Linggu Cave, Yixing – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Transportation, and Highlights

linggu cave yixing

Hidden beneath the lush bamboo forests of Yixing, Jiangsu Province, lies a natural wonder of monumental proportions – Linggu Cave (灵谷洞), a colossal limestone karst cave that stretches over 8,300 square meters, boasting a total length of more than 1,200 meters. Nestled within this subterranean expanse is a world of wonder, featuring irregularly-shaped caverns, mesmerizing stalactites and stalagmites, and a breathtaking variety of rock formations. With its unique blend of natural beauty, unusual shapes, and vibrant colors, Linggu Cave is rightfully celebrated as a spectacle to behold.

Linggu Cave’s historical significance adds another layer to its allure. It was discovered by the Tang Dynasty poet, Lu Guimeng, who, enraptured by the cave’s beauty, attempted to excavate it but had to abandon the project due to its magnitude. His lamentation, “Mr. Lu Guimeng’s ambition remains unfulfilled, even to this day,” echoes through the ages. Since the Song Dynasty, the cave has drawn curious souls who left behind inscriptions on its walls, bearing testimony to their awe-inspiring experiences.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price65 CNY
Opening Hours8.00 – 16.00
Telephone Number0086-0510-87470468

Location and Transportation

Linggu Cave is situated at the southern foothills of the Shiniu Mountain, approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Yixing City in Wuxi, China. To get there, there are two options:

  • Option 1:
    • Head to the Yixing Jin San Jiao Coach Terminal.
    • Take bus line 201 directly to Linggu Cave Scenic Area.
    • This route is convenient for those who prefer to use public transportation and is especially suitable for travelers who are already in Yixing.
  • Option 2:
    • If you’re arriving at the high-speed railway station in Yixing, look for the complimentary tourist shuttle bus.
    • Board the bus and alight at Yangxian Gongcha Yuan (Yangxian Tribute Tea Institute).
    • From the drop-off point, it’s just a 50-meter walk to reach Linggu Cave.

Highlights of Linggu Cave

The entrance to Linggu Cave is concealed amid the depths of emerald bamboo forests. The passageway into the cave is rugged, serpentine, and shrouded in mystery. The deeper you venture, the more expansive the cave becomes, revealing six grand chambers within.

The First Chamber

Although relatively small, this chamber features numerous small caves within the cave. At the end of the passage, there’s a narrow 40-centimeter crevice known as the “Crab Hole.” Before alternative routes were created, visitors had to crawl on all fours to pass through this natural obstacle. The chamber’s sides are lined with layers of pebbles, cobbles, and layers of sand and silt, testifying to the cave’s formation through the sculpting forces of an underground river. While a separate path now bypasses the “Crab Hole,” the original passage remains intact for those seeking a true adventure.

The Second Chamber

This chamber may be compact, but its arrangement is meticulous and alluring. Stalactites within the chamber are brilliantly colorful and intricately patterned, with formations such as the “Thousand Valleys Ganoderama” and the “Peacock Stone Spring.” Delicate miniature features, such as flowing water, ocean waves, snow-capped mountains, and drifting clouds, are visible on the cave walls, enhancing the grandeur of this hall.

The Third Chamber

The largest of the chambers, the third hall is also the deepest. Enormous rock formations hang precariously from the ceiling, resembling towering cliffs ready to tumble. An exquisite clear pool is nestled on the cave floor, where the waters of five celestial rivers converge with seven subterranean streams, resulting in crystal-clear transparency. Legend has it that this pool was the bathing place of “Linggu Xian Gu,” a mystical deity from bygone days.

The Fourth Chamber

The most breathtaking sights in Linggu Cave are concentrated here. At the chamber’s base, a massive rock waterfall cascades from the ceiling, plunging to the cave floor like a rainbow touching the earth. The spectacle is accompanied by swirling mists and water vapors, creating an atmosphere akin to a poetic vision. The scene evokes thoughts of the verse, “A waterfall plummets three thousand feet, resembling the Milky Way descending from the ninth heaven.” In a way, it’s as if a white dragon roars, extending its claws and fangs, evoking awe and wonder in all who witness it.

The Fifth Chamber

Known as the “Crystal Palace,” the fifth chamber is adorned with an array of stalactites in various shapes and sizes, some thick and short, others slender and elongated. The cave’s ceiling is covered with crystalline calcite formations that glisten and twinkle like stars in the night sky. The entire chamber resembles the mythical Thunder Sound Hall of the Western Pure Land, a tranquil sky filled with shimmering stars, as if a thousand Buddhas have gathered to listen to Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings.

The Sixth Chamber

The sixth and final chamber within Linggu Cave presents a majestic spectacle with its soaring vaulted ceiling that reaches a height of four stories. Here, stalactites dangle from above, coming in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and forms. They resemble human figures, flying birds and running beasts, as well as various flowers, trees, grasses, and bamboo, creating an ever-changing tableau of natural artistry.

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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Off-the-Beaten-Path Destination: Linggu Cave is described as a less-known destination in Yixing, attracting fewer visitors. It is mentioned that the site is not heavily managed, contributing to its authentic and unspoiled atmosphere.

External Surroundings: The exterior of Linggu Cave might appear somewhat neglected and aged. However, this is juxtaposed with the interior, which showcases natural formations with minimal human interference, creating a unique and picturesque environment. It’s noted that the cave is also inhabited by bats.

Cautionary Notes for Visitors: Due to the presence of accumulated water, visitors are advised to proceed cautiously, watching out for slippery surfaces. Following the directional arrows on the signage is recommended to avoid getting lost within the cave.

Scenic Surroundings: Upon exiting the cave, visitors are greeted with expansive views of bamboo forests, described as the core production area for Yangxian tea. This scenic landscape enhances the overall experience of the visit.

Accessibility of Formations: Unlike other caves like Zhanggong Cave or Shanjuan Cave, Linggu Cave allows visitors to closely approach and touch stalactites and other formations. This creates a more interactive and immersive experience within the cave.

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