|Prayer Flags by timquijano|
What does the name Shangri-La conjure up in your imagination for yourself? To me, it meant a peaceful paradise where you could live a very long life. I think this particular vision was influenced by reading the book "Lost Horizon" when I was young. The ebook for it can be obtained in the public domain from Gutenberg Australia.
From Wikipedia "The concept of Shangri-La, as first described in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon, is claimed to have been inspired by the Shambhala myth (as well as then-current National Geographic articles on Eastern Tibet). Shambala appears in several science fiction stories of the 1930s."
So here comes the anime connection from Fullmetal Alchemist Conquerors of Shambala. Where Shambala is basically a version of Shangri-La, but not quite so peaceful. There is also the manga / anime Shangri-La, but it is more a play or symbolic on the name.
In real world, the actual location of Shangri-La has been claimed by several places, but the one I'm going to focus on is the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet. The canyon is was carved out by the Yarlung Tsangpo River (The Everest of Rivers) which flows from the lower left side of the image to the right then angles northeast toward the upper right. It then makes a hairpin turn and continues to flow in a generally southward direction near the right-hand side of the image where it is all green. Further downstream, the river widens and becomes the Brahmaputra. Its waters eventually empty to the Bay of Bengal. As you can tell from the satellite image the river traverses very rugged mountainous terrain.
|NASA EOSDIS Image of Yarlang Tsangpo River|
The Getu Valley is another fantastic sight to behold in China. In this valley there is an absolutely stunning rock formation where it looks like a massive hole has been carved through a mountain. It is huge and rock climbers are flocking their to try their skills out. The people are tiny in the images. Petzl has filmed an expedition movie showing some of the stunning beauty of this place.