Zhada is truly a magical place, meaning "a place with grass downstream" in Tibetan, but its territory is crisscrossed with earth forests and extremely dry. It is precisely because of the vast geological wonders of the Zada Tulin that any tourist who has come here is called a secret realm.

According to scientific research, Zada was once a large lake with a radius of 500 kilometers. The Himalayan orogeny caused the lake basin to rise, the water level to decrease, and the original lake water gradually receded. The exposed rocks on the water surface were eroded by wind and rain for a long time, which gradually carved out such a scene.

There is almost no need to leave the city to watch the Zada soil forest, as the entire Zada County is built within this soil forest. Standing on a slightly wider platform and looking around, there are huge earth mountains that stretch endlessly, with countless deep and shallow gullies scattered throughout, ranging from high to low for tens of meters. Their unique contours and diverse forms make people feel like they are in a wonderful extraterrestrial world.

The driver told us that there is a place here called the Guge Kingdom Ruins, which is not only a historic palace building. Standing at its top, you can also stand tall and see even more magnificent earth forest wonders.

The Guge Kingdom Site is located 18 kilometers west of Zada County, on a soil mountain on the south bank of the Xiangquan River, with a height of over 300 meters from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain. There are over 600 houses, pagodas, and caves densely covering the entire mountain, forming a huge ancient architectural complex. Due to its construction using sticky soil taken from the surrounding soil forest, the ruins of the ancient castle blend seamlessly with the soil forest below. Whenever the morning sun rises or night falls, the Guge site exudes a beauty of incompleteness and tragedy against the backdrop of the earth forest.

In the mid-9th century, the Tubo dynasty collapsed, and some descendants of the royal family fled to Ali to establish three small kingdoms, among which Dezu Gun established the Guge dynasty. This kingdom was established in the first half of the 10th century AD and inherited sixteen kings. The palace and castle continued to expand from the 10th to the 16th century, reaching its peak and ending after the collapse of the Tubo dynasty in the 17th century (destroyed by British colonizers).

At the foot of the Guge Site, we found the staff responsible for guarding it, who was a very kind Tibetan elderly person. He distributed us the site guide according to regulations, and we quickly said thank you. As we were about to climb the ruins, we saw that the musical instrument at his hand was quite unique. It was a six stringed qin, like Dongbula. We asked the elderly what musical instrument this is and whether it is a local instrument? Unfortunately, he knows too little Chinese, and we don't understand Tibetan at all. We chatted for a while with great interest, but we didn't understand what this instrument was! Out of curiosity about the instrument, we asked the old man to play a piece, and he didn't hesitate to play the strings generously. The strings sounded like Dongbula, but the music was full of hidden flavors, which truly opened our eyes.

Perhaps due to winter, few people came to the Guge site, so the doors of each main hall were tightly closed. Although there are only a few tourists in the entire scenic area now, the elderly still enthusiastically led us into the ruins, opening the palace doors for us to visit one by one. The elderly told us about the history of Guge, adding knowledge beyond the explanation tool.

Going up the path from the entrance at the foot of the mountain, one must first pass through four ancient temples, namely the Red Temple, White Temple, Tara Temple, and Reincarnation Temple. In some small cave kilns around the path, there are plate sized mud printed Buddha statues, known as "wiping" in Tibetan, which were made by lamas when they were built here. It is said that in addition to soil, there are also many sacred objects mixed together.

Among several ancient temples, Bai Temple has the largest scale and is called "Lakang Gabo" in Tibetan. The area of the Red Temple and the White Temple is about 300 square meters, and the walls of the temple are painted with various murals of different themes. There is a precious mural in the Bai Temple depicting the genealogy of Tibetan Zanpu and Guge kings throughout history. The most eye-catching mural in the Red Temple is a 1038 Ali King Yixiwo welcoming the ancient Indian Buddhist master Adi Gorge. In the painting, a group of dancers dance gracefully, with someone playing drums and horns next to them, creating a vivid and lifelike image. These murals, although separated by hundreds of years, still have bright colors.

Traveling to the mountainside, you can see two interconnected passages, with the exit leading directly to the mountaintop. The passage on the edge of the northern cliff is still piled with many pebbles, leaving traces of the resistance against the enemy from the past. Passing through the cliff passage and heading north repeatedly, I saw a courtyard with only four walls raised on the ground, which was the palace where the king once held discussions.

