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The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, often referred to as “Ning”, is located at the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River in northwest China. It borders Gansu Province to the south, Shanxi Province to the east, and Inner Mongolia to the north. Covering an area of 66,000 sq km, it is the largest community of the Hui ethnic group in China. It has a total population of 6.13 million while the Hui ethnic group consist about one third of it, which is over 2.3 million. As for the reason, Ningxia is widely regarded as the “Islamic province of China” worldwide. The Yellow River flows through 12 cities and counties in central and north Ningxia. It brings rich water resource to Ningxia and makes Yinchuan Plain the most affluent area throughout the autonomous region. Thus, the Yinchuan plain has been considered as the “Eden of the Northern Wastes”. Indeed as the saying goes, “The Yellow River Brings prosperity to Ningxia”

Rock Carving on Helan Mountains

Rock Carving on Helan Mountains

  Around the hillsides of the Helanshan, 40 km or more off the Yinchuan City, there are several tens of thousands of rock carvings by ancient nomadic tribes, which are known as Helanshan Rock Carvings. Most of them are concentrated at Halankou Pass, totaling more than 1000 carvings.

 It is also a key site of relics being protected by the state.  It is readily accessible by various traffic means. Of all the cavings, a great number are images of human faces, handprints, and hunting, and offering sacrifice. Among the animal paintings, there are running deer, blue sheep, tigers and leopards, duckbills, and flying birds.

 According to the textual research by specialists, these rock carvings can be dating back to 6000 years before the dynasties og Ming and Qing.  It was an art gallery created by ancient nomadic tribes. The artistic style of these rock carvings is wild and dense and thick, in simple design conceiving a unique artistic conception and value. They provide valuable materials for the study of the ways of life, ideas of religion, and war, farming and husbandry, hunting, and astronomy of various ethnic minority groups in ancient China.
Helanshan Rock carvings have produced a great influence on the world. The annual conference of the International Rock carvings Organization was convened there in October 1991.


The Shahu Lake Area

The Shahu Lake Area

The lake Shahu tourism area is located 56km northwest of Yinchuan City, where is a famous scenic spot combining the landscape of water and mountain of South China and the scenery of the vast sand land in North China. In1990, the construction of the area was launched. For its unique natural landscape, it has been selected as one of the 35 most beautiful scenic spots across the country. In 2007, it was honored as the scenic spot of AAAA class by CNTA. The Lake Shahu boasts sand in the south and water in the north. The place is the haven of birds and the world of fish, and the entertainment garden of tourists. The surface of the boundless lake looks just like a vast piece of silver colored brocade. In the early summer, newly growing reeds are exuberant like high bamboos, forming up a branching stream, or like a street, or a canopy, or a screen. In the soft wind, they sway gently to present a graceful look.

The lake is abundant in the products of fish and birds. Tourists can watch all kinds of birds playing at a distance on the tower of watching birds. The lake is thickly inhabited by tens of thousands of birds such as white cranes, black storks and swans. In every spring, eggs of various colors are strewn everywhere, a wonderful scene in nature.

The fish and birds of the lake are the two links of the natural paragenesis chain. Small fish is the food of birds while the wastes of birds are the food for fish. And the rich roots of reeds and water grass and plankton are common food for fish and birds. A dozen species of fish are breeding in the lake, such as common carps, silver carps, and variegated carps, grass carps in addition to those rarely seen before in the north such as Wuchang fish, giant salamanders, and giant soft-shelled turtles.

With the affluent produce of fish, the restaurants around the lake specially offer the fish banquet. An instantly captured variegated carp of about 15 kg can be offered for guests. It is skillfully cooked and tastes good. If tourists are interested in fishing by themselves, they can do it freely.

A vast desert covering an area of 30000 mu of land lies in the south of the lake. It seems like a naturally made company of the lake. They rely on each other and contrast finely with each other when the blue water of the lake undulates, and the golden waves ripple across the desert. Tourist boats and motorboats are provided and tourists can swim in the lake. Camels are also provided for tourists to ride in the desert or to go sightseeing by cable cars. Yurts are provided for tourists to stay. And the charge is very low.

Western Xia Imperial Tombs

Western Xia Imperial Tombs

The western Xia Imperial Tombs is a natioanl AAAA tourist attraction, and a key cultural monument under state protection.  Numerous emperors of the Western Xia Dynasty (1038 - 1227) were buried here, making these toms imperial destinations for the ancient rulers. The cemetery is located at the middle section of the eastern foot of the Helan Mountains, 35 kilometers away to the west of Yinchuan City, covering 53 sq km, with nine mausoleums and more than 253 annex tombs scattered around the tumulus area. It is one of the largest and best preserved imperial cemeteries in Hina, also known as the bright cultural pearl at the foot of the Helan Mountains in the west of Yinchuan City and a great tourist resort where people can explore and appreciate the culture of the Western Xia. People always call it "the mysterious wonder" or "the oriental pyramid".

The Western Xia was a feudal dynasty established in the early 11th century ruled by the Dangxiang Clan. It lasted for some 190 years under the realm of ten emperors.There are huge architectural relics in the north and the ruins of anient kilns in the east. Each tomb covers an average area of more than 100,000 sq m, with underground burial chambers, and buildings and gardens on the ground. Today, only the ruins of the Western Xia Imperial Tombs can be found in this area, but a lot of architectural materials and inscriptions in Tangut and Chinese characters on stones survive the long history.

Based on the historical events of the Western Xia, 18 groups of artistic scenes and 160 figure statues in the Western Xia History Art Museum inside the Western Xia imperial cemetery represent the glorious civilization of the Western Xia Dynasty, recalling the years when the Dangxiang Clan expanded the frontiers of their country, abolishing slavery, reforming the civil system, and creating their writing characters.