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Top Choice 05/04/2015 World Heritage China Part 34- Lushan National Park


05-05-2015 05:04 BJT

Assessment of the World Heritage Committee

Mount Lushan in Jiangxi Province is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. With its unique ways, the Buddhist and Taoist temples and the White Deer Grotto Academy representing the concept of idealist philosophy are blended into outstanding natural landscapes, forming cultural landscapes which have high aesthetic value and is closely linked with the national spirit and cultural life.

Chinese name: Lu Shan Guo Jia Gong Yuan

English name: Lushan National Park

Code: 200-015

Based on the standards C(II)(III)(IV)(VI) for selecting cultural heritage, the Lushan National Park was included in the World Heritage List.

Lushan National Park

Lushan National Park

Mount Lushan is located in southern Jiujiang City in Jiangxi Province, central China. It borders on the Yangtze River to the north, the Poyang Lake to the east, the Tengwang Pavilion to the south and Beijing-Kowloon Railway to the west, and is a horst-style fault block mountain. According to the legend, in the Zhou Dynasty, there were seven brothers who had cultivated themselves according to a religious doctrine on the mountain and built thatched cottages there to live. Therefore, the mountain was given name "Mount Lushan." The Lushan District is about 25 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide, and the total area of the mountain is 302 square kilometers. The mountain has a total of over 90 peaks and the tallest is called "Hanyang Peak," which stands at 1,474 meters above sea level. There are many valleys, caves, waterfalls and streams between the peaks and the mountain has a complicated and diverse topography and landforms. Mount Lushan is a famous mountain with a history of 1,000 years, a collection of landscapes, culture, religion, education and politics, and has deep natural and cultural deposits. With its far-reaching academic cultural deposits, the time-honored White Deer Grotto Academy has spread its influence to people from generation after generation.

Mount Lushan has unique glacial remains from the Quaternary Period and is the birthplace of the Quaternary Glacial Theory in China. It retains peculiar eolian dunes generated by ancient monsoon circumfluence in the last glacial period. The region has a complicated geological structure. Mount Lushan was formed from an ascending fault block mountain in the Quaternary Period and has many faults, especially on its southeast and northwest sides where the many faults trend from northeast to northwest. The north side of the mountain is characterized by contorted structures, forming a series of beautiful ridges and valleys, while the south and northwest sides have many fault scarps, forming magnificent and steep landforms including the Wulao Peak, Xiufeng Peak and the Shimen Gully. Broad valleys and gorges are distributed on the mountain and the terraces and valley steps are distributed outside. Ancient ground existed on the mountain and at its foot. The transition zone between Mount Lushan and the Yangtze River as well as the formation and extension of Poyang Lake has formed a series of unique landscapes. The landscape evolution of the Yangtze River in Jiujiang City and the Poyang Lake plain formed multiple landscapes, and has very high geological science value and tourism value.

Mount Lushan’s sceneries are famous for being peculiar, beautiful, precipitous and magnificent, and they enjoy fame as "the most beautiful mountain under heaven." So many peculiar peaks, stones, valleys, waterfalls and caves have formed magnificent mountain landscapes. Mount Lushan has a total of 12 tourist attractions, 37 scenic spots and 230 sceneries, including Wulao Peak, Sandie Fountain, Hanpo Pass, Lulin Lake, Huajing, Ruqin Lake, Jinxiu Valley and the Fairy Cave.

In legend, Mount Lushan was considered the place where immortals live. The water vapor wreathes on the surface of the lake which is as far as the eye can reach, giving the mountain cool summers, abundant rainfall and dense fog. The mountain is situated in the subtropical monsoon zone, with abundant rainfall, mild and pleasant climate, and its annual precipitation is 1,950 millimeters to 2,000 millimeters. However, the annual precipitation of the Jiujiang River at the foot to the mountain is about 1,400 millimeters. Therefore, there is a great difference in temperature on the mountain and many foggy days, showing varied and colorful changes. There are about 191 foggy days in a year, which adds many fascinating sceneries and mystery for Mount Lushan.

The suitable natural conditions give Mount Lushan abundant vegetation, which shows a vertical zonal distribution. The higher the altitude, the thermal regime of surface water shows a vertical distribution, growing evergreen broadleaf forests and mixed evergreen broadleaf and deciduous broadleaf forests from the foot to the top. According to incomplete statistics, the mountain has 1,720 species of plants from 735 genera and 210 families, belonging to seven types including the temperate zone, tropical zone, subtropical zone, East Asia, North America, and China. It is a natural botanical garden.

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