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The Tian
Tian
Shan,[1], also known as the Tengri
Tengri
Tagh, meaning the Mountains of Heaven or the Heavenly Mountain, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) high. Its lowest point is the Turpan Depression, which sits at 154 m (505 ft) below sea level.[2] The Chinese name for Tian
Tian
Shan may have been derived from the Xiongnu word Qilian (simplified Chinese: 祁连; traditional Chinese: 祁連; pinyin: Qí lián) – according to Tang commentator Yan Shigu, Qilian is the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
word for sky or heaven.[3] Sima Qian
Sima Qian
in the Records of the Grand Historian mentioned Qilian in relation to the homeland of the Yuezhi, and the term is believed to refer to the Tian
Tian
Shan rather than the Qilian Mountains
Qilian Mountains
1,500 kilometres (930 mi) further east now known by this name.[4][5] The Tannu-Ola mountains
Tannu-Ola mountains
in Tuva
Tuva
has the same meaning in its name ("heaven/celestial mountains" or "god/spirit mountains"). Tian
Tian
Shan is sacred in Tengrism, and its second-highest peak is known as Khan Tengri
Khan Tengri
which may be translated as "Lord of the Spirits".[6]

Contents

1 Geography 2 Ranges 3 Ice Age 4 Ecology 5 Religion

5.1 Chinese religion 5.2 Tengrism

6 World Heritage Site 7 See also 8 Notes and references 9 External links

Geography[edit] Tian
Tian
Shan is north and west of the Taklamakan Desert
Taklamakan Desert
and directly north of the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
in the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Xinjiang
Xinjiang
in northwest China. In the south it links up with the Pamir Mountains
Pamir Mountains
and to north and east it meets the Altai Mountains of Mongolia. In Western cartography such as National Geographic, the eastern end of the Tian
Tian
Shan is usually understood to be east of Ürümqi, with the range to the east of that city known as the Bogda Shan
Bogda Shan
as part of the Tian
Tian
Shan. Chinese cartography from the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
to the present agrees, with the Tian
Tian
Shan including the Bogda Shan
Bogda Shan
and Barkol
Barkol
ranges.

Tian
Tian
Shan Mountains from space, October 1997, with Issyk-Kul Lake
Issyk-Kul Lake
in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
at the northern end

The Tian
Tian
Shan are a part of the Himalayan orogenic belt, which was formed by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates in the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
era. They are one of the longest mountain ranges in Central Asia and stretch some 2,900 kilometres (1,800 mi) eastward from Tashkent
Tashkent
in Uzbekistan.[2] The highest peak in the Tian
Tian
Shan is Jengish Chokusu
Jengish Chokusu
(also called Victory Peak) on the border of China. At 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) high, it is the highest point in Kyrgyzstan.[2] The Tian
Tian
Shan's second highest peak, Khan Tengri
Khan Tengri
(Lord of the Spirits), straddles the Kazakhstan- Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
border and at 7,010 metres (23,000 ft) is the highest point of Kazakhstan. Mountaineers class these as the two most northerly peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) in the world. The Torugart Pass, at 3,752 metres (12,310 ft), is located at the border between Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
and China's Xinjiang
Xinjiang
province. The forested Alatau
Alatau
ranges, which are at a lower altitude in the northern part of the Tian
Tian
Shan, are inhabited by pastoral tribes that speak Turkic languages. The Tian
Tian
Shan are separated from the Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan Plateau
by the Taklimakan Desert and the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
to the south. The major rivers rising in the Tian
Tian
Shan are the Syr Darya, the Ili River and the Tarim River. The Aksu Canyon is a notable feature in the northwestern Tian
Tian
Shan. Continuous permafrost is typically found in the Tian
Tian
Shan starting at the elevation of about 3,500-3,700 m above the sea level. Discontinuous alpine permafrost usually occurs down to 2,700-3,300 m, but in certain locations, due to the peculiarity of the aspect and the microclimate, it can be found at elevations as low as 2,000 m.[7] One of the first Europeans to visit and the first to describe the Tian Shan in detail was the Russian explorer Peter Semenov, who did so in the 1850s. Glaciers in the Tian
Tian
Shan Mountains have been rapidly shrinking and have lost 27%, or 5.4 billion tons annually, of its ice mass since 1961 compared to an average of 7% worldwide.[8] It is estimated that by 2050 half of the remaining glaciers will have melted. Ranges[edit] The Tian
Tian
Shan have a number of named ranges which are often mentioned separately (all distances are approximate).

