Image 001: People can been seen standing at the arch called "the Gates of Heaven".
Image 002: the arch in full view.
More than a thousand years ago, erosion caused by water and soil has gradually created a thirty-metre wide arch on the face of the rocky Tianmen mountain. Nevertheless, the Chinese people believe in a legend which suggests that a piece or portion of the mountain collapsed as early as 262 A.D forming a very wide cavity.
This arch on the Tianmen mountain in China is popularly known as "The Gateway to Heaven" as it is revered as a sacred place by the Chinese people. This Arch is currently the highest known occurrence of a natural phenomenon on the surface of the earth, sitting as high as five thousand feet above the ground.
In order to reach the apex of the Tianmen mountain, you have to either board a cable car or take a long bus which will drive through a long zigzag road with ninety-nine narrow bendings. However, some parts of the road are trekkable.
Image 003: the zigzag road that leads to Tianmen mountain.
From that point where the bus stops, there is a stairway made up of nine hundred and ninety-nine steps you have to climb to in order to get to the arch which is always covered in clouds.
Image 004: the long stairway the leads to the arch.
These 99 bendings and 999 steps where not built by accident, it commemorates a myth in the Taoism where the number "9" symbolizes the emperor of China who was revered as the Son of Heaven. Tourist from all parts of the world visit to pay homage to "Heaven's Gate" and they are also allowed to enter the temple of Tianmenshan which was constructed in 869 A.D and it is regarded as the Buddhist Centre of western Hunan.
To reach the "Gates of Heaven", visitors have to climb 999 steps through the stairway which leads to the arch. In Chinese numerology, the number " 9" is recognized as a lucky number which represents eternity and good fortune.
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