Thursday, 26 May 2016

The White Water Terraces of Baishuitai

Baishuitai is a village (also known as White Water Terraces), between Lijiang and Shangri-La County in northwestern Yunnan province, China. It is famous for its natural minerals terraces and located foothills of north of Haba near the upper Yangtze River valley and southeast of the Shangri-la county. Baishuitai is 140 meters from its base to top and 160 meters in width. It is snugly carved into a mountain slope more than 2380 meters above sea level, making Baishuitai the biggest limestone terrace in China. The beautiful terraces, just like waving clouds and white snow, the silver terraces stretch for miles, as clear as crystal, the spring’s meander, which seem to be frozen on the terraces? The Baishuitai Terrace is a symbol for a growing flower, and the white color represents auspiciousness and sanctity. 

It is recognized as one of the most eye-catching destinations in mysterious Shangri-La and is an ancient Chinese landform with a history of 200,000 to 300,000 years. The spring water from the higher reaches of Haba Snow Mountain reaches down into the uppermost terraced basin then spills over to the basin below, which it fills up before spilling over to the next basin, and so on and so forth, until the water spills over the outer rim of the last of this set of terraced basins. Therefore, it is composed by the sediments of high calcium carbonate in the spring waters normally flow downwards from the mountain to every semicircular-shaped limestone steps. From the many centuries it has resulted into make natural terraces look as the white marbles. Moreover, the basins themselves have been hollowed out over time by the erosive action of the acidic water, which in earlier times, drew out certain minerals from the limestone, creating weak carbonic acid.

Furthermore, The Baishuitai is also the birthplace of Dongba culture & values of the Naxi Minority Group. The one of their saint of the Dongba Religion was attracted by the captivating scenery of this place on his way back from Tibet. He decided to stop there and in full swing spreading his beliefs. So fallacies prevail among peoples and they consider Baishui Water Terraces as a shrine. Since then every year, on the eighth day of the second lunar month (8th February), the Naxi people will gather here to rejoice their traditional festival by dancing and singing all day and night. The people slaughter chickens to make the festival ends with smearing chicken blood on the branches around Baishuitai Water Terraces to show their affection & love. 

A difficult mountain road leads to the Baishuitai, almost three hour drive from Shangri-la. In-fact Baishuitai is a stunning, scenic, peaceful and worthwhile place. This is perfect place for photography, so all photographers can take some majestic clicks here.