Dujiangyan Irrigation system
The Dujiangyan Irrigation system is a miracle of ancient Chinese ingenuity. Before the completion of Dujiangyan, the plains around the Min River were prone to floods due to the fast moving Min River flowing down from its mountain source and converging at flat ground. It was in the Warring States period about 2200 years ago that the engineer Li Bing and his son led the construction of the Dujiangyan irrigation system that tamed the Min River and irrigated the surrounding plains.
Experts unanimously believe that the original theory used to design the Dujiangyan Dam came from experiences of the masses and that this theory was later enhanced by Li Bing, the local governor of Shu in Qin State. The people recognized some kind of irrigation system would have to be built, as at that time the Minjiang River running across the vast Chengdu Plain was quite dangerous and would harm people downriver.LiBing has endured as one the most revered symbolic figures among the heroes harnessing floods in ancient Shu. Even now, centuries after the dam was constructed, Chinese people are still benefiting from the work and forethought of Li Bing and are enjoying a harmonious and happy life on this plain.
After making careful survey on the spot, Li Bing had a channel cut through Mount Yulei to the west of the city, thus a man-made river came into existence. In the middle of the Minjiang River, a dyke was built to divide the river into two parts: the inner river and the outer river. In order to control the flood and silt, two spillways were built at the end of the water-dividing dyke. Since that time this gravity irrigation system has helped make Chengdu Plain a "Land of Abundance", producing a bumper harvest every year even when droughts or floods wiped out the crops of nearby areas.
Today Dujiangyan is a major tourist attraction. The dam has received the admiration of scientists around the globe due to its ingenuous feature of letting a river's water go through naturally instead of blocking it with huge walls.
On the 29th of November 2000, Dujiangyan Irrigation system and Mt.Qingcheng were placed on the world cultural Heritage list.
Dujiangyan Travel Guide