Stone Drum Town, also known as “Shigu Town”, locates about 60 kilometers west of the Lijiang Ancient Town. It sites at the famous area of First Bend of the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River turns north here and then flows eastward across China. Stone Drum Town is the historical and important town on the Ancient Tea Horse Road, between inland provinces and Tibet.
Origin of the name
This small town derives its name from a white marble carved monument in the shape of a drum.
Built during the Jiaqing reign period (1548-1561) of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the monument commemorates the victory of Lijiang's Naxi ruler over an invading Tibetan army. It is 1.5 meters in diameter and 0.7 meters in thickness, which was the oldest monument found in Lijiang. The monument has an obvious vestige of what appears to be a "rip" in it. It is said that the monument would rupture prior to any war and would fold when the war ended.
History of Stone Drum Town
Stone Drum Town was an important strategic military area in history, where many famous historical events have been taken place here.
Zhuge Liang, the famous and highly acclaimed military strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period, chose to cross the Yangtze River and gain "battle advantage" here at the town. The first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), Kublai Khan, used this place for his expeditionary forces to ferry across the river. In April 1936, the Second Route of the Red Army, led by General He Long and Ren bishi, crossed the river here and continued to march north.
Feature of Stone Drum Town
Stone Drum Town is a bustling ethnic community in Lijiang, where Naxi, Zang, Bai, Yi, Miao, and Hui people all live together in the town. Among them, Naxi nationality is the main minority group here, and their unique culture is well preserved and presented through their traditional and historical lifestyle and dressing. Also, visitors can find the traces of the town's glorious past as a trading center. The natural scenery around the town is also stunning and vibrant, where has the premiere vantage point to view the First Bend of the Yangtze River.
Inside the town, visitors can also find the Iron Rainbow Bridge, which was built during the Qing Dynasty. The bridge has the rainbow-shape, stretching over the waves below. A 17 meters-long iron chain was used to form the base, with wooden planks paved above, and to create the guardrails.