Visiting the Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan) Museum & Learning about its Legends – located in Tian Shan Mountain Range near Taklamakan Desert at Tulufan (Turpan) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at Silk Road, China
Filed Under (China, Shopping, Silk Road, Travelling, Tulufan, Turpan, World Souvenirs, Xinjiang) by Janet on 02-09-2009
We’re now travellling past the Flaming Mountains (or “Huo Yan Shan” in Chinese) located in the Tian Shan Mountain Range near the Northern rim of the Taklamakan Desert here at the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Tulufan (or Turpan) along the Silk Road of China…………….
The Flaming Mountains (or Huo Yan Shan) lie 10km East of Tulufan (or Turpan) City, covering about 100km from East to West with a width of 9km – the average height is 500m, & the Highest Peak is 831.7km above Sea Level……………
The Flaming Mountains (Hou Yan Shan) Museum is an interesting building cos it’s very low & designed like a Muslim Mosque!!
The Flaming Mountains (or “Huo Yan Shan” in Chinese) are very famous cos of the Classical Novel “Journey to the West” (or “Si You Ji” in Chinese) – based on the True Story of the famous Buddhist Monk Xuanzang (or Sanzang) of the Tang Dynasty – mingled with Chinese Fables, Fairy Tales, Legends, Superstitions, Popular Beliefs & Monster Stories!
In the “Journey to the West” (or Si You Ji), the Monkey King (or “Sun Wukong” in Chinese), the Pig (or “Zhu Bajie” in Chinese), & the River Demon (or “Sha Wujing” in Chinese) were arranged by Buddha to accompany the Chinese Monk Sanzang to the West (to India the Birthplace of Buddhism) to retrieve Buddhist Scriptures & Sutras…………..
Monk Sanzang encountered many obstacles :
On approaching the Flaming Mountains, he found it in Flames fanned up by the Iron Fan Princess. Fortunately, Sun Wukong stole the Princess’s Magic Fan & extinguised the Flames, so that the Party of 4 was able to continue its Journey to the West!
Now, have you wondered why the Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan) is thus called?!?!
Well, according to the “Journey to the West” Novel, Sun Wukong kicked over an Elixir Oven while fighting with the Gods in Heaven – Charcoals fell from the Oven into the Mountains & started a Fire – hence the name “Flaming Mountains“!
However, according to the Uygur Legend here, a vicious Dragon used to live in the deep Tian Shan Mountain & ate little children…………..
Then an Uygur Hero fought against the Dragon for 3 Days & 3 Nights & cut the Dragon into 8 parts, & the Remains of this Dragon turned into a Scalet Mountain colored by its Blood!! And the Scars turned into the 8 Valleys now found in the Flaming Mountains!!
Hahah very interesting huh!??! But In actual facts, the Flaming Mountains were formed in the Organic Movements of the Himalayas 50 million years ago!! Their striking gullies & trenches have been etched by years of volcanic activity that caused molten lava to course down the Mountainsides, giving the Mountains a Flaming appeareance at certain times of the day!!
We’re now coming closer to look at the Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan) outside the Flaming Mountains Museum at the Turpan Basins (of the Turpan Depression that includes the 2nd lowest exposed point on the Earth’s surface, after the Dead Sea)………..
Hey there’s Donkey Cart riding out here outside the Flaming Mountains Museum!! And there’s even Camel riding too heheh!
Oh my gosh it’s extremely hot outside here near the glowing Flaming Mountains (Huo Yan Shan) under the bright glaring sun!! No wonder these Flaming Mountains are noted to be so Hot & Dry that even Flying Birds 500km away dare not come near!!
Ahaha do you know what this below is!??!
Heheh this is so interesting to me!! Guess what’s the Temperature here now!?!? Let me see………….
OH MY GOD it’s 41.5 degrees celsius (as shown in this GIANT Thermometer!!!) – Did I see it wrongly!?!? NO NO cos I just double & trible checked it hahah!! OH God it’s sosooso HOT today!!!
In fact, the climate of these deserted Flaming Mountains is very harsh & the temperature here is the highest found in China that sometimes reaches over 80 degrees celsius!! NO joke!!! No wonder this place is locally called “an Oven” hahha!!
Anyway, we quickly take shelter away from the HOT sun to shop in the rather huge Shops Bazaar at the Flaming Mountains Museum where I saw colorful kids’ Uygur traditional dresses which I’d wanted to buy for my nieces (back home in Singapore!!), but they’ve not got the right sizes (
However, I manage to buy the following 2 pretty Shawls for Mom & myself :
Wish I’ve got more more time to shop around here but I can’t cos our Tour group’s going off now…………..yeah yeah for more sightseeing here at most culturally cool & most interesting Tulufan (Turpan)!!