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The Heavenly Lake

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The Heavenly Lake nestles on the northern side of the Bogeda Peak of the Tianshan Mountains, 40-odd kilometers in the east of Fukang County, and 120 kilometers away from Urumqi City in Northwest, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. In 1783, Ming Liang, the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Commander of Urumqi Army Commanding Zone, named the lake “Tianchi” Lake, or the Heavenly Lake. It covers the area of 3aquare kilometers, 105 meters deep at the deepest point, and 40 meters deep in average, this crescent-shaped lake deserves its name, “Pearl of the Heavenly Mountain(Tainshan Mountain)”. With melted snow as its source, the Heavy Lake enjoys crystal water. The Bogeda Peak, 5545 meters above sea level, is the highest peak of the eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains.

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As if the natural beauty of the Heavenly Lake is not enough, legend adds a mysterious touch. It is said that more than 3,000 years ago, the Queen of the Western Region (Xi Wang Mu) entertained King Zhoumu of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century - 771BC) at the Lake and held court feasts. Others say it was the pond for the Queen 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.

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The number of tourists to the Heavenly Lake is on the constant increase. 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. Besides, it is an AAAA Grade scenic spots. Generally, there are eight famous attraction spots, a few cultural relics and eye catching mountains standing in the Heaven Lake. In winter the beautiful lake is an ideal ski rink.

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Situated on the northern side of Bogda Peak of Tianshan Mountains, the Heavenly Lake Nature Reserve covers 380-odd square kilometers, including 18 modern glaciers, 3 rivers, 18 lakes of which the Heavenly Lake is the most famed one. It is also abundant in forest and animal resources. Apart from the dragon spruces, there are above 200 kinds of seed plants, 24 kinds of animals, 50 kinds of birds, 2kinds of reptiles, 1kind of amphibian, and 3 kinds of fishes, offering scientists great research promises in glaciers, hydrology, geology and alpine plants and animals. In 1980 it was authorised by the State as a national nature reserve.