BaidiCheng or the White Emperor City is situated on the Baidi Shan which is now an island at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, one of the famous among the Three Gorges of Yangze River.
The approach to BaidiCheng from nearby Fengjie passes through the scenes of pagoda-topped hillsides but the view is sadly marred by the worker’s housing and factories built in the year 1970. However, the complex of halls and temples and fantastic views of Qutang Gorge make up for this.
There is a story that this town was chosen as the headquarters of the 1st century Ad of General Gong Sunshu. He has spotted its strategic potential and now remains of the old city walls can be seen on the hill which is behind Baidi Shan. In 25 AD, white vapor in the shape of dragon was seen from the nearby well rising up. This was thought to be an auspicious omen, Gong declared himself as the White Emperor and town as the White Emperor City. His twelve year reign at that time was known as time of harmony and peace.
A red wall, with an imposing yellow dragon head gateway surrounds the complex of the temple. Although, it was build in his honor, the statues of the White Emperor had been removed during the Ming Dynasty and replaced with the images of Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei which were the heroes of Shu Kingom during the period of Three Kingdoms.
The main tourist sites include Tuogu Hall displaying statues of Liu Bei, the king of Shu Kingdom, entrusting his son to his prime minister when Zhuge Liang fall after battle against the Wu Kingdom.
The Mingliang Plaace originally housed the statues of Gongsun Shu and was worshipped by the people. Later it was replaced by some heroes of Shu kingdom. A bronze bell hangs to the upper storey of winged, handsome Guanxing Pavillion where Zhuge Lian used to observe the stars and forecasted the weather helping him to plan to victorious battle tactics. Other relics includes stele forest, ancient suspended wooden coffins, paintings, calligraphy of works of different dynasties.