Jialing River
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The Jialing River, formerly known by numerous other names, is a major tributary of the
Yangtze River The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ; ) is the longest list of rivers of Asia, river in Asia, the list of rivers by length, third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in th ...
in the
Sichuan Basin The Sichuan Basin (), formerly transliterated as the Szechwan Basin, sometimes called the Red Basin, is a Sedimentary basin, lowland region in southwestern China. It is surrounded by Mountain, mountains on all sides and is drained by the upper Ya ...
. It is named after the Jialing Valley in Feng County,
Shaanxi Shaanxi (alternatively Shensi, see #Name, § Name) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichu ...
through which it flows. The Jialing River's most notable characteristic was formerly its pellucid green waters. It is also notable for its sinuous course in its lower reaches. From Zhangwang Miao (Temple of Zhangfei) in
Langzhong Langzhong (formerly known as Paoning) is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administrative divisi ...
to the mouth, the distance as the crow flies is . However the river itself travels . The most tortuous part of its course is between
Nanchong Nanchong (; Sichuanese Mandarin, Sichuanese: lan2cong1) is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of Sichuan province, China, with an area of . At the 2020 census it was home to 5,607,565 people, of whom 1,936,534 lived in the built-up (or 'me ...
and Wusheng County.


Names

The name Jialing did not come into general use until the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
.. Before that, it was generally known as the Ba, although it also appears as the Lang and Yu as well. In the 19th century, it was known by the Sichuanese as the Small or Little River, by comparison with the Jinsha and
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ; ) is the longest list of rivers of Asia, river in Asia, the list of rivers by length, third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in th ...
.


Geography

The source of the Jialing, in name, is in the Jialin, which means " the tomb of Jia(嘉陵)" in Chinese. Jia (赵代王嘉) was the last king of State Zhao ( 赵国), who was kidnapped to State Qin (now called
Tianshui Tianshui is the second-largest cities in Gansu, city in Gansu list of Chinese provinces, Province, China. The city is located in the southeast of the province, along the upper reaches of the Wei River and at the boundary of the Loess Plateau and ...
,
Gansu Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administrative dis ...
Province, 甘肃省 天水市) after Qin defeated Zhao. The river briefly flows through
Gansu Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administrative dis ...
before reentering Shaanxi and then crossing south into
Sichuan Sichuan (; zh, c=, labels=no, ; zh, p=Sìchuān; Postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan; formerly also referred to as "West China" or "Western China" by Protestantism in Sichuan, Protestant missions) is a Prov ...
. The longest stem of the Jialing River, however, can be traced to a source in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture,
Sichuan Sichuan (; zh, c=, labels=no, ; zh, p=Sìchuān; Postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan; formerly also referred to as "West China" or "Western China" by Protestantism in Sichuan, Protestant missions) is a Prov ...
and the entire river is long. This source is located at the head of the Baozuo River, considered a tributary of the Bailong River, itself the primary tributary and main stem of the Jialing River system. The branches named Jialing and Bailong meet in
Guangyuan Guangyuan () is a prefecture-level city A prefecture-level city () or prefectural city is an administrative division of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province of China, province and above a Counties of the Pe ...
in Sichuan and continue as the Jialing to the Yangtze. The river reaches the floor of the Sichuan Basin at
Langzhong Langzhong (formerly known as Paoning) is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administrative divisi ...
and continues in a sinuous route into
Chongqing Chongqing ( or ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking (), is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in Southwes ...
and its junction with the
Yangtze River The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ; ) is the longest list of rivers of Asia, river in Asia, the list of rivers by length, third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in th ...
. Besides the Bailong River which forms a portion of the main stem, the largest tributaries of the Jialing River include the Xihan River, the Fu River (also known as Sui He), and the Qu River. The Xihan meets the Jialing in Shaanxi, while both the Fu and the Qu join the Jialing's respective right and left banks in Hechuan, Chongqing. The cities along the Jialing's course include
Tianshui Tianshui is the second-largest cities in Gansu, city in Gansu list of Chinese provinces, Province, China. The city is located in the southeast of the province, along the upper reaches of the Wei River and at the boundary of the Loess Plateau and ...
,
Baoji () is a prefecture-level city in western Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Since the early 1990s, Baoji has been the second largest city in Shaanxi. Geography The prefecture-level city of Baoji had a population of 3,321,853 accordin ...
, Longnan,
Guangyuan Guangyuan () is a prefecture-level city A prefecture-level city () or prefectural city is an administrative division of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province of China, province and above a Counties of the Pe ...
,
Langzhong Langzhong (formerly known as Paoning) is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administrative divisi ...
,
Nanchong Nanchong (; Sichuanese Mandarin, Sichuanese: lan2cong1) is a prefecture-level city in the northeast of Sichuan province, China, with an area of . At the 2020 census it was home to 5,607,565 people, of whom 1,936,534 lived in the built-up (or 'me ...
, and
Chongqing Chongqing ( or ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking (), is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in Southwes ...
. Cities found within the Jialing's basin and along its tributaries include
Tianshui Tianshui is the second-largest cities in Gansu, city in Gansu list of Chinese provinces, Province, China. The city is located in the southeast of the province, along the upper reaches of the Wei River and at the boundary of the Loess Plateau and ...
,
Baoji () is a prefecture-level city in western Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Since the early 1990s, Baoji has been the second largest city in Shaanxi. Geography The prefecture-level city of Baoji had a population of 3,321,853 accordin ...
, Longnan, Longnan,
Mianyang Mianyang (; formerly known as Mienchow) is the second largest prefecture-level city of Sichuan province in Southwest China. Located in north-central Sichuan covering an area of consisting of Jiangyou, a county-level city, five counties, and thre ...
, Suining, Bazhong,
Wanyuan Wanyuan () is a county-level city in the northeast of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China, located near the trisection of Sichuan, Chongqing, and Shaanxi. Tamping Township is its municipality seat. Wanyuan has more than 100.000 inhabitant ...
,
Dazhou Dazhou () is a prefecture-level city A prefecture-level city () or prefectural city is an administrative division of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province of China, province and above a Counties of the Peo ...
, and Guang'an.


