Located in the northwest of Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain makes up a ”golden triangle” along with Zhangjiajie Forest Park and Suoxiyu Valley. The range undulates 40 kilometers and covers an area of 5400 hectares. The main peak of Tianzi Mountain dwarfs others and rises 1262.5 meters above sea level. What makes the distinct contrast is the Si Nan Yu, which is only 534 meters above sea level. Thanks to the advent of cable car, we are able to admire its fairy-tale landscape with the minimum effort. Besides, Tianzi Mountain provides us with some 100 natural viewing platforms.Sea of clouds, sunrise, snow-covered peaks in winter and wavelike rocky peaks are the four most splendid sights of Tianzi Mountain. Major attractions in Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve include: Shentang Gulf, Imperial Brush Peak, Fairy Offering Flowers, Helong Park and Fields in the Air. All that and more awaits tourists to explore.
Tianzi Mountain is a geological smoking gun that illustrates how fantastic the Earth can be. The range’s formation is surprising: there were once sedimentary rocks growing beneath the waters of an ancient ocean, which ultimately became quartz sandstones. Today, the layer of quartz rocks as old as 380 million years old, as thick as 500 or 600 meters, caps the Tianzi Mountain.
King Xiang and Tianzi Moutain
The Tianzi Mountain was named as ”Qing Yan Mountain” before Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) for green stones. It was not until the year of 1353 when Xiang Dakun, the leader of Tujia ethnic group, started a revolt, established kindom on Tianzi Mountain, and called himself ”King Xiang” – son of heaven. In the year of 1385, they encountered the fierce siege of ten thousand soldiers commanded by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), the first emperor of Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately, King Xiang died in the battle and fell into the Shentang Gulf. To show their respect and support to Xiang Dakun, people set up villages along the Tianzi Mountain. The mounatin was renamed as ”Tianzi Mountain”
Shentang Gulf still remains untouched by human footprints, just like a mythical and green labyrinth. A bottomless gorge with bluffs is bathed in misty all the year around. Legend goes that the King Xiang died there. There is only one way leading to the heart of Shentang Gulf – a threatening 9-step natural ladder, which allows only one foot to stand on. In the heart of the basin is a dark pool. You will be horrified by every single glimpse of the bottom. What’s particularly surprising is, sounds of beating drums and gongs, human voice and horses neigh can be heard from the canyon.
Fields in the Air
Fields in the Air rises 1000 meters above sea level. Beneath it is a chasm with protruding sheer cliffs, above which is a piece of terraced field covering 3 hectares. The field is on three sides surrounded by trees and white clouds, just like a splendid landscape painting..
Stage of Appointing Commander
Rugged rocks juts out of a misty canyon, as if an emperor was counting soldiers.
The Helong Park sits on the left of a 1200-meter-high rock. Bronze Statue of Helong (the founder of Chinese People’s Liberation Army), the largest bronze statue in a century in China, illustrates human harmony with nature and reflects a unique style.
Bridge of Immortals
The Bridge of Immortals, also called ”the first bridge under heaven”, rests on the Monkey Slope and faces the Prince Cave. As a masterpiece of Mother Nature, it spans 26 meters, rise 60 or 70 meters across cliffs. It is made up of red sandstones with giant pines and azalea tress on two ends. More surprisingly, there are natural stone steps on it.
Heavenly Warrior’s Gathering
Across the Bridge of Immortals, hundreds of stone peaks are densely packed in a canyon, which just looks like a group of imposing warriors listening to orders of a general. Such a forest of stone peaks is rarely seen in the world
mperial Brush Peak
Imperial Brush Peak has inspired artists and photographers for a long time. It was once shown on over 30 magazines and newspapers. It is located in a valley on the west of Tianzi Pavilion (Heaven’s Son Pavilion). Looking from the vantage point on the northeast, ten rolling peaks soar up to the blue sky. The right peak looks like an inverted brush. And the peaks on the left looks like a finished picture. Legend has it that the stone brush is left by King Xiang.
Fairy Offering Flowers
Fairy Offering Flowers faces the King’s Brush Peak. Flowing mists weave themselves around the peaks and turn them into isolated islets. Stone buttes hide themselves in clouds and mists. When wind blows away the mists, a beautiful ”fairy” was unveiled. She carries a basket of flowers and spread them to the world.
One Dangerous Step
Two peaks were cut through by a one-meter-wide gap. Life and death are so close here. Do you dare to across it?
Training Horses by a Warrior
Tens of peaks rise from valley. Here you will see a horsed-shaped peak, beside which is a stone looking like a soldier with his hand on a bridle. According to a legend, they were horse and guard of King Xiang.
Marshal Rock is said to be the embodiment of King Xiang. It looks like a general who is rallying his troops.
At the southwest of Tea-tray Pagoda, stands a 1200-meter-high peak, which is called ”Tianzi Peak”. It looks like a great man, who sits there, dressed in armor, holds an arrow in right hand, and scowls ahead, as if he was going to have a war.