Taroko National Park
|Taroko National Park|
Tunnel of Nine Turns
|Nearest city||Hualien City|
|Established||November 28, 1986|
- "Taroko" can also refer to the Truku aboriginal tribe.
Taroko National Park (Chinese: 太魯閣國家公園; pinyin: Tàilǔgé gúojiā gōngyuán; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Taroko kok-ka kong-hn̂g) is one of the eight national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park. The park spans Taichung Municipality, Nantou County, and Hualien County.
The park was originally established as the Tsugitaka-Taroko National Park (次高タロコ国立公園 Tsugitaka Taroko kokuritsu kōen) by the Governor-General of Taiwan on December 12, 1937 when Taiwan was part of the Empire of Japan. After the Empire of Japan's defeat in World War II, the Republic of China assumed control of Taiwan. The ROC government subsequently abolished the park on August 15, 1945. It was not until November 28, 1986 that the park was reestablished.
- Tunnel of Nine Turns (九曲洞 Jiuqü Dong, pictured at right)
- Eternal Spring Shrine (長春祠 Changchun, pictured below)
- Swallow Grotto (燕子口)
- Jinheng Park (靳珩公園)
- The Bridge of the Kind Mother (慈母橋)
- Tiansiang (天祥)
- Jhueilu Precipice (錐麓斷崖)
- Lioufang Bridge (流芳橋)
- Hill of Yu the Great (大禹嶺)
- Buluowan (布洛灣)
Origin of the name
The name, Taroko, means "magnificent and beautiful" in the Truku language of the Truku indigenous tribe. Long ago a Truku tribesman saw the beauty of the azure Pacific when he walked out of the gorge. On seeing the magnificent scene, he cried "Taroko!". And so it became the name of the place, in a fashion not dissimilar to how the island, Formosa, got its name.
Taroko Gorge and its surrounding area are well known for their abundant supply of marble, leading to its nickname, "The Marble Gorge". The rock now seen in Taroko began over 200 million years ago as sediment on the bottom of the ocean. As the sediment collected, it was subject to increasingly large amounts of pressure which eventually hardened it into limestone. Over the past 100 million years, tectonic compression between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate supplied additional pressure that metamorphosed the limestone into marble. Uplifting forces from the plate collision pushed this rock above the surface of the ocean to where we see it today. The region is still being uplifted by approximately 0.5 cm per year.
The gorge itself was carved into the marble by the erosive power of the Liwu River.
In addition, there are known to be jade in this gorge. This jade is only found in Taiwan and the jade from this area supplies the jade market in Hualien. These mountains can be seen from rafting (a common activity during summer months in Taroko Gorge) through the rivers.
The Tupido Tribe Trail was built by the Batto Bulego family of Taroko some 120 years ago, and now only parts of its ruins remain on the Tianhsyang mesa (天祥台地). Four generations of the family resided there until the Japanese army massacred the tribe and banished the survivors in 1914. 
Eternal Spring Shrine, Taroko National Park, Hualien on the east coast.
^ "Avoiding the throng in Taroko park: The Tupido Tribe Trail is a cultural gem that reveals the Taroko tribe's past glory". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
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