Alu Cave in Luxi County, Honghe
Chinese Name: 泸西阿庐古洞
English Name: Alu Cave in Luxi County, Honghe
During the Song and Yuan Dynasty, the Alu were one of 37 wild tribes in the area. They lived in the cave, which they were named after: Alu means water and stone.
This enormous cave system may be explored on a 3,000m long tourist trail. The tour includes 18 chambers, a cave river and a resurgence, karst windows, and a wealth of speleothems. The tour shows three different passages of the cave which are called Luyuan Cave, Yuzhu Cave, and Biyu Cave, each with characteristic speleothems.
Luyuan Cave is a 760m long passage, a series of ten chambers connected by narrow paths. The biggest chamber can hold 4.000 people. An abundance of speleothems of various forms are named in the typical Chinese way with colourful and poetic names. Yuzhu Cave has a length of more than 800m. The ceiling in this passage is very high, which is the reason for the formation of typical palm trunc stalagmites. The most impressive single formation is the the Jade Pillar Supporting the Sky, a pilar or stalagnate with a height of eight meters and a diameter of about 30cm. The 800m long Biyu Cave contains a crystal clear cave river which is called Yusun River. It is populated by blind cave fish, which can sometimes be seen on the tour.
The Alu Origin Cave is the chamber were the Alu lived and archaeological excavations took place. But it has not only a prehistoric use, it is also a very old show cave. The first literate men came to the cave during the Yuan Dynasty. The famous geographer Xu Xiake came here twice for geographical investigation during the Ming Dynasty.
The cave is near the Luxi County Seat. In the Yi language,” A’lu ” means with water and stone. The cave is called ” Ancient Alu Caves ” (also Alugu Caves) because it used to serve as the living unit of ” A’lu Tribe ” , one of the 37 barbarian tribes in the Song and Yuan Dynasties. At present, the Ancient Alu Cave is composed of three caves, namely the Luyuan Cave, the Yuzhu Cave and the Biyu Cave. and the Yusun River.
Along the 3,000 meters pass, visitors can enjoy seeing stalactites in different styles, such as, the ” Hall Style ” in the Luyuan Cave, the ” Tree Style ” in the Yuzhu Cave and the white, transparent magnesium carbonate crystalline rock style in the Biyu Cave. The 800 meters long Yusun River is rich in poetic and artistic appeal. The water is clean, the stalactites along the river are beautiful and the landscapes of ” A’lu Beauty ” , ” Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea ” and ” Mirage ” are so true to life that visitors may think they are in the dragon palace under the sea. Lucky visitors may have the chance to enjoy the unique treasure of the river – – – transparent fish with horn but without scales or eyes.
The principal part of the A’lu Ancient Cave is made up of the Luyuan Cave, the Yuzhu Cave, the Biyu Cave and the Yusun River. The three caves and one river are more than 3,000 meters long. The scenery in the cave has the characteristics of being ancient, strange, and unique. There is spring outside cave; there is cave in cave; there is sky in cave; there is river under cave. In additional, there are all kinds of stalagmites, stalactites, stelae, stone waterfalls, stone flowers and so on. They are formed in various natural styles, such as, “ Male Lion Howling”, “ Lotus Hung Inversely”, “ Flying Dragon Playing Waterfall”, “ Three Elephants Running Quickly in the Plain”, “ Old Tortoise Enjoying the Moon”, “Crocodile in the Air”, “Rhinoceros Going to Sea”, “ Natural Fresco”, “ The King of Wei Country Appointing Soldier”, “ Lofty Jade Pole”, “ Nine Dragons Going to Sea”, “ A’xi Jumping to the Moon”, etc.. They are all vivid. They display the infinite pleasure of nature.
At the place which is 15 meters down the Yuzhu Cave, there is a Yusun River. It’s more than 800 meters long. It’s rare in the world. The river is clear. It flows slowly all the year around. In the deep underground palace, stalagmites take on all kinds of shapes, such as, the shape of the lotus,the shpe of the pen, the shape of marquee, fastigiate ahape, laminar shape, filamentary shape, curly shape, etc.. Some grow in clumps, some grow in flakes. They are all the masterpieces of nature. The “Underwater Stalagmite” is called one wonder of the cave. There are some rare fishes like the Dark Red Transparent Fish. They add more mystery to the Yusun River. The surface of the river is clear and flat like a mirror. All the things around are reflected in the river. Either beyond the river or below the river are all scenes When people boat, it seems that they were in the picture and entered a fairyland.
How to get there:
The Ancient A’lu Cave in Luxi County is 165 kilometers from Kunming. Buses are available to take passengers to reach the cave.