The Great Nujiang Canyon is a "longitu-dinal" valley, lying parallel with the run of mountain ranges that give rise to the natural wonder of the Three Parallel Rivers. This is because the northeast edge of the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate, creating a series of large north-south splits in what is today's northwestern Yunnan and eastern Tibet. The Great Nujiang Canyon starts from Cawarong at Zayul County in Tibet and stretches south for some 300 kilometers to reach Liuku, capital of Nuiiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.
Flanked by the Biluo and Gaoligong snow mountains. this is the most perilous section of the Nujiang River; it is over 2,000 meters deep on average, the deepest point being between the 5,128-meter-high Luchulaka Peak of the Gaoligong Mountain and the 4,784-meter-high Zhuzipo Peak of the Biluo Snow Mountain. where the valley bottom is l,650 meters above sea level, giving a height difference of 3,478 meters. The riverbed in the Great Nuiiang Canyon is usually 100-150 meters wide in the canyon but is just a few dozen meters across at its narrowest. In this deep-cut valley, the Nujiang River breaks through the stone gates, ravines and cliffs that would pen it in. and the many dangerous shoals in its path provoke a continuous earth-shaking roar.
The area of the Great Nujiang Canyon is famous for cultural diversity. The largest
community of the Lisu ethnic group lives here and it is the only place where Nu and Derung ethnic groups live; 20 0ther minorities are represented here, among them Primi, Bai,Yi,Naxi,Tibetan,Jingpo and Dai. The Ancient Tea Horse Road along the canyon is some 1,000 years old. Many ethnic groups and religions coexist, but Christianity and Catholicism are all very popular with those ethnic minorities-a cultural and geographical phenomenon worth pondering.