Fauna

A total of 151 species of fish inhabit the river, of which 51 species are endemic to the Yangtze River basin.


History

The Han and Jialing basins were the heartland of the ancient state of Ba, whose major cities were located at the sites of their tributaries' confluences.. The Jialing assumed greater importance when Chu expanded up the Han during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The Jialing figures in one of the legends surrounding the Tang-era
artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse refers to a practitioner in the visual arts only. However, the ...
Wu Daozi. During the Kaiyuan Era of the Emperor Xuanzong, Wu was commissioned to depict the course of the Jialing and sent to Sichuan to travel its length for the work. Supposedly, he returned to the imperial palace and completed it in a single day from memory. It is sometimes added that his technique was foiled by Li Sixun, who accompanied him and followed the traditional practice of working slowly from numerous prepared sketches. To the extent that it is grounded in a real event, however, it probably only reflects Wu's speed of execution and not a lack of reliance on sketches. Around 1880, four out of
Chongqing Chongqing ( or ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking (), is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in Southwes ...
's 24 shipping guilds were concerned with shipping along the Jialing.
Chongqing Chongqing ( or ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking (), is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in Southwes ...
, Lingshi, Lezhi, and Hechuan all developed shipyards. In the 1920s, five of Chongqing's eight ferry guilds plied routes across the Jialing. Following the end of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was fought between the Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China and forces of the Chinese Communist Party, continuing intermittently since 1 August 1927 until 7 December 1949 with a Communist victory on m ...
in 1949, the river was repeatedly dredged and straightened until it was navigable throughout the year by the early 1970s..


Notes


References

{{Use dmy dates, date=April 2017 Rivers of Shaanxi Rivers of Chongqing Rivers of Gansu Tributaries of the Yangtze River