Tian
Tian
Shan with the ancient silk road

In China
China
the Tian
Tian
Shan starts north of Kumul City
Kumul City
(Hami) with the U-shaped Barkol
Barkol
Mountains, from about 600 to 400 kilometres (370 to 250 mi) east of Ürümqi. Then the Bogda Shan
Bogda Shan
(god mountains) run from 350 to 40 kilometres (217 to 25 mi) east of Ürümqi. Then there is a low area between Ürümqi
Ürümqi
and the Turfan Depression. The Borohoro Mountains start just south of Ürümqi
Ürümqi
and run west northwest 450 kilometres (280 mi) separating Dzungaria
Dzungaria
from the Ili River basin. Their north end abuts on the 200 kilometres (120 mi) Dzungarian Alatau
Alatau
which run east northeast along Sino-Kazakh border. They start 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Taldykorgan
Taldykorgan
in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and end at the Dzungarian Gate. The Dzungarian Alatau
Alatau
in the north, the Borohoro Mountains in the middle and the Ketmen Range in the south make a reversed Z or S, the northeast enclosing part of Dzungaria
Dzungaria
and the southwest enclosing the upper Ili valley.

Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
(borders marked in red) The indentation on the west is the Fergana Valley

Map of Tian
Tian
Shan.

Snow-capped peaks of Kyungey Ala-Too
Kyungey Ala-Too
seen from an Issyk Kul Lake
Issyk Kul Lake
beach

In Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
the main line of the Tian
Tian
Shan continues as Narat Range from the base of the Borohoros west 570 kilometres (350 mi) to the point where China, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
meet. Here is the highest part of the range – the Central Tian
Tian
Shan, with Peak Pobeda ( Kakshaal Too
Kakshaal Too
range) and Khan Tengri. West of this, the Tian
Tian
Shan split into an ‘eye’, with Issyk Kul Lake
Issyk Kul Lake
in its center. The south side of the lake is the Terskey Alatau
Alatau
and the north side the Kyungey Ala-Too (shady and sunny Ala-Too). North of the Kyungey Ala-Too
Kyungey Ala-Too
and parallel to it is the Trans-Ili Alatau
Alatau
in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
just south of Almaty. West of the eye, the range continues 400 kilometres (250 mi) as the Kyrgyz Ala-Too, separating Chui Province
Chui Province
from Naryn Oblast
Naryn Oblast
and then Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
from the Talas Province. This oblast is the upper valley of the Talas River, the south side of which is the 200 kilometres (120 mi) Talas Ala-Too Range ('Ala-too' is a Kirgiz spelling of Alatau). At the east end of the Talas Alatau
Alatau
the Suusamyr Too
Suusamyr Too
range runs southeast enclosing the Suusamyr Valley
Suusamyr Valley
or plateau. As for the area south of the Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley
there is a 800 kilometres (500 mi) group of mountains that curves west-southwest from south of Issyk Kul Lake
Issyk Kul Lake
separating the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
from the Fergana Valley. The Fergana Range
Fergana Range
runs northeast towards the Talas Ala-Too and separaties the upper Naryn basin from Fergana proper. The southern side of these mountains merge into the Pamirs
Pamirs
in Tajikistan (Alay Mountains and Trans-Alay Range). West of this is the Turkestan Range, which continues almost to Samarkand. Ice Age[edit] On the north margin of the Tarim basin
Tarim basin
between the mountain chain of the Kokshaal-Tau in the south and that one of the Terskey Alatau
Alatau
in the north there stretches the 100 to 120 km wide Tian
Tian
Shan plateau with its set up mountain landscape.The Kokshaal-Tau continues with an overall length of 570 km from W of Pik Dankowa (Dankov, 5986 m) up to east-north-east to Pik Pobedi (Tumor Feng, 7439 m) and beyond it. This mountain chain as well as that of the 300 km long parallel mountain chain of the Terskey Alatau
Alatau
and the Tian
Tian
Shan plateau situated in between, during glacial times were covered by connected ice-stream-networks and a plateau glacier. Currently the interglacial remnant of this glaciation is formed by the only just 61 km long South Inylschek glacier. The outlet glacier tongues of the plateau glacier flowed to the north as far as down to Lake Issyk Kul (Lake) at 1605 (1609) m asl calving in this 160 km long lake. In the same way strongly glaciated was the in excess of 50 km wide high mountain area of the Kungey Alatau
Alatau
connected north of Issyk Kul and stretching as far as the mountain foreland near Alma Ata. The Kungey Alatau
Alatau
is 230 km long. Down from the Kungey Alatau
Alatau
the glacial glaciers also calved into the Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul
lake.Its Chon-Kemin valley was glaciated up to its inflow into the Chu valley.[9][10][11] From the west-elongation of the Kungey Alatau
Alatau
–that is the Kirgizskiy Alatau
Alatau
range (42°25’N/74° - 75°E) - the glacial glaciers flowed down as far as into the mountain foreland down to 900 m asl (close to the town Bishkek). Among others the Ak-Sai valley glacier has developed there a mountain foreland glacier.[9][12][11] Altogether the glacial Tian
Tian
Shan glaciation occupied an area of c. 118 000 km² .The glacier snowline (ELA) as altitude limit between glacier feeding area and melting zone had decreased about 1200 altitude metres compared with today. Under the condition of a comparable precipitation ratio there would result from this a depression of the average annual temperature of 7.2 to 8.4 °C for the Würm-ice age (Last Glacial period = MIS 2) compared with today. [9] Ecology[edit]

