Huangshan Mountain

Huangshan Mountain

Location: Anhui province Map


Description of Huangshan Mountain

The Huangshan Mountains (Chinese: 黄山, Huáng Shān, literally meaning "Yellow Mountain") are a mountain range located in the Anhui province of eastern China. The area is famous for its scenic beauty: in fact, there are granite peaks, Huangshan pines (typical trees of the region with shapes shaped by the weather) and you can also admire the cloud formations from above. These mountains have often been used as a backdrop for paintings and stories in Chinese literature. In 1990 they were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Of the many peaks in the mountain range, 77 are over 1,000 meters high. The highest peaks are Lian Hua Feng (1,864 meters), Guang Ming Ding (1,840 meters) and Tian Du Feng (1,829 meters). The World Heritage area covers an area of 154 square kilometres, outside of which is a buffer zone of another 142 square kilometres.

The mountains were formed about 100 million years ago, in the Mesozoic, when an ancient sea disappeared due to the uplift of the earth. Later, during the Quaternary, the landscape was shaped by numerous glaciers.

From the time of the Qin Dynasty the mountain range was known as Yi Shan; the current name came into use after the poet Li Bai used it in one of his poems in 747.

The vegetation present in the area varies according to the altitude: below 1,100 meters there is the equatorial forest, between 1,100 and 1,800 meters there is the temperate deciduous forest, above 1,800 meters no more trees grow and they only find alpine-type grasslands. One third of all Chinese bryophyte species and over half of all ferns are found here.

Since the peaks of the mountains are often above the clouds, interesting optical effects can be admired from here: the so-called "sea of clouds" (in Chinese 云海, Yúnhǎi) and the "light of Buddha" (in Chinese 佛光, Fóguāng ), whose presence attracts many tourists. On average, the "Buddha light" is only visible a couple of times a month.

In the area of the mountain range there are also some thermal springs, with water gushing out at 45°C all year round, and numerous fresh water springs.


Buddha’s light

A fairly common occurrence in the Huangshan mountains is an optical effect that is called Buddha’s light. It occurs at the highest peaks of the range around the cover of the clouds. Sun light reflects from the water droplets and created illusion that the shadow of the person in the clouds is surrounded by a halo. Those who cast this kind of shadow is said to be on a path toward enlightenment. This usually occurs once a twice a month.