The Tianmen Mountain, located at only eight kilometers from the city of Zhangjiajie, in central China’s Hunan Province, is a highly acclaimed tourist destination. Standing at 1,500 meters above sea level the Tianmen Mountain is the place of remarkable geomorphology landscapes, old-line religious culture, unique relics of humanity, a primitive forest, numerous rare tree species and an abundance of fauna.
The Tianmen Mountain has traditionally been perceived by the residents of Zhangjiajie as the very soul of the city. Since ancient times the place was frequented by writers, poets, artists, emperors as well as by monks of all ranks.
1. The cableway
Covering a distance of 7,455 meters (24,459 ft) and with a height of 1,279 meters (4,196 ft) the cableway from the city towards Tianmen Mountain is claimed in tourist publications as the longest cableway in the world. The ride takes around 20 to 30 minutes and provides passengers with breathtaking views of lush mountain peaks, deep valleys and the sharp curves on the road up to Tianmen Cave.
Photo by Huangdan2060 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. The Tianmen Cave
The Tianmen Cave is not quite a cave but a large water-eroded hole (30 meters or 100 feet wide) in the mountain that looks like a huge doorway pointing to the Heaven. Its mystic appearance is the reason why the Tianmen Mountain has this name which literally means Heavenly Gate Mountain.
Photo by Edward Mon. Source: panoramio.com
3. Tongtian Avenue (Avenue toward Heaven)
Tongtian Avenue is the second alternative to browse the distance between the Mountain’s foot to its top, besides the cableway. The 11 kilometers road goes from a staggering 200 meters below to 1300 meters above sea level and has no platforms for stopping. Its 99 sharp turns symbolize that Heaven has nine palaces and make the journey as dangerous as it is thrilling.
But the adventure doesn’t stop at its end. From this point one must climb 999 stairs, called Tianan stairs (also known as Tianti, or the Heaven Reaching Ladder) before reaching the mountain’s peak, where is the Tianmen Cave.
Photo by Jaques Beaulieu
4. The Glass Skywalk
The incredible glass walkway is part of a 1.6 kilometers long cliff-hanging walkway built onto the cliff face at the top of the Tianmen Mountain. The glass walkway is 60 meters long and is suspended 1,430 meters high up in the air.
Although the glass is 6,35 centimeters thick (2.5 inches) and very safe the journey on this unique walkway give most sightseers terrifying thrills. The walkway is so scary that sightseers are requested to wear cloth slip-ons over their shoes, presumably to make the job easier for the cleaners.
Photo source: synotrip.com
5. The Tianmen Temple
At the western side of the summit there is a newly built 10,000 square meter Temple with chairlift or footpath access. Before this large temple was built there was a smaller one in which Buddhist Pilgrims had worshiped since the Ming Dynasty 400 years ago.
Photo by huangdan2060 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons