Enjoy nature on China’s Chengdu-Kunming railway

December 26th, 2010 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, Dec 26 (IANS) At 500 meters above the sea-level, China’s Chengdu-Kunming railway meanders through the scenic mountains of the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and offers a spectacular view of the blue rivers downhill, stone and black forests and the 534 A.D. Buddha statues. It’s an experience that you will treasure forever.The railway traverses against the tide of Dadu and Niuri rivers and than goes downhill along the Sunshui, Anning and Yalong rivers, before approaching the 1,000-meter-high Jinsha river valley.

After crossing the western Sichuan plains it then goes up the Longchuan river valley and finally reaches the 1,900-meter-high Dianzhong plateau, the centre of the Yunnan province.

More than 700 km of the 1,000 km journey is through the mountains of the Sichuan province in the southwest and Yunnan province in the north. The terrain is complicated and varied, and travellers who take this train will enjoy breathtaking view of the landscape along the way, xinhua.net reports.

The Dadu river valley, covering 26 km, starts at Wusihe town in Hanyuan county in the west and ends at Yonghe town of Jinkouhe district.

The valley is well-known for its majestic steep crags on both banks. The imposing crags can rival the Three Gorges of the Yangtze river and even the Grand Canyon.

It is a perfect place for viewing geological landscape, rock-climbing, drifting, explorations and scientific expedition. The famous scenic spots in the valley include “Moon Bay”, “Valley of Love” and “Woniu (Crouched Ox) Pool”.

The Guangyuan Thousand Buddha Cliffside Statues on the eastern bank of the Jialing river, five kilometers to the north of Guangyuan city, are the largest group of rock caves in Sichuan province.

Originally built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), the statues are carved on the cliff measuring about 200 meters long and 45 meters tall.

The grottoes and shrines are built tier upon tier and reach 13 layers. In 1935, over half of the statues were destroyed when the cliff was blasted away to pave way for the Sichuan-Shaanxi road.

Visitors on the Chengdu-Kunming railway trains can have a view of the Buddha cliffside statues when they pass the Qingyi river bridge, the report said.

The Yuanmou Earth Forest, about 200 km from Kunming, is made up of weathered rocks. Due to its large area (50 sq. km), it is named “Earth Forest”.

This natural wonder is mainly in the yellow colour, but they can vary. Its forms are also diversified and impressive. According to scientists, the Earth Forest contains rich fossils of animals such as stegodon bones and saber-toothed cat.

Located in the Shilin county, 85 km southeast of Kunming, the Stone Forest is considered “one of the Earth’s natural wonders”.

The stone peaks rise abruptly from the ground in numerous layers like bamboo shoots, forests and pagodas. If you climb to the top of one of the peaks, you can see thousands of peaks and valleys just like a marvellous vast black forest.

The roads wind around between the peaks, taking visitors to ever more unexpected and beautiful landscapes, said xinhua.net. All visitors to Kunming whether from China or abroad go there to admire the unique scenery formed by the stones, it said.

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