The Grand Canyon of Tianshan Mountain

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These pictures of great sandstone walls were not taken at the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, but rather in Keziliya Mountain, about 70 km north of Kuqa in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. The Keziliya Grand Canyon, also called the Tianshan Grand Canyon being located at the south foot of the Tianshan Mountain, is about 5.5 km long from east to west and was formed due to erosion by flash flooding over thousands of years, just like its bigger brother in Arizona. The canyon is characterized by oddly-shaped rocks, pinnacles, rugged cliffs and deep ravines. These have been given various names such as “Skyworth Valley”, “Sacred Snake Valley”, “Skyscraper Cave Valley”, “Rock of tenterhook”, “Swan Peak” and “Lover’s Peak”, to name a few.


The width of the canyon varies along the length. While the broadest point is 150 feet (50 meters) wide, the narrowest place is 1.3 feet (0.4 meter), just barely enough for a single person to squeeze through sideways. The deepest cut in the canyon is about a 100 meters deep.

About 1,400 meters into the canyon, and 35 meters high up, is located the cave of “a Thousand Buddha”. The cave was built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the murals here are very precious in the study of the art history.











Sources: Tour Xinjiang, Yeschinatour. Photos:

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