Tianchi---The Heavenly Lake

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Nestling high in the Tianshan Mountains, 115 kilometers west of Urumqi, the superlatively beautiful Heavenly Lake lies 1980 meters above sea level and is hemmed in by the towering snow-capped Bagda Peak. Heavenly Lake is a natural paradise with breath taking scenery. Surroundingthe Heavenly Lake are snow mountains, glacier forests and grassland alpine lakes, featuring a vertical natural landscape belt.
 
A local legend says that the Heavenly Empress would hold a gala at this lake whenever a local peach tree bore fruit. As this only happened about once every 3000 years, the banquets were understandably grand affairs. All the mortals would gather for such a long-awaited occasion, making the lake area into something of a Little Heaven, so hence the name, Heavenly Lake (Tianchi).
 
History
It is said that the West Queen (Xi Wang Mu) entertained King Mu of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100B.C.-771B.C.) at the Lake. The West Queen fell in love with the king and asked him in her poem, 'The white clouds drift while the mountains reach the blue sky. Passing thousands of mountains, crossing ten thousands of rivers, you come to us from a faraway place. If you are still strong and fine, would you like to come back to us again?' The king answered in his poem, 'After I go back to central China and lead the people to a prosperous life, I will come to you again.' We do not know why the king never returned. Only the placid lake and the silent mountains witnessed the lovesickness of the West Queen.
 
The Snow
The snow line of Mt. Bogda is 3,860 meters above sea level, making it rich in glacier resource. Numerous super-glacial rivers formed by the melting snow and ice, ice bridges, ice mushrooms and ice fountains can be seen on the glaciers.
 
The Lake
In summer, the beautiful lake is an ideal cool resort. Boaters on the lake see the ever-changing silvery mountains soaring into the blue sky, their slopes highlighted with verdant pasture and flamboyant wild flowers. Fishing at dusk has its own special charm. A day in this fairyland promises restoration.
 
The area is one of the few unspoiled places in China. The crystal water reflecting the snow-topped peaks, fluffy white clouds and blue sky create a breath-taking view. The banks of the lake are covered with lush spruce forest.
 

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