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Yading Nature Reserve (Last Shangri-la)

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Yading Nature Reserve (Last Shangri-la) Introduction

In the Shangri-la Town of the Daocheng County, there is a beautiful village named Yading. In the Tibetan language, Yading means the place facing the sun or the village closest to the sun. And, the Yading Nature Reserve is exactly the place that facing the sun and closet to the sun. The nature reserve features three holy snowcapped mountains and those peaks share a name in Tibetan that means three doctrine-defended supernatural peaks. Their beauty and magnificence comes from the nature and their spirit comes from the god. A legend says in 800, Padmasambhava extended his blessings and power to these three peaks and named the mighty east peak Guardian, the graceful north peak Avalokitesvara and the tall and nice south peak Manjusri. The north peak is the tallest in Daocheng which is surrounded by a dozen snow-clad mountains. Their names show they are spirit of Buddhism. Each of the peaks, mountains and streams has a Buddhist story behind. So these three peaks are white sacred peaks respected by local people.

Last Shangri-la

At their foot are vast meadows with clean streams flowing forward. The dense forests, alpine willow trees on the bank of rivers, valleys unified with the precipitous cliffs around exist harmoniously in this quiet world. After entering into this world, the people will be moved and baptized when their soul talks with nature. They can be free from everything in their mind and their mind will be filled by purity and reverence towards nature. The traditional prayer flags and Tibet painting Tangka in the monasteries show many similarities with the ideal realm described in Buddhism. The visualized environment in which Shambhala was born is naturally in the areas inhabited by Tibetan people in an ideal society, where snow-clad mountains, grassland, forests and monasteries and all exist harmoniously and naturally.

Last Shangri-la

The Yading Nature Reserve covers an area of 1,344 square kilometers and mainly composed of snowcapped mountains, lakes, glaciers, forests, canyons, brooks and ancient temples. Also it boasts some 1,115 kinds of plants and some 200 kinds of animals including several rare ones under the state protection. So the Yading Nature Reserve has been praised as a gene bank of the varieties of living things. With 56,000 hectares of forests and 13,000 hectares of grassland, the nature reserve is one of the most intact and primitive alpine natural bio-systems. Except three snowcapped mountains, it has some 30 large and small mountains. At the foot of these mountains, there are brooks, lakes and pasturelands. The plantations from the foot of the mountains up illustrate different landscape features of the four seasons.

Last Shangri-la

Influenced by the Tibetan Buddhism and cultural concepts, the primitive bio-system of this nature reserve has been maintained in excellent conditions, which makes it a central part of Shangri-la bio-tourist area and the soul of Shangri-la. International tourists say that Yading Nature Reserve is the last only one pure land on this blue globe and repute it as the last Shangri-la in the world. In June 2001, Yading was renamed one of the national nature reserves. Also Yading has been included into the World Man and Biosphere Reserve Network by the UNESCO in July 2003.

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