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Elephant Trunk Hill

Name of a landmark limestone mountain located on an island in the Li River (fig.) in Guilin (桂林) LISTEN, just 300 meters south of the city's Shanhu Lake (fig.), with its silver and a golden pagodas (fig.), known as the Sun and Moon Pagodas that represent the principle of yin and yang. The mountain is said to have been created by Yu Huang, the ruler of heaven (fig.). According to legend, the elephant as was once the Jade Emperor's mount. One day the Emperor descended to earth on a hunting expedition, accompanied with a herd of other elephants and horses, who in the process trampled on the planted crops, ravaging the local people's livelihoods and resulting in a famine. When the Emperor returned to heaven his celestial pachyderm had stayed behind to help the people of Guilin replant the crops. When it refused to answer Yu Huang's calls to return, the Emperor eventually struck it with his sword and it was turned into stone just as it was drinking from the river. The large gaping hole in the mountain is somewhat reminiscent of the Moon Gates (fig.) and Moon Bridges (fig.) that are found all over China, and is hence accordingly referred to as Water Moon Cave. The Elephant Trunk Hill is a symbol of Guilin and is in Chinese known as Xiang Bi Shan (象鼻山) LISTEN.