Sunday, April 12, 2009

The stairway to heaven

The stairway to heaven
The Chinese call the stairway you see in the two pictures below "the heaven reaching ladder". It must be one of the most impressive external staircases in the world:

The staircase is part of the Tianmen Mountain (which is only 8 kilometers away from downtown Zhangjiajie), and leads to the Tianmen cave which offers a great view over the nearby mountains and is a religious site for praying for happiness. This open cave is already visible from far away:

There are altogether exactly nine hundred and ninety-nine steps in this staircase. This Tianment cave is a natural water-eroded cave with the highest elevation in the world. The open cave runs south-northward and has a height of 131.5 meters, a width of 57 meters and a depth of 60 meters. It’s much like a gate towards the heaven. In 1999 a bunch of pilots flied their jets trough this c
ave. This event was watched by 800 million people on tv.
And in 2006 the Russian Air force did the same (the picture seen below is not photoshopped):

By the way not only this staircase and cave are impressive also the road leading to this place is fascinating. This road is called the Tongtian Avenue (Avenue toward Heaven) and it has 99 turns symbolizing that the heaven has nine palaces:

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