Not far from the Imperial Palace is the Protectorate Temple, and the main part of the murals in the Protectorate Temple is mostly of Tantric Buddhism, where both men and women practice Buddhism. The painting style is sharp and the colors are strong. Below the mural, the suffering of hell is vividly portrayed, and various criminal laws are unbearable. The border decoration is a long row of dozens of naked female characters, charming and elegant, with diverse appearances and no similarities.

Further up to the top of the ruins, there is an inconspicuous small door with a small sign reading "Winter Palace". You can continue to go deeper by walking up the stairs through the doorway, but the passage is steep and only allows one person to go up and down. After reaching the top and descending for several tens of meters, the cave gradually expanded and saw dozens of houses of various sizes, most of which were only about 1.8 meters high. The outermost layer is breathable and translucent, similar to a balcony, and relatively spacious. This is the place where King Guge used to avoid the cold in winter, but now it is empty.

Standing in the Winter Palace, one can climb high and overlook the entire Zada soil forest. I found that the earth forest landscape here is a different kind of scenery. They are like rows of naturally formed castle watchtowers. Just a glance can evoke countless fantasies, feeling that thousands of soldiers and horses are secretly stationed in those watchtowers and castles, ready to come out at any time with a command. In reality, no matter how long you stare, you can no longer hear the roar of fighting bravely. There is nothing here except a deathly silence.

Turning back to the mountainside, I found more than ten cave kilns around the three temples, which also contain ancient weapons such as shields, armor, and long swords. It may be due to the dry weather that these cultural relics have been fully preserved.

Walking out of the ruins towards the foot of the mountain for about twenty minutes, you will arrive at the mysterious corpse cave. The corpse cave is located beneath a rock wall, with the entrance about two meters above the ground and inconspicuous. The cave is very spacious, several tens of meters deep, filled with headless corpses. It is said that the deepest part of the cave is the lama, next to children, followed by women and men. Due to the dry climate, the body did not completely rot and emitted a pungent odor. There are many legends about the dried corpse cave, and the most credible one is that when the Gug army was defeated, the Ladaks beheaded the Gug soldiers who would rather die than surrender, and the bones were abandoned in the cave.

After visiting all the ancient ruins, we spent nearly four hours, but still couldn't finish it. However, the driver at the foot of the mountain became impatient. He shouted at us from a distance, asking us to come down the mountain early, but we deliberately pretended not to hear him and wanted to stay here and play for a while longer.

Of course, there is also a reason why the driver is so anxious. According to the itinerary, we need to rush back to Saga in the remaining time of the day so that we can have enough time to explore the upcoming Shigatse. The hasty schedule really made everyone a bit unhappy. They had to leave as soon as they arrived at Alibaba, so it was not enough to have all the fun. So, I secretly made up my mind to come and play by myself next time.

Invisibly, we have created psychological pressure on the driver. The atmosphere in the car was a bit awkward, with everyone feeling lethargic and complaining one wave after another. However, there was no way to make any changes to the agreed itinerary contract, so we had to give up and bored ourselves with scrolling through the photos we had just taken on our phones

As noon approached, the dazzling sunlight brought waves of heat, and as we brushed our phones, we felt drowsy. At this moment, the driver suddenly let out a scream, which startled us. He shouted, "Look outside..."

I suddenly turned my head and saw the scenery outside the window like a mirage, so beautiful that I instantly felt goosebumps all over! We inside the carriage immediately shouted and begged the driver to stop the car quickly

We rushed out of the car, squatting on the snow with tears in our eyes. What a spectacular sight before us! The boundless Zada soil forest is covered with new snow that just fell last night, and the whole world is covered in silver. It shines with the surrounding snow mountains, making people feel extremely shocked. The sky was as blue as if it had been washed away, with white snow and blue sky radiating blue silver light from each other. The sky and earth were dotted with a few ethereal clouds and mist, and everything I saw made me feel like I was not in the human world, like a fairy tale world, more like a dwelling place for immortals. This was simply a fairyland.

Perhaps it was because we rushed to Zada in the darkness last night that we, who knew nothing about all of this, saw the particularly stunning Zada today. This magical nature always brings me regrets and surprises at times

It is like a selfless artist, sculpting countless beautiful scenery in the world with extraordinary skills. Like a mischievous elf, sometimes hiding its beauty. Its endless changes have filled me with endless curiosity and anticipation.

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