Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Oct 31, 2010


May 31

This morning, we found ourselves docked at Chongqing, the end-point of our Yangtze River Cruise.

Located at the confluence of Jialing River with

the Yangtze River, this port city has the largest municipal area and population in China. Also it is country’s important industrial center with, for example, annual output capacity of I million automobiles and 8.5 million motorcycles.

After breakfast, we bade farewell to MS Blue Whale and its staff. With our luggage in our hands we trudged over a long gang-plank to reach the bank of the Yangtze River.

It started raining. Water cascaded over what appeared like endless flights of steps, as we carried our luggage up to our van on the road above.

Armed with an umbrella, Daisy, our local guide, anxiously waited for us besides the van.

Quickly she escorted us to the van, got our luggage loaded, and whisked us away to the city, for a few hours of sightseeing, before our 2:20 p.m. flight to Lhasa.

During the short time we spent with her, Daisy kept us entertained with tidbits about herself and life in China. For example, she told us that women of Chongqing are beautiful because of its humid subtropical climate and strong due to its mountainous geography.

Also because of its geography, city had many individuals, who hawked a variety of goods –including vegetable and fruit - from a two-basket device balanced over their shoulders.

Also they helped the local housewives carry their shopping from the stores to their home.

Our schedule did not allow us enough time to visit the Buddhist cave-sculptures at the UNESCO site of Dazu; the imposing statues of Amitabha Buddha, Giant Buddha, and Guan Yu on Jinyun Mountain; or the Luohan Temple with its 500 lifelike painted clay arhats – Buddhist disciples who willingly gave up life after a many-days-long ritualistic denial of self-sustenance in search of freedom from the earthly chains of delusion and material geed.

Our first stop in the city of Chongqing was the Great Hall of the People.

Completed in 1954, and located in front of the large People’s Square this huge auditorium seats more than 4000 individuals.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), unable to check the advance of the Japanese forces, the Chiang Kaishek’s Republic of China government retreated to Chongqing and made it its provisional capital. Many factories and universities were also moved here from eastern China. Heavily bombed by the Japanese many people and institutions survived due to the mountainous nature of the area.

To defend itself from the Japanese aerial onslaught, and to keep the Burma Road

supply ro
ute from India open, Madam Chiang Kai-shek recruited

General Claire L. Chennault

a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer. Gen. Chennault enlisted mercenary pilots to form American Volunteers Group, popularly known as Flying Tigers. Flying Tigers Museum, which is dedicated to Gen Chennault and his Flying Tigers, was our next stop.

A large part of the museum, however, displayed paintings by local artists.



Post a Comment

<< Home