If anyone talks about a scroll painting of world-shaking beauty over 300 square
kilometers in size, they must be referring to Wulingyuan.
The name Wulingyuan comes from its geographical location north of the Wuling Mountains on the border between the provinces of Hunan and Guizhou. During the mid and late Devonian Period, quartz sandstones were deposited at Wulingyuan, where the sea and the land interfaced. Great changes took place with the passage of time.
Due to the rise of the earth's crust, erosion and weathering, some mesas gradually became peak clusters and forests while others were leveled to the ground before finally being eroded into gullies and valleys. In every respect-scale, completeness, variety of forms, and biodiversity -Wulingyuan is a priceless 1egacy handed down by Nature to mankind.
Now a World Natural Heritage site, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area encompasses Zhangjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, Suoxiyu Valley, and a few other newly developed spots. Every visitor to Wulingyuan will visit the Shili (Ten-li) Gallery at the foot of Tianzi Mountain.
The Shili Gallery has no actual paintings or galleries, but stretches for l o li(about three miles), covered with narrow mountain paths. The sides of the valley are lined with peak after peak and from the bottom of the stream rocks pile up into the sky, forming some 200 weird statues of every shape-humans, birds, animals and objects. So, as in a gallery, one moves through the valley feasting on its frequently changing sights, as if enjoying superb paintings and poetry.
At ZhangJiajie, the clouds and mountains form a natural scroll painting. The sun's rays slant across the peaks, white clouds drift around the mountainside, and lush primeval forest cloaks the peaks and valleys in shades of green.
It was not until the 1980s that Wulingyuan became well-known at home and abroad, but because of its grotesque peaks and wandering valleys, it was quickly hailed as "a pearl hidden in the remote mountains."
Like the majesty and magnificent Shili Gallery, the Jinbianxi Brook has sights to delight the eye at every step, but is more tranquil and elegant in appearance. Wandering in the lush forest beside the brook, glimpsing the jade stream and the glittering color stones in the water. You can quite easily feel that the brook must lead to the Peach Blossom Valley, the paradise of the great poet Tao Yuanming. Perhaps it is this lovely dream that draws endless visitors to the stream.
The Heaven Terrace on Taizi Mountain, surrounded by countless peaks, gives panoramic views of all of Wulingyuan.
It is the grotesque peaks that are Wuling yuan's impressive feature. Within its 360 square kilometers, Wulingyuan has over 3,000 sandstone pillars and peaks, most of them over 200 meters in height. When the thousands of erect-towering peaks that make up the sandstone forests suddenly appear, one is lost for words to describe the imposing grandeur of the spectacle. These peaks seem to share similarities in shape and spirit with all things and creatures on earth.
From the highest(Rabbit Watching the Moon Peak)to the lowest(Stream Winding around Four Gates Peak), the grotesque formations come in every size, height and shape; there i s a dancing fairy, an old man culling medicinal herbs, a dragon rising from the sea, and a sword thrusting into the sky. Nature wielded its brush freely
here. leaving behind countless sights to inspire the infinite imagination and pious worship of worldly beings--the South Column to Heaven, Golden Whip Cliff, Five Fingers Peak, Sacred Needle for Calming the Sea Peak.
At Wulingyuan, every peak is a life. When the rain passes and the skies clear, the peaks are faintly discernible, wreathed in clouds and mists from the valleys. Then no one could deny that Wulingyuan is really a living wonderland on earth. Wulingyuan is known for its"3000 peaks and 800 waters"
The peaks are surrounded by water..... waterfalls cascading down from high cliffs, rivulets snaking through thick grass, boat-bearing forest lakes formed by long accumulation.
The grotesque peaks and graceful waters each lend beauty to the other. Springs bubbling up through the cracks between rocks, shy streams in deep secluded valleys, green-shaded lakes, and waterfalls tumbling down the cliffs, all in perfect and lovely contrast with the red sandstone.
The moment you step into Wulingyuan, beautiful scenes keep coming up, minute by
minute, along the way. Who needs way markers to roam such a bewitching landscape? Walking here freely, being intoxicated, marveling in and drinking it all in will be the delight of a lifetime.
The beauty of waters and mountains lies in naturalness and freedom. Any deliberate attempt to achieve perfect beauty is in vain. Only the spontaneous emotion that touches the heart is eternal.