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Trip to the Devil City

 2014-01-03    Selina Ou    Sights    Karamay    1481  

Taking the ground as the material, sunshine, wind and rain as the tools, as the talented excellent artist, the mysterious Nature has created numerous masterpieces for our human beings. From streams to lakes, from mountains to forests, these are "sweet works of art" created by nature. But, if you want to find some different beauty from the "sweet" ones, say weird or peculiar beauties, you will not get disappointed. The most outstanding representatives are the Devil City carved from the Yadang Topography in northwest China.

Yadang means steep hills in Uygur language. In geology, Yadang refers to those landform sceneries of ridges and grooves created by years of years' wind erosions. These landforms formed in the drought and windy environment of different grotesque shapes are mainly located in the dry region of northwest China, Xinjiang and Gansu Provinces. And the most distinguished ones are the Urho Devil City in Xinjiang and Yadang Devil City from Dunhuang of Gansu.

There is not a place where devil lives, and of course there is no devil in the world. But these two devil cities are where you can hear the moans of devils. As these two cities locates in the wind gap, when storm comes across, the whole area becomes dark and dusty, and you will hear sad and thrill whistling sound coming from the city. But you cannot tell what story the devil is telling. Is that cries of a buried castle, or screams of men and women, or howls of soiders? You hear what you think of. And this is how the Urho Devil City and Dunhuang Yadan Devil City get their names.

After millions of years’ erosion by burning sun and fierce storms, the original drought flat land changed into deep gullies with stones of peculiar shapes exposed on the earth. There is no grass, no trees, but those desolate stones in dead silence. Looking from distance, they are like castles from the medieval age, ancient and being deserted, quite lonely. When you get close, you see interlaced hillocks and stones of different sized and shapes. Some are huge, while some are low. Some are in goups, some are separate. Some are like human figures, some are like vivid animals, like running horse, lonely camel, lying lion, sleeping crocodile, mushroom... Or, are you seeing those palaces and castles like the Egyptian Pyramid, the Angkor Wat from Cambodia, the Liuhe Pagoda in Hangzhou, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and... Some are crying, some are smiling... And those scattered pebbles in the fluctuated slopes of different red, yellow, blue and white colors have added much more hints of mysteries to the Devil City. When imagination wonders, you see what you believe in.

You may hold complicated feelings to the Devil City. On one hand, you are enchanted by those grand works of art in various interesting and enchanting images and postures. On the other hand, when the severe wind blows away, you may be terrified by the cries and screams of the "devil", but you have nowhere to hide in the vast desert. But in the Devil City, you will enjoy the unique scenery of sunset, or you may have the chance to watch the mirage in the fairytale, or a gorgeous rainbow. It seems that any amazing wonders of the nature may appear at the Devil City.

The Urho Devil City, also called Urho Windy City, is located in the Urho County at the outskirt of Dzungaria Basin of northern Xinjiang Province, 100 kilometer from Karakmay City. The Dunhuang Yadang Devil City lies in the Yumen Pass in Dunhuang City, Gansu Province.

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