- Kunlun Mountains
Kunlun Mountains (Kūnlún Shān) RangeView of Western Kunlun Shan from the Tibet-Xinjiang highway Country China Region Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang Borders on Gobi Desert border1=Alps Highest point Kunlun Goddess - elevation 7,167 m (23,514 ft)
The Kunlun Mountains (simplified Chinese: 昆仑山; traditional Chinese: 崑崙山; pinyin: Kūnlún Shān, pronounced [kʰu̯ə́nlu̯ə̌n ʂán]; Mongolian: Хөндлөн Уулс) are one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending more than 3,000 km. In the broadest sense, it forms the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau south of the Tarim Basin and the Gansu Corridor and continues east south of the Wei River to end at the North China Plain.
The exact definition of this range seems to vary. An old source uses Kunlun to mean the mountain belt that runs across the center of China, that is, Kunlun in the narrow sense, Altyn Tagh, Qilian Mountains and Qin Mountains. A recent source  has the Kunlun forming most of the south side of the Tarim Basin and then continuing east south of the Altyn Tagh. Sima Qian (Shiji, scroll 123) says that Emperor Wu of Han sent men to find the source of the Yellow River and gave the name Kunlun to the mountains at its source. The name seems to have originated as a semi-mythical location in the Shan Hai Jing.
From the Pamirs of Tajikistan, it runs east along the border between Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions to the Sino-Tibetan ranges in Qinghai province. It stretches along the southern edge of what is now called the Tarim Basin, the infamous Takla Makan or "sand-buried houses" desert, and the Gobi Desert. A number of important rivers flow from it including the Karakash River ('Black Jade River') and the Yurungkash River ('White Jade River'), which flow through the Khotan Oasis into the Taklamakan Desert.
Altyn-Tagh or Altun Range is one of the chief northern ranges of the Kunlun. Nan Shan or its eastern extension Qilian is another main northern range of the Kunlun. In the south main extension is the Min Shan. Bayan Har Mountains, a southern branch of the Kunlun Mountains, forms the watershed between the catchment basins of China's two longest rivers, the Yangtze River and the Huang He.
The highest mountain of the Kunlun Shan is the Kunlun Goddess (7,167 m) in the Keriya area. The Arka Tagh (Arch Mountain) is in the center of the Kunlun Shan; its highest point is Ulugh Muztagh. Some authorities claim that the Kunlun extends north westwards as far as Kongur Tagh (7,649 m) and the famous Muztagh Ata (7,546 m). But these mountains are physically much more closely linked to the Pamir group (ancient Mount Imeon).
The range has very few roads and in its 3,000 km length is crossed by only two. In the west, Highway 219 traverses the range en route from Yecheng, Xinjiang to Lhatse, Tibet. Further east, Highway 109 crosses between Lhasa and Golmud.
One of over 70 Kunlun Volcanoes is the highest volcano in Asia and China and second in East Hemisphere (after Mount Kilimanjaro) and one of Volcanic Seven Summits by elevation, with 5,808 metres (19,055 ft) above sea level ( ), the last known eruption is on May 27, 1951.
The Kunlun mountains are believed to be the paradise of Taoism. The first to visit this paradise was, according to the legends, King Mu (976-922 BCE) of the Zhou Dynasty. He supposedly discovered there the Jade Palace of Huang-Di, the mythical Yellow Emperor and originator of Chinese culture, and met Hsi Wang Mu (Xi Wang Mu) , the 'Spirit Mother of the West' usually called the 'Queen Mother of the West', who was the object of an ancient religious cult which reached its peak in the Han Dynasty, also had her mythical abode in these mountains.
Kunlun martial arts
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Legendary figures Related
The Kunlun mountains are associated with a number of different martial arts, and are considered by some as an alternate source for the Daoist martial arts (Wudang being traditionally claimed as the source.) Some styles associated with the Kunlun mountains:
Kunlun Mountain Fist is a style associated with the Kunlun mountain range, although similarities between this style and Kunlunquan, as well as the name of one of the forms (White Cloud Mountain Fist) suggest that this style may be associated with Kunlun Mountain in Shandong province
Kunlunquan may be named after the Kunlun mountain range, or it may be named after Kunlun Mountain in Shandong province.
- ^ L. Richard, 'Comprehensive Geography of the Chinese Empire',1905
- ^ National Geographic Atlas of China,2008
- ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/325007/Kunlun-Mountains Kunlun Mountains. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 19, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
- ^ Global Volcanism Program - Kunlun Volcanic Group
- Munro-Hay, Stuart Aksum. Edinburgh: University Press. 1991. ISBN 0748601066
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