Pingding Ancient Channel was the
Channel reclaimed by Jing-Zhong Lin, Xuan-Wen Lin and Liang-Hui Liu through a joint capital of 550 dragon silver coins in 1835. Some said that Gui He and some others recruited Fo-You Liu and Wen-Jing Lin as the
Channel owner to jointly reclaim.(a)
The total length of
Channel is about 3 kilometers, where the caves excavated were 60-meter long. This
Channel diverted the water from the Neishuang Creek on the other side of the mountain, irrigating the agricultural lands in Great Pingding Area. The origin of
Channel water is located on the follows: In the direction heading from Qingfong Pavilion in Pingdeng Village to the Pingding
Ancient Channel Qingshan Trail, pass through the entrance of the tunnel to the ancient
Channel, then follow Channel upstream for about 1.2 kilometer. The entire
Channel preserves the landscape built by the ancestors without the use of concrete. It is the
Channel ditch among the three Channels to conform to the ecological engineering the most. The local residents not only use
Channel water for irrigation but also built a purifying pool for livelihood use. The ancient
Channel is still fully utilized in the local area. After the determination to reclaim the
Channels, the entire Channel was contributed by the land owner with commission to personnel with funds and techniques in order to open the
Channels. These people were known as the Channel owners. However for the sake of sustainable management and development in
Channel and locality, the local residents further resolved the following conditions together and signed the ancient
Channel reclamation contract in February, 1835, to carry out the construction with the details of content described below:
(1) Those reclaiming must find persons with funds and
Channel reclaiming skills as Channel owners for cooperation.
(2) Reserve the Xiancheng Land left by God of Guardian and partial land of village-owned public Niopu Tomb.
(3) The remaining irrigation land will be shared by the Channel owner and persons reclaiming.
(4) Rent Xiancheng Land to local villagers for cultivation and collect rental as donation to the village temple.
(5) The Niopu Tomb land is defined as the public commentary and pasture site for the village.
(6) The ancestors built a common community for the village, not only covering the maintenance facilities but also make proper arrangement for the village guardians and ancestors’ Fengshui.(a)
Temples have long been the spiritual center of reliance for residents in agricultural societies. Hence apart from essential livelihood needs, the sustainable management of temples was also one of the key points of attention. The following is the content of reclamation contract in paper form, with original text below.
Channel Reclamation Contract, February, 1835:
“The following undersigned persons, He Gui, in charge of Shanpu and partners, He Jing, He Cai, Miao-Xing Xiao, Li Fa, Li Cai, Zhong Ming, He, Yuan and others, He GEng, Zho Wu, Zhou Heng, Lin Beng, Qian Cuan, Shi-Ji Xu, He-Xing Xie, Sheng-Cong Qiu and others hereby sign the contract for reclamation of land. The reclamation includes Xhilanbao, Shuanxi Taipingding Village, and the boundary thereby indicated for the land of reclamation. The persons mentioned herein shall collaborate in reclamation and establish the proper land. Due to the lack of water resource, the partners collectively resolve to recruit Fo-You Liu and Wen-Jing Lin as
Channel own to excavate the Channel with self-paid wage, thereby to build ponds and irrigation ponds for agricultural lands and supply of crops. The partners hereby work with the help of divinity and people to open the
Channels. It is hereby resolved that the water from the pond shall be used for agricultural irrigation, which will be shared in half with the
Channel owners. The contract hereinafter defines the boundary and the partners shall receive the half of the land, whereas the other half shall be resolved to be divided into eight sections.”(k)
In 1835 the main reclamation included the end of Daping and end of Pingding. Prior to the excavation of
Channel, the land could not be used for plantation even after reclamation due to lack of water source. Led by He Gui, a person reclaiming, with Fo-You Liu and Wen-Jing Lin recruited as
Channel owners and preparing the fees and technologies for
Channel excavation, He Gui and others contributing the land, to collectively reclaim. After the completion of reclamation, the land and
Channels are shared by half with the Channel owners. In view of the persons reclaiming
Channels receiving half of the land, it shows that the land is valueless for cultivation without water supply in this region, which highlights the difficulty of opening
Channels in this site.
Today the entire Pingding Ancient
Channel route starts from the Pingedeng Police Station on Pingjin Street, where the left fork in the road headed from the industrial road across is the intersection of Ln. 93 of Pingjin Street, which is the entrance to Jiaokeng Ancient
Channel. The right fork in the road heading downward to the intersection of Ln. 95 of Pingjin Street is the entrance to Xiping Ancient Trail. To head to the direction of Pingding Ancient
Channel, take the right fork in the road and go down, pass the Neichu Bridge and the Pingdeng Village of running water resources, established with water tower, along the way, then walk to the end of the road and first fork in the road encountered, take the left one to connect to the Pingding Ancient
Channel Trail. This road leads to the water house. Then return to the other fork in the road on Xiping Ancient Trail, take the left one to get to Qinfong Pavilion. There are four forks in the round surrounding Qinfong Pavilion. Walk on the stone stairs downward along Xiping Ancient Trail to arrive to the entrance to Ancient
Channel Cave. The course of walking along the Channel will pass by several
Channel open-cut tunnels while this area is designed with several open culverts, which are intended to prevent rocks and articles from falling into the
Channel and hinder the water flow. Before the tunnel used fences for closure, it used to taking about 2~3 minutes to walk on the
Channel tunnel and arrive to the water house. However due to the increasing number of tourists and the concerns for contamination of water source, the residents frequently patrol and later directly used metal fences for closure to control the access.
The water house located on the entrance of tunnel is connected with water pipes to import into the head water of running water. Currently the ancient trail of Ancient
Channel is still preserved in excellent conditions under access control. Upon arrival to the fence of water source, there is a small road on the side and walking downward can reach the origin of Pingding New
Channel. However to reach the origin of Ancient Channel, one must walk along the
Channel and detour form the right opening of fence. There is a gate before arriving to the origin, which is inscribed with 1920. This is a gate with over 90 years of history, witnessing the history of Ancient
Channel Trail. The destination of Ancient Channel connects to Neishui Creek while the mountain path on the left is the ancient trail of Neishuang Creek, which leads to Qingtiangang upwards, and that comes to the end of the origin of Pingding Ancient