The Zhongling Spring is under Mt. Shidan (Stone Pellet) to the west of Mt. Jinshan (Gold Mountain) of Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province. Its name means a stream of cold spring in the middle of a big river. In the ancient times, people had great difficulty in taking water from the spring as it was in the middle of a torrential river. They had to sink a roped water calabash composed of a copper ball, a kettle, and a lid into the center of the river at midnight or noon. When the water calabash reached the spring cave, they pulled the lid open to get a kettle of genuine Zhongling Spring water. The Zhongling Spring forms when the underground water rushes upwards through limestone cracks. Sweet and clear, it was assessed as the No.1 Spring in the World by Liu Bochu, the spring taster in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).
Mt. Jinshan was originally a small island. The Zhongling Spring showed its mouth only in dry season when river water ebbed. Later, with the main course of the Yangtze River moving northward, Mt. Jinshan began to connect with the southern bank. By the Ming (1368 - 1644) and the Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties, Mt. Jinshan had become a tourist resort. Among the many temples in Mt. Jinshan, the most famous is the Jinshan Temple. The folk legend, Flooding of the Jinshan Temple by Madam White Snake, happened here.