Inspiration for Avatar

A mountain peak in China’s Hunan province, which provided the inspiration for Academy-Award-winning director James Cameron for the visual setting of the world of Pandora in the global blockbuster film Avatar, was renamed “Hallelujah Mountain.”

The management committee of the Yuanjiajie part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie changed the name of the “South Pillar of the Heaven” (also called the “Pillar between Heaven and Earth”) to “Hallelujah Mountain,” a namesake floating island in the movie that circulates in the magnetic currents of the make-believe planet of Pandora.

The “South Pillar of the Heaven,” at a height of 3,500 feet above sea level, is a nationally renowned scenic attraction, among the three thousand mountain peaks in Zhangjiajie. “We renamed the top not because we are blindly following foreign culture,” said the director of the management committee of the Yuanjiajie scenic area. “We’re only sending this message to the world: Zhangjiajie belongs to the world and is now known to global tourists.”

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