Riyue Mountain

Being part of the Qilian Mountain Range, Riyue Mountain is located in the west of Huangyuan County, Qinghai Province. Riyue Mountain was the only road to Tibet in history. In the first year during the reign of Emperor Ming in the North Wei Period, the achieved monk Song Yun went to India for Buddhist scriptures from Luoyang City via Riyue Mountain.

The mountain was called Chiling Range during the Tang Dynasty because of its grassless russet mountaintop. During the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese Emperor sent his daughter Princess Wencheng to make a strategic marriage with the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo. When Princess Wencheng left for Tubo for her marriage, she passed the Chiling Range. She took out the Sun-and-Moon Treasure Mirror given by her mother at departure, and saw her homeland Chang'an. For the cause of the unity of the two nationalities, she threw the mirror onto the mountain. The mirror turned into the Qinghai Lake, and her tears flowed into a river named Daotang River. To commemorate the princess, the mountain was renamed the Sun-and-Moon Mountain. Later, the two Pavilions on either side of the pass, named "Ri" and "Yue", were built to commemorate Princess Wencheng's sacrifice.

Lying 40 kilometers from southwest Xining, Riyue Mountain is undoubtedly a wonderful place from which to view the landscape around Xining. With the average altitude of 4,000 meters high above the sea level, it is the boundary of agricultural area and pastoral area of Qinghai Province.

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