Nanjing (Nanking) City Tour Package
Located on the western side of Hanzhong Lu,
Nanjing City, Mochou Lake occupies an
area of 47 hectares (about 116 acres). Once a part of the Yangtze
River, gradually became a lake as the course of the river wavered
from the Yangtze River to the Qin Huai River.
According to one legend, the name of the lake came from
a young woman of beauty and virtue named Mochou.who lived during the
Northern and Southern Dynasty (386-589). She married a man from the
Lu family in Jinling (now known as Nanjing City) and had a baby.
They lived a happy life until one day Lu was recruited to the army.
Because there had been no news of him since he had left, she missed
her husband dearly day and night. Finally, it is said that Mochou
turned into a lake, with the hope of flowing to her husband's side.
In memory of the young woman's undying devotion to her husband, the
lake was aptly named Mochou Lake by the local people.
In 1929, the lake was renamed Mochou Lake Park and was
expanded and rebuilt in 1953 with additional trees and flowers.
A visitor is first greeted by an ornamental pond and
fountains, as well as a rock display. Walking ahead, you will
encounter the well-known Shengqi Pavilion, which is a two-storey
structure of primitive simplicity. On the first floor, paintings and
calligraphies of famous artists can be found. On the second floor,
there is a picture of two men playing I-go, one is Emperor Taizu
named Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the other
man is one of his subjects, General Xu Da. Legend has it that Zhu
Yuanzhang used to play I-go with Xu Da, who was a master-hand in
Chinese draught. However, Xu Da always lost the game intentionally
so as not to offend the Emperor. Eventually, Zhu saw through this
ruse and ordered him to play to the best of his ability. The next
time they played, Xu Da won the game. At the same time, this
intelligent subject pleased the Emperor by posting the pieces of the
characters 'wan sui', which meant long life. In delight, the Emperor
bestowed the Shengqi ('winning the game') Pavilion as well as Mochou
Lake to Xu Da.
To the north of the Shengqi Pavilion is the former
residence of Mochou, Yujin Hall (yujin means white cardamom). A
water lily pond into two parts divides the hall. In the middle of
the pond stands a white marble statue of Mochou with a sorrowful
expression. To the east and west of the pond are pavilions
surrounded by cloisters for lily viewing.
Behind the pavilion is Mochou Lake. The lake is full of
lotus roots that present an eye-catching sight when the water lilies
are in blossom. In the center of the lake is an island that is
accessible to tourists by boat. Waterfowls usually inhabit the
island all year-round.
Since 1991, the park has hosted dragon boat races on
the lake every year, a display of Chinese culture and great
pageantry. In April, a boat ride on the lake can help the tourists
appreciate the flowering blossoms from nearby crabapple trees while
drinking in the beautiful scenery of the lake.