Tianchi Lake

The Tianchi Lake nestles on the north side of the Bogeda Peak of the Tianshan Mountains, 40-odd kilometers in the east of Fukang County, and 110 kilometers away from Urumchi City in Northwest China'sXinjiangUygur Autonomous Region. Bogeda means "God" in Mongolian. Like a person wearing body armor, the 5445-meter high Bogeda Peak was covered by ice and snow all the year round, so ancient Mongolians thought that this was "God" and named it "Bogeda."

In 1783, Ming Liang, theQing Dynasty(1644-1911) Commander of Urumchi Commander, named the lake Tianchi Lake, or literally theHeavenly Lake. Covering 4.9 square kilometers, this crescent-shaped lake deserves its name, "Pearl of the Heavenly Mountain (Tianshan Mountain)." With melted snow as its source, the Heavenly Lake enjoys crystal water.

As if the natural beauty of the Heavenly Lake was not enough, legend adds a mysterious touch. It is said that more than 3,000 years ago,the Queen Mother of the West(Xi Wang Mu) entertained King Zhoumu of the WesternZhou Dynasty(11th century-771BC) at the Lake and held court feasts. Others say it was the pond for the Queen Mother to take bath, with the mist on the lake considered the clothes for the Queen Mother, and the lesser Heavenly Lake nearby as the basin for her to wash her feet.

The Heavenly Lake is an alpine drift lake shaped in the Quaternary Glacier period, and was listed by the State as one of the key scenic spots in 1982. The northern bank of the lake is a natural dike that is a moraine ridge.

The lake surface is over 1,900 meters above sea level, more than 3,000 meters long from north to south, and more than 1,500 meters from east to west. It is 105 meters deep at the deepest point, and holds 160 million cubic meters of water. Snowy mountains that are covered by toweringdragonspruces embrace the lake.

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