Liuhe Pagoda (Six Harmonies Tower) of Hangzhou China – History and Information

Liuhe Pagoda or Six Harmonies Tower is a tall multi-storied pagoda in southern Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Located on the Qiantang River, at the foot of Yuelun Hill, the pagoda was built in 970 AD during the northern Song dynasty but destroyed in a war. It was then rebuilt and ruined several more times. The current wood and brick structure dates to 1152.

Being one of the impressive masterpieces of ancient Chinese architectures, Liuhe pagoda attracts thousands of tourists every year. The 196.5 feet tall pagoda has 13 stories outside and 7 stories inside. The six harmonies refers to the 6 directions (heaven, earth, east, west, north and south) as well as the six regulations of Buddhism. A bright lamp installed in the top can also served as a lighthouse.

The pagoda was originally built by the ruler of the Wuyue State (which is an area that now become a part of Zhejiang province). It is also believed that one of the reason for building Liuhe pagoda is to calm the tidal waters of Qiantang River as well as to become a navigational aid. During the night, lanterns were lit almost everywhere in the pagoda so that boats and ships on the Qiantang River could see the building and use it as a navigation tower. You can also see 104 large iron bells hung on its flying eaves as this was done to ward off harmful spirits who responsible for the heavy tides which had caused so much flooding before dykes were finally constructed.

Every story of the pagoda consists of 4 elements; the interior walls, the exterior walls, a zigzagged corridor and a small chamber. This octagonal tower also has a spiral staircase which leads to the top floor. Each of its seven ceilings are carved with painted figures such as birds, flowers, animals and characters. When the pagoda is viewed from the outside, it may appears to be layered-bright on the upper surface but dark underneath. That is harmonious alternation of light and shade.

If you climb to the top of the pagoda, you can see a beautiful and impressive view of the Qiantang River Bridge spanning the surging tides of Qiantang River. There is also an exhibition center near the pagoda that displays many details about other important ancient pagodas in China including all the information about their architectural style. That gallery is also known as the Pagoda Park.



Source by Susan Wong