Tiger Hill is a hill in Suzhou, in China. It is a tourist destination and is known for its natural environment and historic sites. The hill is so named because it is said to look like a crouching tiger. Another legend states that a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it following the burial of King Helu. The hill is sometimes referred to in parallel with "Lion Mountain", another hill near Suzhou which clearly resembles a sitting lion.
A famous Song Dynasty (960-1279) poet, Su Shi said, 'It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill.' This epitomises the general opinion of those who have seen this local beauty spot with its many attractions that we shall endeavour to describe for you.
Tiger Hill, known also as Surging Sea Hill, is a large hillock covering about 3.5 acres (14,100 square metres) and only 118 feet (36 metres) in height. Climbing it, you will find a number of historical sites some of which can be traced back over 2,500 years to the founding of Suzhou. Although the hill is relatively small it has rich history. These are just some of the highlights of what to be found there.
The Tomb of King He Lu: In 496 BC during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), He Lu, King of the Wu State perished during the war fought against the Yue State. His son buried him on the hill and three days after the funeral a white tiger came and sat upon the grave as though guarding it. From that time on it has been known as Tiger Hill.
Tiger Hill Pagoda: The pagoda stands on the hill's summit and is the Pagoda of the Yunyan Temple. As the oldest pagoda in the vicinity of Suzhou it has come to be a symbol of the city and has the distinction of being China's Leaning Tower. Built during the Northern Song Dynasty (959-961), it is a seven-storey octagonal tower following the style of the timber pagodas built during the early Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is 158 feet (48 metres) high and for the past four hundred years has leant 3.59 degrees to the northwest.
Sword Testing Stone and Sword Pool: King He Lu was a zealous collector of rare swords and it is said that he tested them upon this stone. The crevice thus made in the rock is the only evidence of the existence of these swords, as it is believed that they were buried beneath the Sword Pool as funerary objects. Another mystery that surrounds the tomb is the whereabouts of the remains of the 1,000 workers who built it and who were put to death upon completion of the task.
Lu Yu Well: Lu Yu was an authority on the art of tea and wrote the first ever book on the subject entitled 'The Treatise of Tea'. As an old man, he lived on Tiger Hill and it was here that he wrote the final part of his book. Lu Yu excavated the well and declared that the water from it was the third best throughout China. Consequently, upon the research and teaching of Lu Yu, tea growing and consumption came to be important factors in the daily life of Suzhou citizens.
Verdant Mountain Villa (Yongcui Shanzhuang): Built in the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the villa is a masterpiece of the splendid gardens for which Suzhou is so famous. As the only garden without lakes or pools in Suzhou, the villa distinguishes itself from others. It was constructed according to the outline of the hill with exquisite pavilions, paths, and decorated by luxuriant woods and flowers. The Verdant Mountain Villa was designed so that it embraced the natural vistas and views from the halls and porches, which are the most pleasing to the eye.