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i visited the attractions that i had been to in china only once, except gulongzhong in xiangyang. i visited it for three years and nearly one thousands days, but i still hoped to travel there. i thought even zhuge liang could not expect that there would be a great man who experienced ups and downs dared change the situation in the late 1970s after more than 1,700 years! undoubtedly, as one of intellectuals who were influenced for ten years, i was a beneficiary of that dramatic change. when i was informed that i could apply for all universities in the country, i had the awareness of self-knowledge so that i dared not to apply for top universities.

on the other hand, i also had the idea like a son who thought that his mother was ugly. the first object which i did not take into account was the college where i studied. in people's eyes, it was merely an advanced normal college, and people even didn't know its location in xiangyang. its graduates engaged in the jobs like their parents, so that the children were shallow but pedantic. however, through dramatic changes of so-called expansion of admission, i failed to escape my fate, and before submission of student information in enrollment, i was enrolled by this advanced normal college. opportunity? destiny?

if i did not urgently change my living environment, i might not enter the college during enrollment in that year. however, when the college picked up all students by bus from xiangfan railway station to the school, i was stunned.

it was autumn, and i saw desolate ancient roads in west wind, houses with simple cold kiln and tile. it was not rich apparently, but also the college supported expansion of admission and enrolled us. i was aware by instinct that i met a college like a ragged mother and a loving mother in my life. due to a huge hot wave with pathos and sadness across my body, i almost cried owing to its deep kindness.

when my emotion was not pacified, new teachers who met new students pointed to a lofty mountain at his back and said that it was gulongzhong well known all over the world, and the place we were standing now was wolong hillock, the stories that zhuge liang tilled in farmland in nanyang and liu bei visited the thatched cottage for many times happened here.

i was also surprised. it was an unusual surprise.

i thought our college that accepted us is located in such a geomantic treasure land. it was the place where chinese wise person was born, a base which bred a national pillar. it had cultivated a bright star for ancient china. it attracted people at home and abroad due to its incomparable mysterious legend. this sage-like gentleman with a feather fan and a scarf of black silk ribbon had been greatly admired by many people in the history. the conservation concerning national strategy made many people suddenly enlightened besides liu bei and his brothers. why did the school select this magic land admired by people in china? it was a magic place for national revitalization and cultivation. which college could match with its outstanding location of my college? it was the greatest luck in my life.

my classmates and i could not wait for arrangement of dormitories and rushed there eagerly.

gulongzhong was surrounded by hills, beautiful and quiet scenery. luo guanzhong once said that “the hills is not high but elegant, the water is not deep but clear, the land is not vast but flat, the woods are not big but lush. a 17-year-old young person in langya coming afar tilled in the farmland, read books here, and hardened himself for ten years in order to manage the national affairs.

through half-moon creek, we walked into a gate, and a tall stone archway came into view. “gulongzhong " were engraved on the memorial archway. according to a legend, the memorial archway was built in 1889. it had three doors and four pillars. it was about 7 meters high and 9 meters wide. the pillars were engraved with ancient stories and other vivid figures. there were two horizontal and vertical couplets engraved on both sides of the memorial archway. the horizontal board originated from zhuge liang's celebrated dictum of "indifference to fame and wealth and pursuit of a quiet life “the vertical board is selected from a poem prime minister in the state of shu by du fu that “visiting to thatched cottage for three times and helping two emperors govern the state".

through the memorial archway, we saw low farmland on the right of the mountain road for 20-30 meters, which was the place where zhuge liang tilled. besides respect, i could hear zhuge liang would repay his former emperor for his special treatment when he tilled in nanyang as a farmer. memorial before a battle was filled with zhuge liang's sorrow, frustrations, commitments and tears as well as his loyalty and affection. people who read it were moved by him.

through the place where he tilled, when i walked along the slope, i saw a group of memorial buildings such as zhuge liang memorial hall and sangu hall, whose dignified and simple style aligned with zhuge liang's spirits.

zhuge liang memorial hall was a place for memorial ceremony, which was located in longzhong mountain. it was the main building in memory of zhuge liang. it was built in the jin dynasty and repaired later. the current building was built in the period of kangxi in the qing dynasty, and it was rebuilt in 1973.

the old trees were flourishing, and the yards were scattered outside the temple. there were four rows of houses and three yards in zhuge liang memorial hall. there were left and right bungalows in the middle yard, the couplet of "visiting to thatched cottage for many times and discussion establishing a close relationship" was engraved by dong biwu on the wooden plaque in the hall. the main hall and west hall displayed the biography of zhuge liang. there was an unfinished statue of zhuge liang in back hall. there was an auxiliary palace in the west side, which had the pictures of liu bei, guan yu and zhang fei. there were plaques, poems, couplets hung in the four halls, which were written by generations of famous persons. “zhuge liang was well known in the world, who resembled an eagle in the sky." "before victory was won he died, which would ever make all heroes after him wet their sleeves with hot tears." tourist deeply admired and sympathized with him in zhuge liang memorial hall.

