Mount Yuelu Scenic Area consists of hills, pinnacles, rivers, lakes, a variety of species of flora and fauna, a cultural historic site, and revolutionary monuments. The name Yuelu is derived from a famous line from the book, Story of Nanyue, written by Liu Song from the Southern and Northern Dynasties. It reads, "eight hundred square meters around Nanyue, the head is Huiyan and the foot is Yuelu". Since then, the mountain has been called Mountain Yuelu.
In addition to the beautiful natural scenery, the mountain is dotted with inspiring cultural heritages including Yuelu Academy, Lushan Temple, Yunlu Palace, Aiwan Pavilion, Baihe Spring, the Monument to King Yu, and other minor historical structures.
The original name of Aiwan Pavilion at the foot of Mount Yuelu was Hongye Pavilion. It faces east and is surrounded by hills on the other three sides.
This pavilion was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty and got its name from the poem by Du Mu, which says "Go up to a cool mountain far away, a winding stone path over there; There is a household in the depths of the white clouds. Stop my carriage, for I love the maple forest in the deep autumn; the leaves in the frost are redder than the flowers in February.”
The Pavilion is elegant and of primitive simplicity.
The temple enjoys great fame in the region and is renowned as the “first key point of interest from the Han and Wei Dynasties", and is "the most sacred temple in Hunan province".
Monument to King Yu
The Monument to King Yu stands on the purple rock wall of the peak of Mount Yuelu, facing east. It records the story of King Yu controlling water. After his father was killed for controlling water, King Yu continued to control water. According to legend, he did not listen to music for seven years and did not enter home after passing it three times. The monument is 1.7 meters tall and 1.4 meters wide. On the monument are nine lines, nine words for each of the nine lines, except for the last line, which has four fewer words, for a total of 77 words. The words look like polliwog, different from bone script, and are very difficult to understand. It is said that it was perhaps a symbol of Daoism, or even fabricated by a Taoist. As early as 1200 years ago, Han Yu heard about this monument and climbed Mount Goulou of Mount Nanyue to look for it, and then wrote a poem about it. Even if fabricated in the Tang or Song Dynasty, it is still quite precious as a monument of King Yu controlling water. There are 10 monuments of King Yu in China, and all are supposedly a duplication of the monument at Mount Yuelu.