Tianshan Mountains, also called Tien Shan, Celestial Mountains or Heavenly Mountains, is a large system of mountain range situated in the Eurasia hinterland. It is the furthest mountain system from the sea with widespread drought regions. As one of the Seven Mountain Systems in the world, Tian Shan Mountains stretches through four countries with a length of 2,500 kilometers from east to west.The following introduction will guide you to the part of the Tian Shan Mountains within Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China. With its particular geological structure and stunning natural landscape, the mountain has been inscribed in the World Heritage List by the UNESCO on June 21st 2013.
Tian Shan Mountains spans across the whole Xinjiang, through Kashgar, Aksu, Ili, Bortala, Bayingolin, Changji, Urumchi, Turpan, and Kumul with a length of 1,760 kilometers (about 1,094 miles). It is also worth to mention that 'three mountains clip two basins' is the geographic feature of Xinjiang. With the Altai Mountains on the north boundary and the Kunlun Mountains on the south boundary, the Tian Shan Mountains in the middle is the natural geographical dividing line between Junggar Basin and Tarim Basin, so Xinjiang can be divided into two parts - Southern Xinjiang and Northern Xinjiang.
Heavenly Lake in the MountainIn addition to the highest peak - Pobeda Peak at 7,435.3 meters, there are tens of peaks along the Tian Shan Mountains including Khan Tengri (China-Kazakhstan border) and Bogda Peak. Owing to the high latitude and high altitude, those peaks are covered with ice all year round. And what makes the Tian Shan Mountains more remarkable is that a high mountain lake - the Heavenly Lake. About 110 kilometers away from Urumqi, the lake is located in a valley at 1,943 meters on the northern slope of Bogda Peak. The melt water in the lake is crystal clear and quiet like a mirror, which is very beautiful with reflection of the snow peaks and jade green spruces.Although many peaks of Tian Shan Mountains are covered with snow all the year round, the mountain area under snow line is still abundant in animals and plant resources. Vegetation there is under rich diversity, including dense forest, green spruce, whirl pines and more than 80 species of medical plants, especially the most precious herbal medicine - Saussurea Involucrate. Being adapted to harsh climates of high altitude, it grows well on cliffs and in the clefts of rocks along the mountain.
Urumqi Travel Guide