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诡异古堡“魔鬼城” ——《新疆行》之三 The city of Devils---A trip to Xinjiang Ⅲ

estella  12-01-04 15:28

Language:中文 pin yin English

Yadan landform lies deep in the desert of east Hami, Xinjiang. Known as the “city of ghosts”, It is a spectacular landscape formed with supernatural workmanship. Yadan landform is located near the ancient tombs at Wubao, along the old Silk Road in the southwest of Hami, 75 km from the city center. It is 200 km from east to west and 10-15 km from north to south. Originally, “(雅丹) yadan” means “ steep mound” in the Uighur language. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Swede Sven Hedin and the Englishman Stein made a geographical expedition to Lop Nor and later published many research articles, in which they used the word “yadan” many times.  Gradually it became a term widely used in the field of geography, referring to  special  landform features in arid districts.
The formation of yadan landscape takes a long course of history. It is said that in the ancient times this district was a vast ocean. Alluvium deposits from flowing subterranean rivers formed channels. With the passage of time and corollary changes in landscape, sediment in the sea slowly condensed, gradually  forming  into small mounds, which, over millions of years were slowly carved by wind erosion. The resulting formations of all different shapes and sizes bear the signature of divine craftsmanship. The wind eroded landscape displays standard river valleys, hillocks of different heights and even “sculptures” of great artistry exhibiting a great variety of forms, some of which resemble human beings, while some look like birds. Yadan landscape in Hami is said to be the most beautiful among all Yadan landscapes, with its large scale and fully developed land formations. Moreover, it is the only Yadan landscape in the world where there are human inhabitations.
The reason why it is called “the city of ghosts” is that when the fierce gales are in a rage at dusk, hair-raising howling sounds like those of ghosts blow through the land formations. The name was first given by Mongolian shepherds. They called it “苏鲁木哈克”, which means “a place where the ghosts live”. Oddly enough, Kazakh shepherds called it “舍伊坦克尔希”, which bears the same meaning. Therefore, it is no wonder that “the city of ghosts” is widely acknowledged.
We reached the city of ghosts near sunset. The Yadan castle-like formations became all the more mysterious at dusk. We arrived at the top of a hill and found no traces of other people. There was a still and awful calm around us; only our shadows fell on the desolate hillside.
There was no wind that night, so we didn’t hear the howling sounds of ghosts, nor did we have the chance to meet them.
 We have sucked the charms of the city of devils. When we were amazed at the extraordinary workmanship of nature, we also felt the vulnerability of human beings faced with nature. Mankind is in vain in their proclamations of conquering and changing nature. It would be wiser for us to respect and live in harmony with nature.


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Edit on12-01-10 10:13

12-01-04 15:33