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Wonders Of China

7 min read
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China is the world’s largest country by population, and is home to a large number of tourist attractions that can be considered seven wonders.

7. Himilayas

The Himalayas, or Himalaya (/ˌhɪməˈleɪə, hɪˈmɑːləjə/), form a mountain range in Asia, separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of the Earth’s highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia (Aconcagua, in the Andes) is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.

Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km (1,500 mi) long. Its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper stream of the Brahmaputra River). The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km (31–37 mi) wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture.Towards the south the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the very low Indo-Gangetic Plain. The range varies in width from 350 km (220 mi) in the west (Pakistan) to 150 km (93 mi) in the east (Arunachal Pradesh).[5] The Himalayas are distinct from the other great ranges of central Asia, although sometimes the term ‘Himalaya’ (or ‘Greater Himalaya’) is loosely used to include the Karakoram and some of the other ranges.

The Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, and are spread across five countries: Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Pakistan. Some of the world’s major rivers – the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra – rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to roughly 600 million people. The Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the region, helping to keep the monsoon rains on the Indian plain and limiting rainfall on the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of the Indian subcontinent; many Himalayan peaks are sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism.

6. Longji Rice Terraces

The Longsheng Rice Terraces (Dragon’s Backbone) (simplified Chinese: 龙胜梯田; traditional Chinese: 龍勝梯田; pinyin: lóngshèng tītián), also called the Longji Rice Terraces (simplified Chinese: 龙脊梯田; traditional Chinese: 龍脊梯田; pinyin: lóngjǐ tītián), are located in Longsheng County, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Guilin, Guangxi, China.

The terraced fields are built along the slope winding from the riverside up to the mountain top, between 600 to 800 metres (2,000 to 2,600 ft) above sea level. A coiling terrace line that starts from the mountain foot up to the mountain top divides the mountain into layers of water in spring, layers of green rice shoots in summer, layers of rice in fall, and layers of frost in winter. The terraced fields were mostly built about 650 years ago.

Longji (Dragon’s Backbone) Terraced Rice Fields received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.

In early June, water is pumped over the rice paddies and young plants are transferred to the main terraces.

5. Oriental Pearl Tower

The Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower (simplified Chinese: 东方明珠塔; traditional Chinese: 東方明珠塔; pinyin: Dōngfāng Míngzhūtǎ; Shanghainese: Tonfon Mintsyta, official name: 东方明珠广播电视塔) is a TV tower in Shanghai. Its location at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong New Area by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund, makes it a distinct landmark in the area. Its principal designers were Jiang Huan Chen, Lin Benlin, and Zhang Xiulin. Construction began in 1991, and the tower was completed in 1994.

At 468 m (1,535 feet) high, it was the tallest structure in China from 1994–2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center. It is classified as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration. The tower is brightly lit in different LED sequences at night. On 7 July 2007, Oriental Pearl Tower was host to the Chinese Live Earth concert.

The tower features 11 spheres, big and small. The two largest spheres, along the length of the tower, have diameters of 50 m (164 ft) for the lower and 45 m (148 ft) for the upper. They are linked by three columns, each 9 m (30 ft) in diameter. The highest sphere is 14 m (46 ft) in diameter.

The entire tower is supported by three enormous columns that start underground.

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4. Forbidden City

The Forbidden City (Chinese: 故宫; pinyin: Gùgōng) is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. The former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (the years 1420 to 1912), it now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 hectares (over 180 acres). The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture,and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum’s former collection is now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. Since 2012, the Forbidden City has seen an average of 15 million visitors annually, and received more than 16 million visitors in 2016 and 2017.

3. Leshan Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha (simplified Chinese: 乐山大佛; traditional Chinese: 樂山大佛; pinyin: Lèshān Dàfó) is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang dynasty), depicting Maitreya.It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world.

The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

2. The Great Wall

The Great Wall of China (Chinese: 萬里長城; pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng) is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empiresagainst various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states; selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first Emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains.Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most currently well-known of the walls were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.

The frontier walls built by different dynasties have multiple courses. Collectively, they stretch from Liaodong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, from present-day Sino-Russian border in the north to Taohe River in the south; along an arc that roughly delineates the edge of Mongolian steppe. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the walls built by the Ming dynasty measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi).This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi). Today, the defensive system of Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history.

1. TerraCotta Warriors

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.

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