A unique rainbow


zhangye_danxia1This “unique rainbow” at the Gansu province of China leaves one awestruck and has unmatched beauty.  The Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is nothing but a colourful wonderland crafted by elements in red sandstone  and various minerals. It’s incredible and vibrant colour patterns have been appreciated by many over the years.
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It is a ‘heaven’ over 200 square miles.  Formerly, a provincial park and scenic area, it became a National Geopark in November 2011.  The park is located in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains, in the counties of Linze and Sunan, which are under the administration  of the prefecture-level city of Zhangye, Gansu Province.  The core area of the park, Linze Danxia Scenic Area, is located 30 kilometres west of downtown Zhangye and 20 kilometres south of the seat of Linze County.  It is the most developed and the most visited part of the park. 
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Zhangye Danxia, known for the unusual colours of the rocks, which are smooth, sharp and several metres tall.  They are the results of deposits of red sandstone and other minerals that occurred over 24 million years.  The result, similar to a “layer cake”, is connected to the action of the same tectonic plates responsible for creating parts of the Himalayan mountains. — wind, rain and time then sculpted extraordinary shapes, including towers, pillars and ravines with varying colours, patterns and sizes. 
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In 2005, Zhangye Danxia was voted by a panel of reporters from 34 major media outlets as one of the most beautiful landform areas in China.  In 2009, Chinese National Geographic Magazine chose Zhangye as one of the “six most beautiful landforms” in China.  The area has become a top tourist attraction for Zhangye.  A series of board-walks and access roads have been built to help visitors to explore the rock formations.  In August 2010, China Danxia was inscribed on to the World Heritage List. The best time to visit is in summer and before sunset, and even better after a rainy day. 
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It is no exaggeration to say that God Himself went to a carnival and created this adorable sand art.  The view is simply “mind blowing” and it proves that rainbows are not just in the sky.  
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