Heavenly Lake Heavenly Lake

The Heavenly Lake (Tianchi Lake) is situated to the east of the Tianshan Mountain range, north of Bogda Peak, 97 km south of Urumuqi. Known as Yaochi in ancient times, the lake surface elevates 1,910 meters above sea level, with an average depth of 60 meters. Surrounding the Heavenly Lake are snow mountains, glacier forests and grassland alpine lakes, featuring a  vertical natural landscape belt. 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. There are many super-glacial lakes and moraine lakes scattered in front of the glaciers. The vast expanse of mountain land and forests at the foot of Mount Bogada are also rich in plant and animal resources.

            

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.

Heavenly Lake, a relic of the Quaternary Period Glacier and its surrounding geological relics, offers science lovers exploring opportunities

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As if the natural beauty of Heavenly Lake were not enough, legend adds a mysterious touch. 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.

 


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