We started from Lanzhou at 7:30 am. Today we plan to travel 600 + kms. and also plan to see the “Rainbow Mountains” in Zhangye.
The travel was smooth. We had covered 1/3rd distance by about 10 am. After lunch we took some rest and then continued our journey. “Rainbow Mountains” are about 40 kms. from the city. We went straight to the mountains. It requires >2 hours to see 5 different locations from where the Coloured mountains are seen. You have to climb lot of stairs to reach the top. The sight of the coloured mountains is fantastic. The person forgets the pain of climbing. They are just marvellous. The Rainbow Mountains are cretaceous sandstones and siltstones that were deposited in China before Himalaya mountains were formed. Precipitated ground water moves through the sandstone grains and deposits trace minerals in between the grains. Hence the different colours appear. There are Rainbow mountains in Peru also.
We were surrounded by mountains all around. The journey throughout today was mountains on all sides. We even saw some mountains with snow covered on them from a distance at this time of the year.
Another important destination today was the ruins of the Great Wall of China.
When we were travelling towards Zhangye, our guide told us that there is a village about 5 kms. off the highway where ruins of a portion of the Great Wall of China can be seen. So, we decided to go there. Great wall of China is made at different times in olden days. This wall portion is about 1600 years old. Mongolia was on the other side of the mountains and the attack from Mongolia was very often. The King decided to make a wall to safeguard them from Mongolian attacks. Only the ruins are seen now. There was wall around the village. The village had two types of population, soldiers and farmers. There used to be market in the village. We could see some big stones which were kept so that the attackers stop moving further. The attacking armhy would come on horses mostly. As a result of the stones, the horses would fumble and then the soldiers would not be able to move further. This was a very rare sight of ruins of the Great Wall of China we could see today.
After visiting ‘Rainbow Mountains’ we reached Hotel at about 7:30pm.
Zhangye is a prefecture-level city in Central Gansu province in China. It borders Inner Mongolia on the north. It is one of the most important outposts of western China. The population is 1.2 million (12 lakhs).