A mountain range along the border between Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces in southern China. Jinggang Mountains run from east to west and cover an area of 443 square miles.
In these mountains the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) established its first revolutionary base in 1927. The Communists fled to the Jinggang Mountains after the Nanchang Uprising on August 1, 1927, in which CCP leaders Zhu De (Chu Teh) and Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai) led a rebellion against the first united front between the CCP and the Nationalists (Kuomintang; KMT) who had massacred many Communists, when the united front between the two groups had fallen apart earlier that year. Survivors of the Nanchang Uprising and other unsuccessful Communist insurrections, including the Autumn Harvest Uprising led by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), escaped to the Jinggang Mountains. Various groups who gathered there, including Communists, KMT deserters, impoverished peasants and bandits, joined together under the leadership of Mao and Zhu to form the military branch of the CCP, known as the First Workers' and Peasants' Army, or the Red Army. This force later became known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Army headquarters were established at Ciping (Tz'u-p'ing) in the center of the Jinggang Mountain Range. The Red Army used guerrilla tactics to survive several campaigns waged against it by the larger and more powerful KMT forces. Eventually the Communists had to abandon their base in the Jinggang Mountains and escape the KMT forces by going on the rigorous Long March of 193435, at the end of which they established their new headquarters in Yan'an in Shaanxi Province in western China.
Today the beautiful Jinggang Mountains are a popular tourist area. The main town, Ciping, is located on a narrow strip of flat land surrounded by mountain peaks. A stream flows through the area, and Lake Yicui has lovely bridges and pavilions and flower gardens surrounding it and on its islands. On a mountain peak in a park south of Ciping, a group of carvings depicts the Communist battles in the Jinggang Mountains. Dragon Pool, another scenic spot near Ciping, has 18 waterfalls and 5 pools. One 220-foot-high waterfall is named for Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Numerous rock formations are said to resemble humans, animals, pavilions and pagodas. Yangmei Peak to the southwest of Ciping is famous for its pine trees and groves of rhododendron bushes, which burst into color in April. Shiyan Cave, 55 miles northeast of Ciping, has many underground caverns with bats, stalagmites and stalagtites. The caverns cover a total length of 3,280 feet and a depth of 360 feet.