The prestigious China National Geography Magazine rates the Zhijin Cave, located in Zhijin County as “one of the top six most beautiful show china caves .” The cave is located in the Bijie Prefecture of Guizhou Province and lies between the Sancha and Luchong rivers. Both these rivers actually source the Wujiang River.
Zhijin cave is popularly also known as Daji Cave, which in simple terms means Hit Rooster Cave. The logic behind the name was, in the past young Miao girls and boys played shuttlecock here.
This nature’s beauty is a dry cave and it is believed it lost its subterranean river a long time ago. It is estimated the Cave collapsed 1.2 million years ago. The reasons for the collapse were erosion, corrosion, scouring and seepage, changes of flow volumes and formation of huge chambers. Some 250,000 years ago surface water dried up and hence it became a dry cave and as a result, calcium carbonate speleothems shaped.
The Zhijin Cave holds a number of proud records. China is famous the world over for its huge china caves and the Zhijin Cave is ranked as China’s largest. At 173 meters in width and 150 meters in height, there is no cave in China that beats this one.
In fact, the cave is described by many as a place that resembles a huge underground palace, full with velvety moss surrounding the first reception hall cave and abundance of wonderful and rare rock formations.
Visitors have to pass a dense forest of shinning stalactites and stalagmites under the huge surrounding hills. The entire tunnel and complex is more than 12 kms long. One can experience an array of karst formations and unusual grottos and passages.
The Guizhou province is famous for the misty terrain it possesses. Also the high altitude plateaus and rocky peaks make it an exciting place to visit. The province also is home to the traditional and most remote homes of China. Also, the Huangguoshu Falls, ranked as China’s highest waterfall is very near to the province.
The Zhijin Cave is not only large in terms of area and heights but is also rich in variety.
Unlike some other parts of China, this cave can be visited throughout the year. The temperature in the cave averages between 42.8F and 46.4F.
For Foodies, the local specialties one needs to try are Bijie Dried Bean-curd, Bijie Heta, Bijie Bitter Qiaoba, Lacquere etc.
Travelers are advised to carry some food when they travel to the cave. Alternately, one needs to carry clothes to keep warm because it can be very cold there and once inside the cave, there is hardly any air. Secondly, the road is slippery and wet and hence it is recommended that one should carefully watch their steps when they walk. The months of March and April bring flowers everywhere and it is a delight to be in this place.
The Zhijin Cave is also described as being “God’s treasure house for keeping the world’s most beautiful natural scenery.” It possesses more than 40 types of speleothems. Common among them are stelae, stalagmites, stone ‘pagodas,’ ‘ ‘shields,’ and ‘beds.’ The stalagmites come in a variety of amazing shapes, flower petals and helmets. The Overlord’s Helmet and the Silvery-rain Tree impress here.