Tianzhushan is part of the Tentative list of China in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Tianzhushan is a large mountainous landscape, dotted with granite peaks and caves, waterfalls and springs. Cliffside stone recorded the inscription art for 1200 years. Sanzu Temple has an extremely important status and influence in the Tianzhushan religious culture. More than 50 species of mammalian and reptile fossils that are all mid-late Paleocene fossils were discovered in more than 50 Paleocene fossil sites, with a history of 60 million years.
Map of TianzhushanLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I like Tianzhushan (TZS), visiting in 2016, but it barely meets WHS in my opinion. It also seems to try REALLY hard to cover all criteria which I think will boil down to 2 at the most (not taking bets). I went here without any idea about the tentative inscription plans and thought of it more as a "mini Huangshan" because it looks so similar with the granite rocks and isn't far away from the famous yellow mountain. I spent a day here taking the cable car up and doing the circle hike plus up to the "Gleam in the Sky" peak. On this hike I don't find you can catch much of the criteria it tries to justify for an inscription almost as if hiking the mountain is not the best way to see the value it is proposing? Instead of an apparently famous "Peacocks Flying Southward" poem in the rock I get presented with lots of funky-looking stones like the elephant, parrot,
The Cliffside stone inscriptions: they are on like EVERY mountain in China, seriously. Find me one without (not taking bets). So what's special here is that they range from many dynasties like an "art museum" - I can't say that I saw most of these and as I said because other mountains already show enough of these that I didn't spend extra time checking them out.
Archaeological sites and Xuejiagang Culture, can't comment on this from my trip.
Peacocks Flying Southward is one of those supposedly famous works of art that I have never heard of - and I asked around and none of my friends/family knew about it. Questioning that alone I thought maybe it would be awesome if such a great poem would be written on the stones here or something but instead it only takes place in the area of Tianzhushan and I think anyone reviewing this officially is going to laugh on the inside like I am right now.
Criterion (vii) with it's natural beauty is what I would strike from any criteria list right off the bats. TZS is great and all but compared to Huangshan it doesn't reach the same level - and this is still keeping mind that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
Do you know what a Sulu-Dabieshan Ultra-high-pressure (UHP) metamorphic belt is? I wouldn't think so (there is a wikipedia article about belts in general but a google search on the Sulu-.. belt will explain it in non-laymen terms, to quote "studies of the Dabie–Sulu orogenic belt have contributed greatly to our understanding of tectonic processes, fluid regime and chemical geodynamics in continental subduction zones"). I mean, if you are into geology you should know and I'm sure if you showed some interest in how our earth geology is at a deeper level you will come across the belts, but calling it a "world famous" belt is stretching it a little. Anyhow I don't see how this is an inscription criterion at all - but I think this is why it's a Geopark?
World-class fossil site? I didn't see any but fossil sites from what I understand are easily inscribed. I could see this happening if the description is legit.
To sum up, I visited TZS for the beauty, hiking, was a wonderful summer day, I recommend a visit but the entire nerdy geo criteria behind a WHS inscription is not my cup of tea. Please keep in mind I had visited a few years prior to writing so some of the info could be out of date.
2015 Added to Tentative List
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