Tiger Hill is a must visit destination in Suzhou that is rich in history and extremely scenic in beauty. Also known as the Surging Sea Hill, this famous hill covers an area of over 3 hectares and stands majestically at a height of 36 meters. The hill is home to various cultural sites and relics that are set in a tranquil and picturesque environment of lush greenery. The place is reputed to be the burial site of King He Lu of Wu and his 3000 sword collection that was buried there by his son in 496 BC after he perished in a war against the Yue. Folklore reveals how a white tiger sat on the grave as though to protect it, thus the summit became known as Tiger Hill.
One of the most prominent attractions of Tiger Hill is the pagoda of the Yunyan Temple. Towering at a height of 48 meters, this pagoda was built during the Northern Song Dynasty in a manner that is reminiscent of architecture from the Tang period. The pagoda is renowned for being the oldest temple in Suzhou and is distinct in appearance as the structure leans toward one side. The Sword Testing Stone, the Sword Pool and the Lu Yu Well are also significant historic sites at Tiger Hill. The Sword Testing Stone is a creviced rock that is said to be the object on which King He Lu tested his swords, whilst the Sword Pool is considered to be the place where the swords are buried. The Lu Yu Well stands as a tribute to Lu Yu who wrote the first book on tea. He declared the well to be the source of the 3rd purest water in the whole of China.
Tiger Hill is also famous for the natural splendour of its gardens. The Verdant Mount Villa on the Hill is a historic garden that was created during the Qing Dynasty under the leader Emperor Guangxu. The garden is an artistic masterpiece of the lush gardens that Suzhou is renowned for. The Wanjing Villa displays splendid bonsai trees of which the techniques originated in China. Other attractions at Tiger Hill include the Thousand People Rock, that is located midway up the Hill, and the enchanting Spring of Simplicity and Honesty which is said to have appeared suddenly to a tired monk who was carrying water to the top.
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