In the Trans-Ili Alatau
Alatau
( Shymbulak
Shymbulak
Valley)

The Tian
Tian
Shan holds important forests of Schrenk's Spruce (Picea schrenkiana) at altitudes of over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft); the lower slopes have unique natural forests of wild walnuts and apples.[13] Religion[edit] Chinese religion[edit] In Chinese traditional religion
Chinese traditional religion
and Daoism, Tian
Tian
Shan is associated to the most high God, Tian
Tian
itself. It is also regarded as the location of the peach tree of immortality wardened by Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West. Tengrism[edit] In Tengrism, Khan Tengri
Khan Tengri
is the lord of all spirits and the religion's supreme deity, and it is the name given to the second highest peak of Tian
Tian
Shan.[6] World Heritage Site[edit] At the 2013 Conference on World Heritage, the eastern portion of Tian Shan in western China's Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Region was listed as a World Heritage Site.[14] The western portion in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was then listed in 2016.[15] See also[edit]

China
China
portal

Tectonics of the Tian
Tian
Shan Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky

Notes and references[edit]

^ Chinese: 天山; pinyin: Tiānshān, Dungan: Тянсан; Tjansan; Old Turkic: 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, Tenğri tağ; Turkish: Tanrı Dağı; Mongolian: Тэнгэр уул, Tenger uul; Uyghur: تەڭرىتاغ‎, Тәңри тағ, Tengri
Tengri
tagh; Kyrgyz: Теңир-Тоо/Ала-Тоо, Teňir-Too/Ala-Too, تەڭىر-توو/الا-توو; Kazakh: Тәңіртауы/Алатау, Ta'n'irtay'y/Alatay', تأڭئرتاۋ; Uzbek: Tyan-Shan, Тян-Шан, تيەن-شەن ^ a b c Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 378. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.  ^ 班固 Ban Gu. 漢書: 顏師古註 Hanshu: Yan Shigu Commentary. 祁連山即天山也,匈奴呼天為祁連 (translation: Qilian Mountain is the Tian
Tian
Shan, the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
called the sky qilian)  ^ Liu, Xinru (2001), "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies", Journal of World History, Journal of World History, Volume 12 (Issue 2, Fall 2001): 261–291  ^ Mallory, J. P. & Mair, Victor H. (2000). The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China
China
and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. Thames & Hudson. London. p. 58. ISBN 0-500-05101-1.  ^ a b Wilkinson, Philip (2 October 2003). Myths and Legends. Stacey International. p. 163. ISBN 978-1900988612.  ^ Gorbunov, A.P. (1993), "Geocryology in Mt. Tianshan", PERMAFROST: Sixth International Conference. Proceedings. July 5-9, Beijing, China, 2, South China
China
University of Technology Press, pp. 1105–1107, ISBN 7-5623-0484-X  ^ Naik, Gautam (August 17, 2015). " Central Asia
Central Asia
Mountain Range Has Lost a Quarter of Ice Mass in 50 Years, Study Says". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 18, 2015.  ^ a b c Kuhle, M. (1994): New Findings on the Ice-cover between Issyk-Kul and K2 ( Tian
Tian
Shan, Karakorum) during the Last Glaciation. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Karakorum and Kunlun Mountains (ISKKM), Kashi, China, June 1992. (Eds: Zheng Du; Zhang Qingsong; Pan Yusheng) China
China
Meteorological Press, Beijing, 185-197. ^ Grosswald, M. G., Kuhle, M., Fastook, J. L., (1994): Würm Glaciation of Lake Issyk-Kul Area, Tian
Tian
Shan Mts.: A Case Study in Glacial History of Central Asia. Kuhle, M. (Ed.). Tibet and High Asia. Results of the Sino-German and Russian-German Joint Expeditions (III). GeoJournal, 33, (2/3), Dordrecht, Boston, London, Kluwer, pp. 273-310. ^ a b Kuhle, M. (2004): The High Glacial (Last Ice Age and LGM) glacier cover in High- and Central Asia. Accompanying text to the mapwork in hand with detailed references to the literature of the underlying empirical investigations. Ehlers, J., Gibbard, P. L. (Eds.). Extent and Chronology of Glaciations, Vol. 3 (Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica). Amsterdam, Elsevier B.V., pp. 175-199. ^ Kuhle, M. & Schröder, N. (2000): New Investigations and Results on the Maximum Glaciation of the Kirgisen Shan and Tian
Tian
Shan Plateau between Kokshaal Tau and Terskey Alatau. Zech, W. (Ed.). Pamir and Tian
Tian
Shan. Contribution of the Quaternary History. International Workshop at the University of Bayreuth. Abstracts. Bayreuth, University Bayreuth, p. 8. ^ http://www.salon.com/2011/10/25/how_the_apple_took_over_the_planet/ ^ 新疆天山成功申遗 ^ "Western Tien-Shan". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 

