Sima Qian Temple in Hancheng, Weinan


Ten kilometers (6 miles) south to Hancheng(韩城), Weinan(渭南), Sima Qian Temple is situated on the southeastern hummock of Zhichuan County. It is the most popular sight in Hancheng with Mt. Liang to the west, the ancient Yellow River to the east, the ancient Great Wall of Wei State to the south, and the River Zhi to the north. The view is superb and reflects his noble-minded personality and outstanding achievements.

Features of Sima Qian Temple in Hancheng

  • National AAAA scenic spot
  • National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit
  • National Scenic Area

Who is Sima Qian?

Sima Qian (145 – 90 BC), the famous historian and litterateur of China, is a native of Hancheng. He began to read ancient Chinese books and biographies when he was ten years old, including the works of Dong Zhongshu(董仲舒) and Kong Anguo(孔安国) (the great litterateurs of China). In 104 BC, Sima Qian was presiding over the revision of the calendar, at the same time, he began to write the Taishi Gongshu(《太史公书》). In 99 B.C., he interceded for Li Ling, who had surrendered to the Xiongnu. As a result, Emperor Wu of Han was very angry and thought he was defending Li Ling, so Sima Qian was castrated. Sima Qian worked hard in prison, enduring the pain to continue to write “the Historical Records”(Shiji 史记). After Sima Qian was released from prison, he was appointed Zhongshuling and continued to work hard. Finally, he completed the Historical Records in 91 BC. Shi Ji is a first general history of China by chronology, which had a great influence on later generations.

Basic Survey

The Sima Qian Temple was built in the 4th year of Yongjia in the Western Jin Dynasty (310) and showcases, about 1,700 years of history. It is 555 meters (607 yards) long from east to west, and 229 meters (250 yards) wide from north to south with an area of 45 thousand square meters (11 acres). It includes four exhibition rooms, respectively displaying an exhibition of Sima Qian’s life, stories, 39 inscriptions recording the repairing and enlarging process of the Temple and his great achievements, 53 celebrities’ calligraphies and the Shi Ji.

Main Attractions In Sima Qian Temple

  • Sacrifice avenue 祭祀大道 
  • Sacrifice square  祭祀广场
  • Twelve Benji Park十二本纪园
  • Bronze statue of Sima Qian 司马迁铜像
  • Gaoshanyangzhi Archway 高山仰止牌坊  
  • Heshanzhiyang Archway 河山之阳牌坊 
  • Sima Ancient Path 司马古道 
  • Sima Qian’s tomb 司马迁墓
  • Forest of Steles 碑林

How to get to Sima Qian Temple from Xi’an

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to the Sima Qian Temple in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Travel

  • Public transport:
    In  Puzhao road, Yellow River street, Nanguan and other places in Hancheng City, you can take the tour bus to go there, the ticket price is 3 yuan, direct to  Sima Qian Temple scenic spot, The tour bus runs about every 10 minutes.
  • Nonlocal self-driving:
    Drive 182.2km from Xi ‘an  expressway to Jingkun expressway (G5), exit the expressway from Zhichuan /G108 (go through Zhichuan tollgate), and drive to G108 national highway, about 500 meters away.