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Qinling World Geopark

Qinling Mountain Ranges
Qinling World Geopark- Zhongnanshan Mountain World Geopark

Serving as a natural division of the north and south in terms of geology, geography, ecology, climate, even humanities, Qinling Mountain Ranges stretch a long way from the west to the east in central China. The mountain has been long studied and researched by scientists from home and abroad for its unique and significant geographical location as well as its complex formation process. It’s not only a heavenly resort for tourists but also a natural lab for geologists with tremendous tourism recourses and well-preserved geologic relics. The mountain building of Qinling occurred during the rapid subduction between the north plate and the south one of mainland China. Geologic condition is quite complicated in Qinling Mountain area, especially in the transition zone of mountain building and rift basins in the north side, which provides a perfect home for plenty of rare-seen species.

Zhongnanshan Mountain World Geopark
Located in the center part of the Qinling Mountain Ranges, Zhongnanshan Mountain is a representative of the scientific significance and amazing landforms of the Ranges near Xi'an City. It is believed that the setting up of a geopark will strengthen the awareness of environmental protection of the government and the local people and involve them in activities associated with the protections. Zhongnianshan Mountain was put on the name list of world geoparks in 2009 by UNESCO.

Zhongnanshan World Geopark is divided into five different parks according to their different natural scenery and cultural sights. They are Cuihuashan Geopark, Nantaibai Geopark, Yushan Geopark, Lishan Geopark and Bingjingding Geopark, among which the first one is the main park of Zhongnanshan World Geopark with its rare landslip landforms and time-honored Buddhist culture showing a stunning scenery combination of landslip landscapes, dammed lakes and the Buddhist pagodas of Sui and Tang Dynasty. In the other four parks, rare sights of Quaternary Glacial Landforms, Granite Landforms, Horst Structure and Tectonic Migmatite can be seen as well as lots of precious plants and animals.
Lantian Man started to live and multiply at the foot of this mountain in Weishui River valley, the cradle of Chinese civilization, since the Paleolithic, about 1330000 years ago. Nature and human beings coexist harmoniously in this area. Thousands of Chinese poets of different dynasties have been inspired by the heavenly nature environment and the thick Taoism atmosphere.
Bill Porter in his book," part travelogue, part history, part sociology, and part religious study", Road to Heaven, Encounters with Chinese Hermits has recorded his extraordinary journeys to Zhongnanshan Mountain with the hope of finding out if the hermit tradition still existed in China. The journeys ended with a stunning fact that more 5000 monks and nuns still lived somewhere amongst the white clouds in the mountain. As a cradle of Taoism, Zhongnanshan Mountain was and is covered with footprints of great Taoists, monks and nuns and abounds in heritages of Taoism.
"Road to Heaven"   Bill Porter
Hidden Hermit  Reading Meditation
History has seemed to pay special attention to this mountain. Shangwu Gudao was an ancient road bridging the economic life between the west and east of ancient China since the Spring and Autumn Period. Zizu Zhandao, all wooden, 420 km, was an amazing project just next to the Great Wall built in a time without any modern and smart machines, hanging in the sheer cliffs of the mountains. It was called “Litchi Hanging Road” after Tang Dynasty. Why people had given it such an interesting name? There's a story saying that the emperor Tang Xuan Zong ordered to construct this hanging road as a shortcut for sending litchis from southern China to the capital Xi’an to please his favorite concubine Yang Yuhuan because this lengendry woman in our history liked them much. Besides, religious temples, pagodas, royal gardens and palaces are still gorgerous, hidden in this paradise on earth like the hermits without disturbing of the outside world.
 Temples in Zhongnanshan Mountain Ziwu Zhandao

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