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Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge of the Jinsha River was named for the legend. Legend has it that in ancient times, a tiger frequently used this pebble as a stepping stone to leap across the gorge. Most visitors take in the most famous first segment of the gorge to observe the narrowest part of the river and see the Tiger Leaping Pebble.
Tiger Leaping Gorge extends for 10 miles from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang to the Haba Xueshan Mountain in Zhongdian. It is one the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorges in the world. It is at the point where Haba Snow Peak shoots up to face the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain over the swift waters of the fledgling Yangzi River. The 17-km-long gorge is divided into three segments with an aggregate fall of 210 meters: the upper, middle and lower tiger jumps. It drops to a depth of 213 meters while its width at the narrowest point is only 20 meters.
However, the six-kilometer section from xiaqiaotou downstream has a swift current because the Dragon Snow mountain and Haba Snow mountain make the river only 30 meters in width and the river is further blocked by the Tiger-Jump Rocks. The water here makes violent whirlpools and hits the banks so powerfully that soaring breakers are created. The high waves, soaring water and the mountains shrouded with clouds and mist constitute the most magnificent scene of the gorges.
The Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge is the narrowest section, and in the center of the river is a huge rock called Tiger Leaping Rock. It is said that a tiger once leapt from the east bank, clearing the rock, to land on the west bank, hence its name.
The Middle Gorge The most perilous section is the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge, which features a huge drop in water level. It is 5km north of the upper one. In one 100-meter section are numerous reefs, and the current is torrential. The gorge is rarely traversed by humans, but on the slope between the Middle and Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge there is a small village -- Hetaoyuan Village, which has little contact with the outside, and where villagers lead a simple and natural life, dwelling in stone-plate houses
The Lower Gorge is the most awe-inspiring part of all as well as the best place to enjoy the magnificent scene of this gorge.
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