycas. At the northeast bank of the lake there is a abrupt slope, which has two branches. One will lead you to the Lingxiao Palace, and another to the Guanghan Palace.


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