Lost and Found: Shicheng, the Sunken City

There was once a city, bustling with people, and houses which lined the roads. It now lies deep beneath the Qiandao Lake. This 'Atlantis of the East' however met its fate not after a tryst with the whims of ancient narratives (mythology for the uninitiated), but rather due to an initiative of the Chinese government, when they decided to flood the entire city. The artificial lake was being created for the Xin'an River Dam Project, and the people were accordingly relocated, but the city however remained forgotten, as it lay there, under the countless ripples of time. It was only rediscovered in 2001, after the Chinese government decided to look for the remnants, and were utterly surprised to find the town intact!
Shicheng which lies at the foot of the Wushi mountain (Five Lion mountain, when translated), was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Before the deliberate flooding, Shicheng used to be a hub for many cultural, as well as political activities. The submerged city has five city gates, which spreads out in all directions. Now  85-131 feet under the Qiandao waters, it serves as a major tourist hotspot, especially for divers, as several activities are held to facilitate the diving clubs.
Although Shicheng (or its remains, to be precise), is now a favourite among curiosity seekers, things were not smooth initially. Despite its 'rediscovery' in 2001, the city failed to garner any interest, and it was in 2011 that the interests around this underwater city renewed, courtesy the Chinese National Geography (a magazine). From the rough waters of oblivion to the new age media's obsession, this once forgotten city seems to have found the perfect PR department!

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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