Situated at the juncture of Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan, Shangri-La county is under the administration of Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province. In the past, it was called Zhongdian or "Jiantang" in Tibetan. In ancient times, together with Batang (in Tibet) and Litang (in Sichuan), it was the fiefdom of the three sons of a Tibetan King. On May 5, 2002, Zhongdian officially changed its name to Shangri-La.
Shangri-La first appeared in British novelist James Hilton's Lost Horizon in 1933. The book has wonderfully uncovered the mystique of this Himalayan paradise to the world, capturing people's imagination while stirring up their inner desires for peace and tranquility.
Shangri-La is a "heaven on earth" in its own right, a happy land, isolated from the troubles of outside world while seemingly insulated from the passing of time. In Tibetan, Shangri-La means the "sun and moon in heart", an ideal home only found in heaven. The lofty and continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands, steep and grand gorges, azure lakes and the bucolic villages always leave a deep impression on visitors.
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