The Majestic Tianmen Mountain and Its Landmarks
Many tourists decide to visit China each year, and this is because this great country boasts a rich historical heritage and a plethora of tourist attractions that are as unique as they are magnificent. If you decide to travel to this outstanding region yourself, you will surely want to visit some of China’s renowned sites such as the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace. But while the aforementioned attractions focus more on illustrating the history of Beijing, we’re here to suggest an alternative route through the spectacular Tianmen Mountains, which can be found within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China.
Once arrived, you can begin to admire the superb natural beauty of this incredible mountain by climbing on board the Tianmen Mountain Cableway, which is widely known as the world’s longest cableway of its kind. The cable car will take you on a memorable journey across a distance of 4,6 miles, reaching altitudes of up to 4,196 feet while providing breathtaking views of Zhangjiajie City. Alternatively, you could travel along a 6.8-mile long road that is famous for its 99 bends, which will eventually lead you to Tianmen Cave, also known as the Gateway to Heaven.
The Tianmen Cave is not actually a cave, but a naturally formed arch that measures 431 feet in height, 187 feet in width and 196 feet in depth. The arch is also a part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over time, many adventurous individuals took a keen interest in the Tianmen Cave, such as the stunt flyers who flew through the arch in 1999 while being filmed and broadcasted on live TV. Moreover, five Russian fighter jets also passed through the hole on March 17, 2006 during a stunt demonstration. Pedestrians have to climb 999 steps in order to reach the mouth of the cave.
After you witnessed the majestic beauty of the Gateway to Heaven, get ready for a thrilling and spine-crawling experience as you walk across a see-through pathway built on a mountain cliff at an altitude of 4,700 feet above sea level. The 200-foot long glass bridge connects Yunmeng Fairy Summit in the west to the summit of Tianmen Mountain and Zhang Jiajie.
Last but not least, the mountain summit houses the great Tianmen Mountain Temple, which can be reached by foot or via a chairlift. The building actually replaces a much older temple, which was built on the same spot during the Tang Dynasty. The new building includes a multitude of Tang Dynasty architectural elements, and it also comprises a vegetarian restaurant. Furthermore, pilgrims have been journeying to this place ever since the Ming Dynasty, which is quite expected since the Tianmen Mountain Temple represents the Buddhist center of Western Hunan. And since you’re at the top of the mountain anyway, you should take the time to appreciate the mountain’s natural wonders, which include beautiful forests and a sublime bonsai garden.
Tianmen Mountain is truly a unique and fantastic place to visit, boasting a multitude of incredible man-made and natural attractions. It is no wonder that most tourists describe their experience here as unforgettable, majestic, superb or remarkable. Now it’s your turn to enjoy its wonders.