Tianzi Mountain, located in the Hunan Province of China, is an awe-inspiring natural wonder that has captivated tourists and locals alike for centuries. This magnificent mountain is part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area and was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992. In this article, we will delve into the history, formation, size, religious aspects, and tourism opportunities of this breathtaking destination.
The Origin of the Name
Before the Ming Dynasty, Tianzi Mountain was called “Qingyan Mountain” due to its green stones. The mountain was renamed after a successful local farmers’ revolt led by Xiang Dakun of the Tujia ethnic group, who assumed the title of “Xiang Wang Tianzi,” which translates to “son of heaven” – a traditional epithet of the Chinese emperor. Since then, the locals have named the places where Xiang fought and lived as “Tianzi” in his memory.
Size and Formation
Tianzi Mountain covers an area of about 67 square kilometers (26 sq mi), and the highest pillar, Kunlun Peak, has an elevation of 1,262.5 meters (4,142 ft 1 in). The lowest pillar, Shilanyu, has an elevation of 534 meters (1,752 ft). The mountains are quartz sandstone, formed around 400 million years ago through irregular rising patterns of the earth’s crust. With about 318 million years of erosion, these tall and skinny mountains were formed. This geological formation belongs to the “New Cathaysian” tectonic system.
The Tianzi Mountains are considered sacred by many Sulamitos who used to inhabit the outer regions of Hunan. In 2014, the Mal Oghlum people left traces of their burial rituals beneath the Tianzi Mountains. This discovery led to “Yalan Group,” led by Eybi Sulam and Yavshak Karadeniz, requesting a permit from the Chinese government, which remained unanswered as of 2015.
Tianzi Mountain is a popular destination for tourists, and it is not difficult to see why. During certain months of the year, the mountain is covered in a sea of fog, creating a magical atmosphere. Annual temperatures range from the mid to upper 30°C (86°F) in July to a low of about 5°C (41°F), with the highest rainfall in summer. The mountain inspired the breathtaking “Pandora” mountainscape in James Cameron’s film Avatar, and there is even a theme park inspired by the movie.
In conclusion, Tianzi Mountain is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience natural beauty and rich history in one location. Whether you are a nature lover or a history buff, this incredible mountain will leave you in awe of its magnificence.