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Zhuge Liang’s Eight Elements Battle Formation (Ba Zhen Tu)

| Articles of Ancient China | February 19, 2011

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Zhuge Liang’s Battle Formations

Here is a good and interesting read; Which I felt I should share it with all to read here

The people who have read the Romance of Three Kingdoms (one of the four great classical Chinese novels) must be familiar with the Eight Elements Battle Formation (Ba Zhen Tu). It is said that Zhuge Liang (the great statesman, ideologist and militarist of Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period) has set the Eight Elements Battle Formation in four places in history. They are in Mian County of Shaanxi, Xindu City of Sichuan, eastern Fengjie of Chongqing, and northeastern Baidi City of Chongqing separately.

Among the four Eight Elements Battle Formations, the one in eastern Fengjie is the most well-known. It is located at the dam 1,640 yards long, 656 yards wide with a creek passing through on the northern bank of the Yangtze River. It is said that Zhuge Liang once ordered his soldiers to assemble stones to built 64 bases with eight in length and eight in breadth. The bases are composed of eight battle arrays – sky, earth, rain, cloud, dragon, tiger, bird, and snake.

According to the Romance of Three Kingdoms, a militarist of the Wu Kingdom once chased the Shu Kingdom’s army and arrived at the Eight Elements Battle Formation. He retreated at last because he was frightened by the elemental strength of the formation.

In the history, many celebrities like Li Bai, Du Fu (great poets of the Tang Dynasty) and Lu You (great poet of the Southern Song Dynasty) have visited the place and left some famous poems. However, since the water level rose due to the Three Gorges Dam Project, the Eight Elements Battle Formation has been submerged in the river. The one in northeastern Baidi City will become the one favored by some Romance of Three Kingdoms lovers.

Source from http://www.travelchinaguide.com/river/yangtze_attraction/bazhentu.htm

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