Friday, May 22, 2015

Guoliang Tunnel - a marvel of a dozen determined men


Miracles happen once in a while, but sometimes a handful of determined men make miracles happen that take the onlookers with an awe. And this is exactly a dozen of Chinese villagers did to connect their lonesome village at the top of a mountain to the outside world.

The village Guoliang is situated on top of the the Taihang Mountains which are situated in Huixian, Xinxiang, Henan Province of China. Until 1972, the village had no access to the outside world or the nearest road-head and the villagers had to brave their way to and from to the nearest 'civilization' through a treacherous mountain track.

So one day, a bunch of 13 determined villagers thought of a miracle to happen. Without any help from the local government or the outside world, the viullagers sold their belongings to buy tools and equipment to undertake one of the wonders of the world. Merely with the help of hand held tools and the human endurance and determination, the began carving a road - one meter in three days. 



This looked not only gigantic task but also seemingly impossible. But after five years and with the loss of one of their comrades, the remaining tweleve men vfinally connected to the nearest roadhead. The extremely treacherous Guoliang Tunnel which is 1.2 kilometers long and four meres wide with an overhead clearance of five meters was opened on 1 May 1977 - the Labor Day for the rest of the world, but a day of reckoning and jubilation for the villagers of Guoliang.

Today, the Guoliang Tunnel is a tourist attraction and daring tourists from around the world visiting China do venture out to visit the Guoliang Tunnel and the village at the top of the Taihang Mountains to pay tribute to those dozen men for their sheer determination to provide their future generations an access to the outside world.

Watch the video below, shared at YouTube by Goomey:



I haven't been to China yet - but if I ever do, I will make an endeavour to go to Guoliang village through Guoliang Tunnel to pay tribute to the men who carved out one of the most treacherous roads of the world - with their hands.

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1 comments:

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