Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve
If you thought I was in the Avatar movie, you’re forgiven. I’m at Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve in China, the stunning inspiration for some of the magical shots from Avatar.
Son of Heaven
Tianzi means “Son of Heaven” and the mountains take their name from a man named Xiang Dakun. He led a farmer’s revolution and called himself by the name “son of heaven”. Visitors can see many iconic sites about the story of Xiang Dakun all around this area, with site having its own legendary story. The best one I heard was that of the Yu Bi (imperial brushes) peaks. These pine-covered peaks rise upward into the sky and the legend behind them is that they are brushes the Tianzi-Xiang Dakun used and that they became stone peaks after his martyrdom. How mystical is that?
Facts and Features of Tianzi Mountain
Tianzi Mountain is one of the four scenic spots in Wulingyuan. Each season offers visitors a different beautiful sight to behold – the misty sea of clouds, the jungle of the stone towers, mesmerizing rays of sunshine as the sun rises and the snow covered peaks in winter. The reserve extends over an area of 67 sq. kilometers. The highest peak here is about 4140 ft above sea level. The mountain is also called “the monarch of the peak forest”, owing to the spectacular view of over 2000 sandstone peaks that it offers. You can see all the scenic spots of Wulingyuan from the 100+ observation decks here, so the name is well deserved!
Visitors can take the 6 minute cable car ride to the top, all the while enjoying the beautiful scenery around. Hiking is too dangerous due to the lack of a trail. It’s no wonder that this place inspired the magical land in the movie – the view is otherworldly indeed!