The Red Hill stands magnificently at the center of Urumqi City. At sunrise and sunset, the hill looks red for it reflects the red light from the sun, so it was named Red Hill. Red Hill Park (Hongshan Gongyuan) is a pleasant spot to visit to get your bearings when you first arrive in this modern city. The views from the top of the mountain of the surrounding countryside and breathtaking mountains, make the steep (but short) climb worthwhile.
The mountain peak stands 1391 meters above sea level, it stretches from east to west. Climb up to the top, where you can stop and sit down for a drink and enjoy fabulous views over the city with the snow capped mountains behind. Numerous legends are associated with the mountain, including a few scary tales about a dragon that inhabits the hillside! The top of the hill looks like a tiger and the rock is red, so the hill is also called “Tiger Head Hill” “Red Counterfort”. On the opposite side less than 1 km away from the Red Hill is Yamalik Hill (Monster Hill). On a side of the Red Hill stretches Urumqi River from south to north. After many years of development, the Red Hill has become “Red Hill Park” whose view is very beautiful.
A Qing Pagoda (Zhenlong Ta) can be found half way up the mountain. This was built by one of the emperors to ward off the evil dragon and his spirits! There are also a few fairground rides within the grounds here, and a lake to boat on. This is a popular spot with local families who come here to get out of the city for the day.
In 1788, Shang An, governor of Urumqi, had pagodas built on top of each of the two hills to suppress the dragon. The reddish-brown Red Hill is crowned by the nine-story, gray brick Zhenlong Pagoda (Pagoda to Suppress Dragons), eight meters (26.4 feet) tall. The hill is dotted with small pavilions.
Over Red Hill's long history, there have been many important religious buildings on this hill. Before Buddhist times, the nomadic Oyrat tribe built an "ebo" here, a stone cairn used by tribesmen to worship and offer sacrifices to their gods. During the Qing period, splendid temples were built to house Buddhist activities. These attracted swarms of visitors. The Temple of the Jade Emperor and the Temple of the Great Buddha were built high on the hill. The Palace of the Dipper was built at the foot of the hill. Unfortunately, warlords of later generations burned these down.
In recent years, the Statue of Lin Zexu, a national hero of the Qing Dynasty, was established, which added to the beauty of the Red Hill. Standing in the Far-Viewing Pavilion on top of the Red Hill, you can get a complete view of the city of Urumqi. The Red Hill has become a symbol of Urumqi.
China tours inclusive of visiting Red Hill, Urumqi