Ancient A'lu Cave
cave is named the Ancient Alu Cave by the Yi people after the ancient
Alu tribe. During the Song and Yuan Dynasty, the Alu were one of
37 wild tribes in the area. They lived in the cave, which they were
named after: Alu means water and stone.
This enormous cave system may be
explored on a 3,000m long tourist trail. The tour includes
18 chambers, a cave river and a resurgence, karst windows,
and a wealth of speleothems. The tour shows three different
passages of the cave which are called Luyuan Cave, Yuzhu
Cave, and Biyu Cave, each with characteristic speleothems.
Luyuan Cave is a 760m long passage,
a series of ten chambers connected by narrow paths.
The biggest chamber can hold 4.000 people. An abundance
of speleothems of various forms are named in the typical
Chinese way with colourful and poetic names. Yuzhu Cave
has a length of more than 800m. The ceiling in this
passage is very high, which is the reason for the formation
of typical palm trunc stalagmites. The most impressive
single formation is the the Jade Pillar Supporting the
Sky, a pilar or stalagnate with a height of eight meters
and a diameter of about 30cm. The 800m long Biyu Cave
contains a crystal clear cave river which is called
Yusun River. It is populated by blind cave fish, which
can sometimes be seen on the tour.
The Alu Origin Cave is the chamber
were the Alu lived and archaeological excavations took
place. But it has not only a prehistoric use, it is
also a very old show cave. The first literate men came
to the cave during the Yuan Dynasty. The famous geographer
Xu Xiake came here twice for geographical investigation
during the Ming Dynasty.
The cave is near the Luxi County
Seat. In the Yi language," A'lu " means with
water and stone. The cave is called " Ancient Alu
Caves " (also Alugu Caves) because it used to serve
as the living unit of " A'lu Tribe " , one
of the 37 barbarian tribes in the Song and Yuan Dynasties.
At present, the Ancient Alu Cave is composed of three
caves, namely the Luyuan Cave, the Yuzhu Cave and the
Biyu Cave. and the Yusun River.
Along the 3,000 meters pass, visitors
can enjoy seeing stalactites in different styles, such
as, the " Hall Style " in the Luyuan Cave,
the " Tree Style " in the Yuzhu Cave and the
white, transparent magnesium carbonate crystalline rock
style in the Biyu Cave. The 800 meters long Yusun River
is rich in poetic and artistic appeal. The water is
clean, the stalactites along the river are beautiful
and the landscapes of " A'lu Beauty " , "
Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea " and " Mirage
" are so true to life that visitors may think they
are in the dragon palace under the sea. Lucky visitors
may have the chance to enjoy the unique treasure of
the river - - - transparent fish with horn but without
scales or eyes.
The principal part of the A'lu
Ancient Cave is made up of the Luyuan Cave, the Yuzhu
Cave, the Biyu Cave and the Yusun River. The three caves
and one river are more than 3,000 meters long. The scenery
in the cave has the characteristics of being ancient,
strange, and unique. There is spring outside cave; there
is cave in cave; there is sky in cave; there is river
under cave. In additional, there are all kinds of stalagmites,
stalactites, stelae, stone waterfalls, stone flowers
and so on. They are formed in various natural styles,
such as, ¡° Male Lion Howling¡±,
¡° Lotus Hung Inversely¡±, ¡°
Flying Dragon Playing Waterfall¡±, ¡°
Three Elephants Running Quickly in the Plain¡±,
¡° Old Tortoise Enjoying the Moon¡±,
¡°Crocodile in the Air¡±, ¡°Rhinoceros
Going to Sea¡±, ¡° Natural Fresco¡±,
¡° The King of Wei Country Appointing Soldier¡±,
¡° Lofty Jade Pole¡±, ¡°
Nine Dragons Going to Sea¡±, ¡°
A'xi Jumping to the Moon¡±,
etc.. They are all vivid. They display the infinite
pleasure of nature.
At the place which is 15 meters
down the Yuzhu Cave, there is a Yusun River. It's
more than 800 meters long. It's rare in
the world. The river is clear. It flows slowly all the
year around. In the deep underground palace, stalagmites
take on all kinds of shapes, such as, the shape of the
lotus,the shpe of the pen, the shape of marquee, fastigiate
ahape, laminar shape, filamentary shape, curly shape,
etc.. Some grow in clumps, some grow in flakes. They
are all the masterpieces of nature. The ¡°Underwater
Stalagmite¡± is called one wonder of the
cave. There are some rare fishes like the Dark Red Transparent
Fish. They add more mystery to the Yusun River. The
surface of the river is clear and flat like a mirror.
All the things around are reflected in the river. Either
beyond the river or below the river are all scenes When
people boat, it seems that they were in the picture
and entered a fairyland.