After we finished lunch, it was back into the scortching heat, and off we went to the Ming Tombs. We were only 5 minutes away from the Ming Tombs. I can't remember exactly how much entrance fee was. :( But I'm pretty sure it was $50 yuan. I keep all my entrance coupons and tickets as souvenirs, and now have a very thick stack. However the entrance card I received for Dingling didn't have a price printed it on.
A photo of me at the main gate of the
13th Ming Dynasty Tomb - Dingling.
Ming Dynasty Tomb Brief History
There were 13 Ming Tombs excavated, and trial excavation began in May 1956, which proved successful. The first Ming Tomb to be excavated was named Dingling Tomb, which is located east of Mount Dayu. Dingling was the Tomb for the 13th Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Yi Jun (1563 - 1620), and his two empresses. He reigned for 48 years when he died at the age of 58. See here for the History of Ming Dyansty
Construction of Dingling began in 1584, and was completed in 1590. The complete area covers an area of 180,000 square meters. The underground palace consisted of five halls: front, middle, rear, right, and left halls with a total area of 1,195 square meters. Inside dingling tomb, over 3,000 cultural artifacts were discovered, and in 1959 a Ding Ling museum was built at the site.
Touring DingLing of Ming Tombs
Dingling of the Ming Dynasty Tombs is the most popular tomb for local and foreign tourists. At the front gates, located to the left and right sides are parts of the museum showcasing various historical artifacts uncovered from Dingling Tomb. After entering the front gates, you come upon a long cement walk way that leads you to the tomb entrance.
A long walkway just after entering the front gates of Dinling.
About a 5 to 10 minute walk down the path you come upon the soul tower (Ming Lou). See picture below.
Behind me, the large building is called the Soul Tower (Ming Lou), which you tour last after exiting from the underground tomb chambers.
At this point, the tourist takes the stairs on the left side of the Soul Tower, to climb up another path to reach the entrance of the underground tomb. At the entrance, there is a security check. Your bags are run through a x-ray machine, you walk through a metal detector like one of those at airports.
Once inside, we walked a few flights of stairs down. Almost immediately, you feel the calm and cool air inside the underground tomb - a very pleasant change of atmosphere from the scortching 30 plus heat outside!
A map at the entrance of the Ding Ling Tomb.
As you can see from the map of Dingling tomb above, the entrance is on the right side. Once we entered, we walk through some tunnels and come up to the front chamber. It's through these tunnels that coffins are carried into the burial chamber. Continue with our DingLing tour in the next part.