How to Visit Ming Xiaoling Tomb

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Plan your Nanjing tour? The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the primary attraction and the only world cultural heritage site in Nanjing. Ming Xiaoling Tomb is one of the three major attractions in Zhongshan Mountain National Park. The other two attractions are Zhongshan Mausoleum and Linggu Temple.

Ming Xiaoling Tomb is the burial site of the Hongwu Emperor (Zhu Yuanzhang), the first emperor and founder of Ming Dyansty (1368-1644) of China. The tomb construction took 24 yeas from 1381 to ended in 1405. The mausoleum is mainly composed of the Sacred Way and the Mausoleum Complex.

Taking the subway line 2 and get off at the station of Ming Xialing Tomb (Muxu) Station 明孝陵(苜蓿)站, then you can walk to the site of Ming Xialing Tomb.

Now follow me to visit Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum.

Take the subway line 2 and get off at the station Ming Xialing Tomb (Muxu) Station 明孝陵(苜蓿)站, the exit at Exit 1. When you exit from the subway station, you will see a huge sign with 7 Chinese characters “钟山风景名胜区” (Zhongshan Mountain National Park) and under the 7 Chinese characters, you could recognize two subtitles “Dr.Sun Yat-sen’ Mausoleum and The Ming Tomb” pointing to the pathway to the two attractions.

A huge sign with 7 Chinese characters 钟山风景名胜区

A huge sign with 7 Chinese characters

Zhongshan Maountain National Park mainly comprise three attractions – The Ming Xiaoling Tomb, Zhongshan Mausoleum and Linggu Temple. All the three attractions are linked by electric carts, a kind of shuttle service.

The Ming Tomb is located in the west of Zhongshan Moutain area, Zhongshan Mausoleum in the middle and Linggu Temple in the east. The Ming Tomb is quite close to the subway station. So you can walk from the subway line 2 station to the entrance to the Ming Tomb.

After visiting the Ming Tomb, you may have a 30-minute walk and take the park electric cart to the next attraction – Zhongshan Mausoleum. Then again have a half hour walk to Linggu Temple or take a park cart to the temple. Each section for taking an electric cart costs you RMB 5.

In a several minutes, you will come to the entrance to the Ming Tomb. The entrance ticket fee: RMB 70 ( a combined ticket to the Meihua Hill which is the mausoleum of Sun Quan, King of the Kingdom of Wu in the Three Kingdoms period (220-265).

If you RMB 90, you will get a all-one ticket for the Ming Tomb, Zhongshan mausoleum, Linggu Temple, Open-air Music Hall.

In a several minutes, you will come to the entrance to the Ming Tomb.

You first come across the two sections of the Sacred Way – the Elephant Road and the Wengzhong Road. The Elephant Road is flanked by 12 pairs of animals ( 6 kinds of animals including lions, xiezhi, camels, elephants, qilin, and horses), which guard he tomb.

Then you will find two columns called huabiao in Chinese. Starting from the two columns, you wander along the Wengzhong Road lined with four pairs of ministers and generals of stone standing there for centuries to escort the mausoleum.

the Wengzhong Road lined with four pairs of ministers and generals of stone

Soon you will reach the main part of the Mausoleum including the Golden Water Bridge, Civil and Military Gate, Ming Tower and the Treasury Mound (the actual burial site).

The construction system of Ming Xiaoling Tomb initiated the standard followed by thereafter the Ming and Qing dynasties in building imperial tombs.

The Civil and Military Gate is the first gate to the graveyard of the Ming Tomb.

The Civil and Military Gate is the first gate to the graveyard of the Ming Tomb.

Behind the gate, the first hall you will see is the Imperial Tablet Hall.  The hall has 5 steles standing.

The tablet mounted on a stone tortoise in the middle is engraved with 4 Chinese characters “治隆唐宋”, which indicates the greatness of the Ming Dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang, matching (or outweight ) that of the founders of the Tang and Song Dynasties. The 4 character’s were written by Kangxi Emperor in Qing Dynasty.

The tablet mounted on a stone tortoise.

The Inner Red Gate

The Inner Red Gate

The arched pine tree path leads to the Ming Tower.

The arched pine tree path leads to the Ming Tower.

The Ming Tower. The Ming Tower is built atop the rectangular citadel, a highest building in the mausoleumn compound. 

The Ming Tower.

The Treasure Mound behind the Ming Tower is the actual site of the Ming Tomb. 

The Treasure Mound behind the Ming Tower is the actual site of the Ming Tomb.

Tip:  Hassle-free Nanjing Guided Tours

06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Nanjing Guided Tours:

Nanjing Highlight Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Nanjing 2 Day Highlight Tour  from US$190 p/p
Nanjing One Day Side Trip  from US$90  p/p
Nanjing Suzhou Hangzhou Shanghai 6 Day Tour  from US$560 p/p
Nanjing Car Rental

Further Readings


Nanjing Massacre Museum: The museum tells the overwhelming atrocities committed by the Japanese forces of aggression from December 13 to January, 1938.
Nanjing Presidential Palace:a must-visit sight if you are interested in the modern history of China
Ming Xiaoling Tomb:the burial site of the Hongwu Emperor, the first emperor and founder of Ming Dyansty ( 1368-1644 ).
Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum:Dr. Sun Yat-sen is considered to be the “Father of Modern China” who stablished the Republic of China.
Linggu Temple Scenic Area:The Linggu Temple was gradually built into a cemetery dedicated to the the National Revolutionary Army’s martyes.
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge:Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first bridge over the Yangtze River designed and built by China’s own technical strength.
Fuzi Temple ( Confucius Temple ): A famous local walking area to touch Nanjing’s past and present.
Zhonghua Gate: a renowned ancient city gate in China and the largest ancient city wall gate in the world.
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom History Museum: The museum shows the maps, pictures and captions to tell the progress and history of Taiping Army.

Top 10 Attractions in Nanjing
Nanjing Taxi

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2 Responses to “How to Visit Ming Xiaoling Tomb”

  1. Annie says:

    Will Ming Xiaoling be opened during Chines New Year the week of February 11, 2013?

  2. admin says:

    Hello Annie,

    Yes, Ming Xiaoling Tomb is still open. Most of the attractions, shopping malls or restaurants are still open during Chinese new year.

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