Taishan Mountain

Taishan Mountain of Taian, Taian Travel GuideMount Tai is located in the middle of Shandong Province. It is not merely the mountain home of the Gods such as Mt. Olympus or Mt. Sinai; it is considered a deity itself and has been venerated by the Chinese as their most sacred peak. The emperors of ancient China regarded Tai Shan as the son of the Emperor of Heaven, from whom they received their own authority to rule the people. The mountain functioned as a God who looked after the affairs of humans and who also acted as a communication channel for humans to speak to God. Seventy-two legendary emperors are said to have come to Tai Shan, but the first known evidence dates from a rock carving left on the mountain in 219B.C. by Emperor Shi-huang who is remembered for having begun construction of the Great Wall. Historical record tells of the sometimes enormous retinues that would accompany an emperor on his pilgrimage to Tai Shan, lines of people might stretch from the bottom to the top of the mountain, a distance of over six miles. Besides royalty, artists and poets have also favored the holy peak. The walls lining the path up the mountain are covered with poems and tributes carved in stone, proclaiming the importance and beauty of the surroundings. Confucius and the poet Dufu both wrote poems expressing their respect, and legend tell that those who climb the mountain will live until they are one hundred years old.

Taishan Mountain, Taian Travel GuideOver 7000 steps lead to the summit, and the slopes are dotted with numerous temples, inns, small restaurants and shops for the millions of annual pilgrims. Two important temples are situated at the top of the peak; the Temple of the Jade Emperor, the heavenly ruler of this world; and the Bixia, the Temple of the Princess of the Azure Clouds, the daughter of the Jade Emperor. The temple of the Princess is perhaps the preeminent place of pilgrimage for Chinese women. Thousands make the long climb each day, and occasionally one will still see very old women with the tiny, bound feet of pre-communist times. Mothers whose daughters have been unable to conceive come to pray for grandchildren, and two attendant goddesses standing next to the Princess are miracle working images, one for curing eye ailments, the other for children' diseases.

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Taian Dai Temple | Taishan Mountain