Nature's mural

Nature's mural
Danxia National Geological Park of Zhangye, China.

At first glance, it looks like a perfect painting on canvas.

It has gorgeous colours that spread into the horizon as far as the eye can see.

The 500 sq m Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is located in Linze and Sunan counties in Gansu Province in north-central China.

The formations are in green, yellow, blue and many other colours, though their name comes from the red rocks of Mount Danxia in Guangdong.

The precipitous cliffs rise majestically into the clouds. Danxia means "rosy cloud".

Across the landform zone, a kaleidoscope of rocky outcrops resemble cones, towers, people, birds and beasts.

The Danxia landform is surrounded by fields of rape blossoms in Qilian county, The Guardian reported.

It is believed to have been formed about six million years ago.

EXPOSED TO ELEMENTS

The cliffs took their present form after having been exposed to the elements for centuries.

Geologists believe that Danxia's topography was formed because of movement in the earth's crust. This resulted in rock layers that have different colours, textures, shapes, sizes and patterns.

The combination of differences in density and erosion creates towering peaks, cave holes and stone halls.

The area has become a top tourist attraction for Zhangye. A series of boardwalks and access roads have been built to help visitors explore the rock formations.

The Zhangye Danxia Landforms are divided into three areas: Danxia National Geological Park, Sunan Danxia Scenic Area and Binggou Danxia Scenic Area.

There are four viewing platforms.

The fourth and largest platform is on a ridge that runs from east to west.

Standing on the platform, you can feast your eyes on the "seven-colour mountain". It is the best place to catch the sunrise and sunset.


This article was first published on Oct 10, 2014.
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