The Tiger Leaping Rock
I first heard of the Tiger Leaping Gorge while watching Palin's Himalayas. The Tiger Leaping Gorge was the Easternmost place that Palin visited in the epic Journey.
This is the legendary Tiger Leaping Rock right in the middle of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This rock forces the Jinsha or the Upper Yangtze through a 10 meter wide corridor. It was dry season when I took this pic but in the rainy season it's a sight to behold and it seems the whole earth trembles due to the force of the water as it squeezes through this narrow corridor.
In the rainy season the whole 13 meter rock rumbles under the pressure of all the water furiously trying to make it's way down. It's really a spectacle when a River more than half a mile wide if forced through a channel just a few meters wide thanks to the rock.
As per the story told by Palin the Gorge got it's name from the story of Tiger which jumped across the Yangtze while being chased by a hunter. The Tiger jumped into this rock and then across the the River to the other side. Hence the name Tiger Leaping Gorge.
And on the other side are Peaks which have a vertical elevation of almost 4000 m from the level at which the water flows. To put it into perspective this Canyon is more than twice the height of the Grand Canyon in the US. The level of the River flow is at an altitude of around 1800 m and its surrounded by Peaks touching almost 6000 m. These are the Hengduan Mountains which form the Eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
Those little bells with the red tags are good luck charms that the local Naxi people use to tie to honor the spirits of their ancestors.
This place, if you understand the significance and the geography that went into it makes the hair stand on the back of your neck. Its where Tibet meets South Asia and China. No wonder it's a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site under the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Area. The three of the mightiest rivers of Asia, the Yangtze, the Salween and the Mekong cutting across the jagged Peaks of the Hengduan Mountains around this area.
This place was opened to foreigners only in the 1990's and now attracts Mountain lovers from all over the World who want to witness the epic scenery that the place offers.
Pic from January 2017. The Tiger Leaping Gorge, Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Western Yunnan, China