Henan (¡°south of the river¡± in Chinese language) was so called because most of its territory is on the south of the Yellow River. It is also known as ¡°the Central Plains¡± or ¡°YU¡± for short. It is located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River.
Henan Province has a total area of 167,000km2 with a population of 96,670,000, the biggest in China. People in this province are mostly of Han, Muslim, Mongol, and Man nationalities. There are 17 cities and 2 prefectures under its jurisdiction, Zhengzhou being the capital city.
Henan Province has a descending physical feature from west to east in altitude, surrounded by Taihang, Funiu, Tongbai, and Dabie mountains. Mountains and hills take up 44.3% of the total and plains 55.7%. Over 1500 rivers in the province originate from the Yellow River, Huaihe, Haihe, and the Yangtze River.
Henan is the origin of Chinese civilization. From the rich oracle inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty to the bronze wares of primitive simplicity, from the grand Longmen Grottoes to the gorgeous painting Qingming Riverside Landscape, the majestic and roaring Yellow River has made the Central Plain prosperous over thousands of years. The history of Henan can be dated back to 500,000 to 600,000 years ago. In the 4,000 years recorded from the first dynasty Xia to the last one Qing, Henan was always the political, economic, and cultural center. Over twenty dynasties made it their capitals, and of the seven major ancient capitals, three are in Henan. They are Anyang where oracle inscriptions were unearthed, Luoyang capital of nine dynasties, and Kaifeng capital of seven dynasties.
Splendid history and culture has left Henan a great number of cultural treasures. It ranks the first in the number of underground cultural relics, and the second in the number of ground relics in China. Rich collections in museums make up one eighth of the total in China with 54 key cultural or historical sites under state protection. The Yin ruins in Anyang were rated by the state cultural and historical relic authorities as the most important of the one hundred major archaeological discoveries in China in the 20th century. Longmen Grottoes was among the three big grottoes in China, and is one of the world cultural heritages. The Shaolin Temple has drawn streams of gongfu lovers to Henan. There are many other tourist resorts in the province.
Henan is also the root of Chinese Medicine, and the birthplace of ZHANG ZHONG-JING, the ¡°medicine-sage¡±. Famous doctors in ancient China such as BIAN QUE and HUA TUO had practiced Chinese Medicine in this place, whose academic thoughts laid a solid foundation for the setting up of Chinese Medicine theories. The cave with medical inscriptions discovered in Longmen Grottoes was built in North Wei dynasty, about 1600 years ago. One hundred and forty prescriptions were recorded on the cave wall. In the Qing dynasty thirteen medical confraternities built their assembly halls in Henan for herbal trading. Today Henan remains the first in terms of the number of Chinese Medicine hospitals and beds, and professionals as well.
Come and see Henan with your own eyes!