About 570 million years ago,tremendous changes took place in northwest China. When the sea subsided,the Qilian Mountain Grassland arose.
"Qilian" is a term the ancient nomadic Hun living in north China used to refer to the "heavenly mountain." Today, the Uygur people,the descendents of the Hun still call Qilian the ˇ°heavenly mountain."
The grassland at the foot of the mountain has plenty of water and pasture. In ancient times, it was a grazing ground for the Hun chieftains and Mongolian nobles. Its distinct climate and good weather gained it the name of "golden lotus prairie" in the Tibetan epic King Gesar,and the Uygurs and the Mongols also call it "golden pasture."
To the east of this golden pasture is the Damaying Grassland at the foot of Mount Nianzhi. The slopes of the mountain are covered with dense forests and white caragana.Further to the east stretch the Xizhang and Dongzhang grasslands in the Sunan Uygur Autonomous County.When the yellow caragana flourishes in summer.the entire land puts on the color of sunshine,and the Uygur herdsmen rove about in this "golden sea" with their white and black yurts and their flocks of cattle.