Many people will remember the “Hallelujah Mountains” from James Cameron’s blockbuster film, “Avatar”. The scene was a beautiful land in the planet of Pandora with floating mountains and flying dragons. This landscape was modeled after the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China. To recognize the inspiring sights, a part of the park even gained an unofficial nickname, Avatar Mountain.
It is said the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park influenced “Avatar’s” landscape because of their striking resemblance. Although this park does not have floating mountains or flying dragons, it still remains one of the most glorious landscapes in China. In 1982, the park became China’s first National Forest Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has hundreds of peaks, thousands of karst pinnacles and numerous spires.
The park covers 19 square miles and has plenty of sights for visitors to discover. Out of 3,000 soaring pillars, the “Southern Sky Column” particularly stands out. The 1,080 meter pillar is also known today as “Avatar Mountain”.
Not only did this landscape inspire today’s biggest box office film but it has been influencing ancient Chinese art for centuries. Many people might recognize the landscape in ancient paintings as well.
Another wondrous part of the national park is their biodiversity. The exotic animals in the park adds to the surreal atmosphere. More than 20 out of 150 species within the forests are under national protection. Some of the protected species are the golden pheasants, rhesus monkeys, giant salamanders and musk deers.
The park offers views that are almost as fictional as the movie. Visitors even say that the columns look like they came straight out of a fantasy. They also say that the clouds of mist in the morning amplifies the magical atmosphere. The stunning quartz-sandstone pillars and green scenery strikes visitors with awe and wonder.
“Avatar”, also known for its incredible visuals, grossed nearly $3 billion with artwork influenced from Zhangjiajie. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration, why not stop by this majestic land that seems almost mythical?