Poyang Lake — History, Folklore, Devil Triangle, and Paradise of Birds
Poyang Lake of Jiangxi Province, Photo by Liao Hao.
What is Poyang Lake?
Poyang Lake, also named Pengli or Pengze, is an area with invaluable ruins, important historical events, legendary folklores, the mysterious Devil Triangle, and picturesque scenes.
Besides, it is one of the biggest bird reserves in the world and the largest freshwater lake in China.
Birds of Poyang Lake, Photo from Official Site of Poyanghu National Wetland Park.
The Most Famous Folklore of Poyang Lake
Once upon a time, a young fisherman found a shining pearl near the lake and took it along.
On his way home, a girl showed up and told him she had lost her precious pearl. So this young man gave her the pearl that he had found.
Sometime later, this young man encountered a vast windstorm on the lake, then a fairy in a green dress with a glorious pearl appeared and guided him to escape safely.
This young man and the beautiful fairy fell in love and married afterward.
Nature Reserve of Poyang Lake, Photo from Official Site of Poyanghu National Wetland Park.
However, an evil cast his greedy eyes on the beautiful fairy and tried everything to sabotage her happy marriage.
What's worse, she was found out to have married a human being, which was considered taboo by her master, who took her back to heaven soon.
On her way back to heaven, she saw that devil was trying to attack her beloved husband, so she threw one of her shoes toward the devil and buried him under the water, turning into a mountain next to the lake.
Shoe-Shaped Island the Xieshan, Photo by Zhu Xingyong.
Devil's Triangle of Poyang Lake
The lake folklore might be hearsay; however, the big windstorm that the young fisherman had encountered was possibly for real.
Near Laoye Temple, a place to worship the King of Dragon, is the Devil's Triangle of Poyang Lake.
In history, many unusual phenomena happened and had memorized by locals, including appearing of monsters in the lake, sudden darkness in the daytime, unique shining lights, etc.
Most importantly, many ships had mysteriously disappeared in this area, and no one knows what caused those accidents nor what exactly happened to those vanished boats and the people inside.
Night View and Boating People, Photo from Official Site of Poyanghu National Wetland Park.
Influential Historical Events that Happened in Poyang Area
Poyang Lake Battle
It was the largest-scale water battle in the Medieval era and played an essential role in establishing the Ming Dynasty (1368 — 1644).
In 1363 (30th of August — 4th of October), Zhu Yuanzhang led 200,000 warriors to defeat his rival’s 650,000 soldiers in the lake.
After this decisive triumph, Zhu Yuanzhang perished one of his biggest enemies and established the Ming Dynasty 5 years later.
Part of Painting "Prosperous City Nanjing of the Ming Dynasty" (Nan Du Fan Hui Tu), By Artist Qiu Ying (1497 — 1552) — National Museum of China
The Rebellion of Prince Ning
In 1519, Zhu Chenhao (respected as Prince Ning) rebelled and started a war, trying to snatch the throne.
About a month later, Wang Yangming defeated his troops through a decisive, final battle in the Poyang Lake, bringing peace to civilians.
Stele to Memorize this War, Written by Wang Yangming, Photo by Zhang Zhugang.
Poyang Lake is in Jiangxi Province, southeast China;
It is the largest freshwater lake and the second-largest lake in China;
It is about 3150 to 4400 square kilometers, based on seasonal differences in water levels;
The average depth is about 14 to 15 meters;
There are 41 islands, with over 103 square kilometers area;
Over 150 types of birds habitat in Poyang Lake Nature Reserve; many of them are rare species in the world, such as the white-naped crane, hooded crane, common crane, white stork, black stork, spoonbill, whistling swan, etc.
Cranes on Poyanghu Area, Photo by Hu Yeqing.
Important Cultural Sites and Natural Scenic Views
Pavilion of Prince Teng or Tengwang Ge
Firstly constructed in 653 by Prince Teng, younger brother of Emperor Taizong of Tang, later great poet Wang Bo (about 650 — 676) wrote a famous article, "Tengwang Ge Xu", to record and eulogize the stunningly beautiful views there.
The building had been rebuilt several times in history; however, the beauty and importance of this Pavilion and article remained.
Main Building of Pavilion of Prince Teng or Tengwang Ge.
Mount Lu or Lushan National Park, located next to the lake, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautiful natural sceneries. It is one of the most influential centers of education and religion in history.
Hanpo Pass or Hanpo Kou of Mount Lu Facing the Lake, Photo by Dashenlin Taishan.
Suojiang Tower, also named Suojianglou, belonged to a building complex constructed in 1585 to suppress and block Dragon Jiaolong living in the lake, which caused huge floods in this area.
Centuries of wind, rain, flood, earthquakes, and wars took down other buildings, but the Suojiang Tower is still standing and guarding the lake.
Suojiang Tower, Photo by Shejiang.
Tomb of the Marquis of Haihun
The Tomb of Haihunhou, or the Marquis of Haihun in Nanchang city of Jiangxi Province, is the mausoleum of Liu He (? — 59 BC).
Liu He, the grandson of Emperor Wu of Han, wore the crown for 27 days and was abolished by powerful regent Huo Guang.
Afterward, the new Emperor Xuan of Han conferred Liu He as the Marquis of Haihun.
Because of the changing area of the lake, the tomb had been drowned by water for a long time, which preserved it well.
Today, the Tomb of Marquis of Haihun is the biggest and best-preserved royal mausoleum of the Han Dynasty (202 BC — 220 AD), which is over 40,000 square meters large and has over 10,000 invaluable relics unearthed.
Horse hoof Shaped Golds Unearthed from Tomb of the Marquis of Haihun — Jiangxi Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)
Wucheng is an ancient town next to the lake, with significant military importance.
Many generals had trained armies and fought intense wars there.
Yanshui Ting, Believed as the Place that General Zhou Yu (175 — 210) to Command His Armies.
Luoxingdun or Dexing Shan
Luoxingdun island in the lake is believed to be the incarnation of a meteorite, which only shows up when the water level drops.
Some ancient buildings on this island were first constructed during the Five Dynasties (907 — 960).
Luoxingdun in the Middle of the Lake, Photo by Rao Jinxing.
Stone Arch Bridge of the Ming Dynasty
When the lake entered the Dry Season (with a water level lower than 10.5 meters), a 2657-meter-long ancient bridge (built in 1631) would show up.
Stone Arch Bridge of Ming Dynasty, Photo by Zhu Xingyong.
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