Qianling Mausoleum is situated on the Beiliang Mountain, Qian County, 80 kilometers east of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Qianling is the most typical and best preserved of all the eighteen Tang mausoleums.
The Mausoleum is the joint burial of Emperor Gaozong (628-683 CE) and Empress Wu Zetian (624-705 CE), of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). Emperor Gaozong was the ninth son of the late Emperor Tai Zong. With the help of his maternal uncle, he was made crown prince and ascended the throne upon Tai Zong's death. Emperor Gaozong was in poor health, "faint, heavy-headed and sightless" as the chronicles described him, and his empress Wu Zetain attended to most court affairs. After the emperor's death, Empress Wu defied imperial prohibitions and, after disposing of emperors Zhong Zong and Rui Zong in short order, took the throne herself and titled her reign "Zhou," becoming the first empress in Chinese history to rule the country. After a reign of 21 years, In May 706, she was buried with Gao Zong in Qianling. According to New Tang Book, Qianling Mausoleum was constructed with watchtowers and stone gates, with all gaps reinforced by metal, and abounded in burial objects. From 1958 to 1960, the Cultural Relics Management Committee in Shaanxi Province made an archaeological expedition into the tomb.
Liangshan Hill, 1047.5 meters above sea level, is naturally constituted of lime rock with 3 peaks, of which the north peak is the highest. The two peaks in the south face each other, east to west. Hence the folks there call them＂Nipple Hills”. Seen from east to west, Liangshan hill resembles a female, lying on her back, with the northern hill as her head, two southern peaks as the breasts. It is said that the Liangshan hill is likened to be the vivid portray of Empress Wu Zetian. It is considered the best place for a female dominator to acquire achievement according to a Fengshui master in the Tang dynasty. That is why Liangshan hill was chosen by Empress Wu Zetian as the permanent resting place for her husband and herself.
The 61 stone figures bear witness to the Tang Dynasty's power and prosperity as well as its friendly relations with minority peoples on the periphery and with other central Asian countries. These statues were placed here with the order of Empress Wu Zetian to commemorate the minority chieftains and foreign special envoys who attended Gaozong’s funeral. Wearing tight-sleeved clothes, broad belts and leather shoes, these figures cup their hands in front in a praying gesture. More than half of them had their heads defaced except the two, in the western row, who have prominent noses and deep eyes, and were clearly from the Western Regions or Central Asia. Some of the figures had their nationalities, official titles and names on their backs.
The panorama was taken in 61 stone figures Nearby at Qianling Mausoleum tomb.
360-degree panorama photography by yunzeng liu