Mountain Tianmu——The Base for Scientific Research and Education [edit this]
Mountain Tianmu Nature Reserve has the fame of “Natural Arboretum”, in which there are 1,718 spermatophyte species, 151 pteridophyte species, and 291 moss species, 35 of which are rare and endangered species. Complex topography and plentiful vegetation resources provide ideal habitat conditions for wildlife. There are 74 mammal species, 148 bird species, 44 reptile species, 20 amphibian species, 55 fish species, and documented 1,853 insect species. Among them, cloud leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons), white neck and long tail pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti), Chinese tiger butterfly are the species enlisted under National Protected Wildlife. Mountain Tianmu is therefore well-known as “the biological gene bank”. The biological resource with rich species variety provides the ideal conditions for scientific research and educational field practice. Since Bates, a German entomologist, published his new discovery of “Anoplodera Excavata Bates”: the first animal species named after Tianmu (Tianmu Festoon Capricorn Beetle) in 1884 and Chen Huanyong, a Chinese scholar, published the first new found plant species in Mountain Tianmu in 1927 which was named as Ostrya rehderiana (Tianmu ironwood), Chinese and foreign scholars have found and named 37 plants and 48 animals with Tianmu as part of their name. Mountain Tianmu is also famous for generating mode specimens: 83 vegetable mode specimens and 181 animal mode specimens have been collected here. Unique topography and abundant biological resources attract professors and students from Zhejiang University, Fudan University, Nanjing Forestry University, Zhejiang Forestry College, East China Normal University, Zhejiang Normal College and other institutes to conduct biological, geological, geographical, hydrological and soil field work in Mountain Tianmu. Foreign scholars from Germany, Canada, the United States and other countries also come to visit and conduct field research in the reserve.
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Mountain Tianmu——A Tourist Attraction and Summer Resort [edit this]
Mountain Tianmu has an aged geologic foundation. At the end of Ordovician period, sea beds rose and folded to form terrene. The major body of the mountain was formed 150 million years ago in a strong volcanic orogenic movement called Yanshan Movement. This area is also known as “the sample of old glacier relic in east China”. Prominent crags, strange rocks and numerous valleys are magnificently spectacular. The beautiful natural landscape is featured by 4 streams, 5 pools, 6 caves, 7 gullies, 8 terraces, 9 ponds, 12 rocks, 27 stones, and 28 peaks. It is coined as “wonder mountain of Jiangnan” due to the fact that its particular geomorphology and unique Buddhism culture foster theprotection of flora and fauna of the region and Mountain Tianmu becomes a region with a large group of higher plants in China's central-subtropical forest zone. Mountain Tianmu Nature Reserve preserves the representative forest vegetation of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The forest landscapes are known as “ancient, giant, high, rare, plentiful, beautiful”. “Ancient”: Mountain Tianmu preserves living “fossil” of the Mesozoic Era such as wild ginkgo, a survivor plant. This species in naturally wild form is found only in Mountain Tianmu Nature Reserve across the world. There is a natural scene of wild ginkgo family called “five generationsliving together”. “Giant”: Mountain Tianmu is famed for “giant trees with huge baldachins”. There are almost 400 trees with a diameter of 1 meter or larger. This gives a good name of “the Kingdom of Giant trees” to Mountain Tianmu. “High”: the golden larch (Pseudolarix kaempferi Gord.) here is the highest among the same species in China. The highest one is about 56 meters high, coined as “skyrocketing tree”. “Rare”: there are many unique tree species in Mountain Tianmu, among which the foremost is Tianmu ironwood (Ostrya rehderiana), which is on the edge of extinction worldwide. Only 5 survivors are found in Mountain Tianmu. Other rare and precious trees are Jambolan tree (Emmenopterys henryiOliv), Leading spring tree (Euptelea pleiospermum Hook.f.et Thoms), Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb.et Zucc.), Tapiscia sinensis Oliv. etc. “Plentiful”: the vegetable species of Mountain Tianmu Nature Reserve is so plentiful that it enjoys the name of “Natural Arboretum”. “Beautiful”: numerous plants form a splendid forest picture. The beautiful scenes of tree and branches and layers of mountains can be seen in all seasons.
Mountain Tianmu enjoys obvious location advantages. It is on “the golden tourist line” between two national tourist places of Hanzhou and Mountain Huangshan. It possesses the easy access to Shanghai and Hanzhou in its east, Nanjing in its north and the Lake of Thousand Islands in its south. Fantastic natural scenery, pleasant montane climate, centuries-old religious cultures, convenient transportation and perfect accommodative facilities all make Mountain Tianmu a famous tourist attraction, a summer resort, and a scientific exploration spot.
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Mountain Tianmu——A Religious and Cultural Mountain [edit this]
Mountain Tianmu has a long cultural history and has been a famous religious mountain since ancient China. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Taoist master Zhang Daoling was born in Mountain Tianmu and made a meditation and cultivated vital energy in it. In the Jin Dynasty, Buddhism was introduced into Mountain Tianmu. Since then Buddhism had become a major religion in Mountain Tianmu and had over 50 temples constructed over several dynasties. During the thriving period of Buddhism, over a thousand of monks once gathered here. In the Song Dynasty and latter, there were frequent religious exchanges between Mountain Tianmu, India, and Southeast Asia. Mountain Tianmu is also the origin of Linji Sect Yongyuan Temple Fraction of Japanese Buddhism. Chanyuan Temple, the temple of Buddhistic Origin, which was built in 1665, had 500 Buddhist halls and rooms. It was Jiangnan's famous Buddhist temple with flourishing burning incense. But it was bombed by Japanese Air Force in 1941. Recently supported by the concerned groups, Chanyuan Temple is carrying through its reconstruction.
The marvelous scenery of Mountain Tianmu makes celebrities and scholars in different dynasties to wander here. It is said that Xiao Tong, the Zhaoming Prince of the Liang Dynasty, once retreated in the Prince Hut to punctuate religious scriptures and read the literature. From Li Bai, Bai Juyi and Su Shi in Tang and Song Dynasties, to Zhang Yu in the Yuan Dynasty, and over a hundred of poets and scholars in the Ming Dynasty, ascended Mountain Tianmu and left a number of elegant poems. In the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong came to the mountain to appreciate beautiful mountain scenes, and granted the biggest cedar as “the King of the Giant Trees”. In the years of the Republic of China, Jiang Jieshi, Xu Shichang, Yu Youren, Chen Mingshu, Hu Shi, Yu Dafu, Qian Wenxuan and other elites visited Mountain Tianmu one after another. In March of 1939, Zhou Enlai made a speech about solidifying to counteract Japanese invasion in Chanyuan Temple. Famous painter Xu Beihong and Ye Qianyu etc. came here to paint landscape paintings. Generations of elites enriched human landscapes on top of the famous mountain and bestowed Mountain Tianmu a deep cultural historic foundation, and thereby made it more charming.
Mountain Tianmu has thousands of layers of gracefulness, the forest is a sea of ten miles deep. Ancient trees and gigantic trunks stand on the ground and reach the sky, perilous peaks and strange rocks show thousands of gestures and hundreds of forms, unique flowers and grasses spread colorfully, birds, animals and insects are fitly florid, temples and pavilions are characteristic, religious culture dates back in history, human landscape is richly layered, mountain springs and air are deemed to purify human organs, and local climate is warm in winter and cool in summer.
Edit by: Ada