Author: Lovely Mehrotra
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
This famous quote by Joseph Campbell best describes Double-Dragon Cave (雙龍洞), situated some 8 kms away from Jinhua City in Zhejiang Province. Embracing a history of more than 100 million years, these lofty caves span over a total area of 1,200 square meters (13,000 sq ft) and are 66 m (217 ft) high and 33 m (108 ft) long.
As per an interesting story, the caves were discovered by the villagers in the Ming Dynasty when they set out to search for their missing sheep. Describing the caves, the Ming Dynasty explorer and adventurer Xu Xiake aptly wrote, “A stone curtain hangs in the cave; by water and on foot, one can enjoy the wonders of the cave. And the light and shadow of the cave forms unique scenery.”
The name Double-Dragon Cave was inspired after two huge rock formations at the entrance of the cave which look like dragon heads. The cliff around the cave has its name雙龍洞written in beautiful Chinese calligraphy. It is believed that these characters were written by a calligraphist of the Tang Dynasty. Also, there are two more inscriptions on the cave walls – one created by Wu Lin, a calligrapher of the Song Dynasty and other by 20th century calligraphist Yu Youren.
As soon as one arrives at the Double-Dragon Cave, the lush green surroundings and small but alluring waterfall will leave you awestruck. Take a few steps ahead and you will be amazed when you arrive at the gigantic cave, decorated with multi-coloured, rainbow lights.
But the most memorable and thrilling part of the visit to Double-Dragon Cave is the entry into the cave, where one has to lie on their backs in a boat being pulled to the other side of the cave’s main entry point with a clearance of around 30 cm (12 inches) above the cave’s water level. When you are lying down, don’t even think about lifting your head as the ceiling is a few inches above your face.
Preserving its natural essence and beauty, a visit to the well maintained Double-Dragon Cave is an experience one would remember for a lifetime.