The 36-meter-tall Huqiu (Tiger Hill) stands outside the lumen Gate to the north west of Suzhou. It was where the King of the State of Wu( a small state in the Spring and Autumn Periods over thousands of years ago) Fu Chai, buried his father-Helu along with 3,000 swords. Legend has it that on the third day after the burial, a white tiger appeared to guard the tomb, hence the name of the hill.
Midway up the hill beside the Qianren (Thousand Men) Rock, there is the rectangular crystal-clear Sword pond flanked by sheer cliffs. It is said that both Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.), and Sun Quan of the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), had sent people to search the swords by digging into the hill but no avail. The Sword Pond is believed to result from the digging.
According to records, the door of He Lu's tomb was revealed once when the pond went dry. Archaeologists speculated that the tomb is right below the Tiger Hill Pagoda. This pagoda, first built in the Five Dynasties Period, is an octagonal seven-storey structure. Since the Ming Dynasty, it started tilting northwards, which has been supposed to be caused by the tomb's structure.
The Yunyan Temple, another key attraction on the hill, is one of the most famous Buddhist land in this part of China. Even Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty could not resist its peaceful ambience so he decided to make the temple his temporary residence during his Suzhou trip.
I updated this article on January 31, 2013
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