sangu hall was a legendary place where the stories of visiting to thatched cottage for many times and conversation in longzhong took place. it was located in the south of zhuge liang memorial hall and in green trees, which was built in memory of liu bei who visited the thatched cottage for many times and zhuge liang's conversation in longzhong. it was built in ming dynasty and rebuilt twice in qing dynasty. the current building was the style of qing dynasty in the period of guang xu.

sangu hall was a quadrangle courtyard. there were two antique lamps hung on the door, the plaque of " san gu tang” with a white background and black text was hung above the door. there were dozens of steles on both sides of the hallway in sangu hall, which was engraved with the whole sceneries of longzhong, the statue of zhuge liang with clothes and shoes and memorial before a battle, second memorial before a battle and conversation in longzhong, etc. the picture of sangu made in qing dynasty was hung in the hall.  when we saw the picture, the scenes that liu bei consulted zhuge liang about the national strategies and zhuge liang gave advice about the state appeared in my eyes. people admired zhuge liang's expertise while they were deeply touched by his promise to serve his master in all lifelong time. what did liu bei give to zhuge liang? annual salary of 100,000 yuan or thousands of beauties? nonehe just visited the thatched cottage for many times and consoled him. but it was important for him, and he agreed with liu bei! due to one promise, his heart would not change forever; due to one promise, he overcame obstacles; due to one promise, he didn't avoid the danger; due to one promise, he was concerned day and night; due to one promise, he spent his life for twenty-seven years; due to one promise, he bent my back to the task until his dying day. this was a high-caliber chinese intellectual with low requirements. therefore, we thought that the promise of zhuge liang reflected the spirits of longzhong of chinese intellectuals.

there were three cypress trees for liu bei, guan yu and zhang fei to tie their horses in the front of the door of sangu hall. they were green and flourishing at present. they not only met tourists but also witnessed zhuge liang's longzhong spirits.

thatched cottage pavilion stood behind sangu hall, which was built in the period of kangxi in the qing dynasty and repaired for several times. two characters of "cao lu" on the pavilion were written by guo moruo. it stood beside mountains and valley, where the environment was quiet and peaceful. there were old trees near the pavilion and green cirrus, which constituted a beautiful scenery. zhuge liang once lived here. when people stood in the front of the door, it seemed that people could see liu bei who eagerly sought talents stood in front of the hall, and waited patiently for zhuge liang to wake up in a nap.

the thatched cottage was an imitation of han dynasty's building, which featured bricks and wood. it covered an area of 463.5 m2. it could be divided into two yards, including thatched hall, guest room, bedroom and kitchen, and corridor, etc. it was simple and elegant, which was a place that customers passed to appreciate the scene of visiting for many times. four characters of cao lu yi zhi were written on the door, and there were couplets engraved on both sides of the stone pillars that "he shook a fan to command battles, divided the country into three parts and designed eight tactical arrays in dark and cloudy days.”

thatched cottage pavilion was adjacent to hexagonal well. hexagonal well was located in the right area between the sangu hall and thatched cottage pavilion. it was said that zhuge liang relied on the well for domestic water in longzhong.

there was a long and round stone about 100 meters far from sangu hall, which was engraved with three red characters of bao xi chu. this was a place where zhuge liang compared himself with guan zhong and yue yi, saw the national affairs, embraced his knees and chanted invocations and desired to give play to his ambition.

when we went out of sangu hall and walked to the half way, there was an old building named yeyue temple which also was a place where zhuge liang had a rest according to legends.

and then i went up, i saw the top of gulongzhong. unexpectedly, when i stood there, i could see clouds, the urban area, natural barrier and qinling mountains. han river flew under me, and i could see the attractions of three kingdoms. all landscape came into view. due to this unexpected surprises, you might ask a question whether zhuge liang chose this place to live in seclusion owing to historical coincidence or an arrangement of the nature. i was afraid that this question could only be studied as a mystery of "three kingdoms" by tourists.

when i studied in the college, we used to travel around longzhong after the dinner with my brother lu wei every day. the tourism industry was still developing at that time. there was no wall and fences and people did not pay attention to only money, so when administrators found that a person came from the normal college, they would let him enter. therefore, we could see zhuge liang every day, and traveled around there for free for three years.

we didn't fail to live up to our study. now, many students made achievements and a lot of graduates became professors and experts. we gathered the energy and essence in the nature in gulongzhong. the ragged college continued to cultivate students carefully for generations. although there were graduate everywhere, my college still made contributions to the society unremittingly.


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