Tianzi Mountains, from China to the movie Avatar - Dreamstime

Tianzi means The Son of Heaven, and reaching the northern part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area you can see why. The mountain peaks shoot to the sky from a sea of mist and greenery and you feel transported straight into the sci-fi movie "Avatar".

The highest peak of the mountains, Kunlun Peak, is 1262.5 meters above sea level, and the total area comprises of only 93 square kilometers.

The nature reserve gets its name from Xiang Dakun, chieftain of the Tujia ethnic group who, in 1353, launched an uprising against the ruling dynasty. At the base of the Green Rock Mountain, he established a state and proclaimed himself Tianzi, Son of Heaven. To his followers, he was Emperor Xiang.

But in China there was only room for one emperor and so in 1385, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (also known as the Hongwu Emperor) of the Ming Dynasty commanded Zhuzhen, the Prince of Chu, to lead 10,000 soldiers to attack the ancient tribe. The combat went on for 40 days, which ended with the defeat of Xiang Dakun. He was killed in battle in Shentang Bay at the base of the mountain, which would later be named after him

With pine trees on the top, the Yu Bi (imperial brushes) Peaks rise upward into the sky. Legend goes that they are brushes the Tianzi-Xiang Dakun used that became stone peaks after his martyrdom. The Xian Nv San Hua (floral tributes by fairies) is slightly opposite the Yu Bi Peaks. A legend goes that Xiang Dakun and his army were defeated to fall back on the Tianzi Mountain.

He fought to the finish, but finally jumped off the cliff. A girl in love with him went across the mountain to search for him. She strewed flowers over the cliffs and turned into a stone statue. Shen Bing Ju Hui is a forest of soldier-like peaks arrayed for a review.

Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve is characterized by old, weathered sandstone mountain-peak remnants, some in the form of massive blocks and some in the form of freestanding sandstone obelisks, or towers, but there is also a certain amount of limestone bedrock present in the nature reserve, which, as a result of aeons of water erosion – usually in the form of underground streams – has produced karst caves.

Tianzi Mountain changes aspect depending on the season and the time of day, offering breathtaking sunset and moonlight views, as well as invigoratingly grand sunrise vistas for those who are willing to get up early enough to witness them.

Photo credits: Jerryway, Lzf, Mikhail Nekrasov, Max Xie.

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April 22, 2014


Truly beautiful. That as a background is suitable for so many types of stories.

April 14, 2014


Very nice place!

April 09, 2014


Amazing place, thanks for sharing.

April 07, 2014


Thanks for sharing!

April 06, 2014


awesome pictures

April 04, 2014


That's very beautiful!

April 02, 2014


what a wonderful story and lovely images. thanks for sharing

April 02, 2014


Nikitu,you know that is china GOV,nobody could understand them,we have not the votes,so this is china. :]

April 02, 2014


220volt, possibly because that's how they were called in Avatar. That's a bit crazy :)

April 01, 2014


Lovely! I had wanted to see these in China when I went...next time!

April 01, 2014


I am a Chinese.But the local government has changed the name of mountains to Hallelujah mountains.:)

April 01, 2014


Beautiful narration with beautiful images, I would like to travel to these places!

April 01, 2014


Very nice landscape! Next time I when I travel to China I want to visit this place!

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