Qinling Mountains – the birthplace of the Qin Dynasty

qinling mountains

The Qinling Mountains (秦岭) are a mountain range located in central China, stretching over 1,000 km from west to east across five provinces: Shaanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hubei, and Sichuan. The range is named after the ancient state of Qin, which was located in the area and is famous for being the birthplace of the Qin Dynasty, the first unified dynasty of China. The Qinling Mountains are an important part of China’s natural and cultural heritage, with a rich biodiversity, unique geology, and a long history of human settlement and cultural development.


Geologically, the Qinling Mountains are part of the complex tectonic system that formed the vast expanse of the Asian continent. The range is mainly composed of ancient metamorphic and igneous rocks that were formed during the Precambrian and Paleozoic eras, over 500 million years ago. These rocks were uplifted and folded during the tectonic movements that gave rise to the Himalayas and other mountain ranges in Asia. The Qinling Mountains are divided into several sub-ranges and ridges, with the highest peak being Mount Taibai, which rises to 3,767 meters above sea level.


The Qinling Mountains are also known for their rich biodiversity and high species endemism, which is the presence of species that are unique to a particular region or habitat. The range is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including many rare and endangered species. The Qinling Mountains are particularly important for their role as a refuge for the giant panda, which is one of the most iconic and beloved animals in China and the world. The Qinling panda, a subspecies of the giant panda, is found only in the Qinling Mountains and is considered to be the most distinct and genetically diverse of all giant pandas.

Historical Significance

In addition to its natural beauty and biodiversity, the Qinling Mountains are also an important cultural and historical site in China. The range has been inhabited by various ethnic groups for thousands of years, including the Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. The Qinling Mountains are known for their many cultural and historical sites, including ancient tombs, temples, and shrines, as well as traditional villages and towns. The famous terracotta warriors and horses, which were discovered near the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, are also believed to have been made during the Qin Dynasty and are now a major tourist attraction.

Cultural Significance

The Qinling Mountains have played an important role in the development of Chinese culture and history, and have been the site of many important events and legends. For example, the famous “Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine,” one of the foundational texts of traditional Chinese medicine, is said to have been written by the legendary Yellow Emperor during his reign in the Qinling Mountains. The mountains are also the setting for many folk tales and myths, including the story of the “Journey to the West,” which tells the adventures of the Monkey King and his companions as they travel through the mountains on their way to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures.

Tourist Destination

Today, the Qinling Mountains continue to be an important cultural and natural resource for China, as well as a popular destination for tourists from around the world. The Chinese government has implemented various conservation measures to protect the unique biodiversity of the range, including the establishment of national parks and nature reserves. The Qinling panda, in particular, is a symbol of China’s commitment to conservation and sustainable development, and is a testament to the beauty and importance of this remarkable mountain range.

Video about Qinling Mountain

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