Bibliography

The Contemporary Atlas of China. 1988. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. Reprint 1989. Sydney: Collins Publishers Australia. The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. Eleventh Edition. 2003. Times Books Group Ltd. London.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tian
Tian
Shan.

Russian mountaineering site Tien Shan United Nations University (2009) digital video "Finding a place to feed: Kyrgyz shepherds & pasture loss": Shepherd shares family's observations and adaptation to the changing climate in highland pastures of Kyrgyzstan's Tian
Tian
Shan mountains Accessed 1 December 2009

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Mountain ranges of China

Geography of China

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Altai Mountains Dzungarian Alatau Tian
Tian
Shan

Borohoro Mountains Tarbagatai Mountains

Kunlun Mountains

Altyn-Tagh Qilian Mountains

Helan Mountains

Qinghai-Tibet and Southwest China

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and Kong Family Mansion in Qufu Xidi, and Hongcun West Lake Kulangsu

South Central

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains Historic Centre of Macau Shennongjia Kaiping Diaolou
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and Villages Longmen Grottoes Historic Monuments of Dengfeng, including the Shaolin Monastery
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Chengjiang Fossil Site Dazu Rock Carvings Potala Palace, including the Jokhang
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Geography

Cities Tian
Tian
Shan Dzungarian Basin Tarim Basin Gurbantünggüt Desert Kumtag Desert Taklimakan Desert Turpan Depression Karakoram
Karakoram
Mountains Altai Mountains Kunlun Shan Pamir Mountains Torugart Pass Irkeshtam Pass Karakoram
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Xinjiang
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conflict

1989 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
unrest Baren Township riot 1992 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bombings Ghulja incident 1992 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bombings 1997 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
bus bombings Xinjiang
Xinjiang
raid 2008 Uyghur unrest 2008 Kashgar attack Shaoguan incident July 2009 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
riots September 2009 Xinjiang
Xinjiang
unrest 2010 Aksu bombing 2011 Hotan attack 2011 Kashgar attacks Pishan hostage crisis 2012 Yecheng attack Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554 April 2013 Bachu unrest June 2013 Shanshan riots 2013 Tiananmen Square attack 2014 Kunming attack 2014 China–Vietnam border shootout April 2014 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
attack May 2014 Ürümqi
Ürümqi
attack Assassination of Juma Tayir

People

Amursana Mingrui Jahangir Khoja Yaqub Beg Zuo Zongtang Yang Zengxin Jin Shuren Sheng Shicai Ehmetjan Qasim Wang Zhen Saifuddin Azizi Rebiya Kadeer Nur Bekri Li Zhi Wang Lequan Zhang Chunxian Ilham Tohti

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Sacred Mountains of China

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Other Sacred Mountains

Tian
Tian
Shan Changbai Lao Kunlun Zhongnan Gongga Everest Three Holy Peaks of Daocheng-Yading

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 239483485 GND: 4106333-8 BNF: cb12480628t (d

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