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The Sacred Tai Mountain

 2014-01-29    Ada    Tours    Shandong    1119  

As the leader of the 'Five Sacred Mountains', Mt. Tai is located in the center of Shandong Province. Its main peak, Jade Emperor Summit, which is within Tai'an City, is about 1532.7 meters (5,029 feet) high. Taishan Mountain is a perfect combination of natural scenery and cultural relics and is well worth visiting.

Mount Tai has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centers of China during large portions of this period. According to historical records, Mount Tai became a sacred place haunted by emperors to offer sacrifices and meditate in the Zhou Dynasty before 1,000 BC. A total of 72 emperors were recorded as visiting it. Men of letters also came to acquire inspiration, to compose poems, write essays, paint and take pictures. Hence, a great many cultural relics were left on the mountain. The stone carvings on Mount Taishanmuseum abounding with cultural relics and artworks. Heavenly Queen Pool, Red Gate Palace, Mid-Heaven Gate, Azure Cloud Temple are powerful examples. Stone carvings include the Buddhist Diamond Sutra in Jing Shi Valley, the Scripture of Mt. Tai and the Mo Ya Tablet.

Mount Tai lies in the zone of oriental deciduous forest; about 80% of its area is covered with vegetation. The flora is known to comprise almost 1,000 species. Some of the trees in the area are very old and have cultural significance, such as the Han Dynasty Cypresses, which were planted by the Emperor Wu Di, the Tang Chinese Scholartree (about 1,300 years old), the Welcoming-Guest Pine (500 years old) and the Fifth-Rank Pine, which was named originally by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, but was replanted about 250 years ago. The tallest peak is the Jade Emperor Peak, which is commonly reported as 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) tall, but is described by the PRC government as 1,532.7 metres (5,029 ft). Just as its name implies, Tianzhu Peak was named because it is shaped like a candle, with a pine tree standing on top like a flame.

This route is the most rugged one and is suitable for the adventurous. You will enjoy General Peak, Eight Immortals Cave, Big Tianzhu Peak and Small Tianzhu Peak, etc. It is also a better way to appreciate the pine trees in Hou Shi Wu (a spot where most of the old pine trees are growing). Besides the Jade Emperor Peak, other distinctive rock formations are the Heaven Candle Peak, the Fan Cliff, and the Rear Rock Basin.Mount Tai is a tilted fault-block mountain with height increasing from the north to the south. It is the oldest example of a paleo-metamorphic formation from the Cambrian Period in eastern China. Known as the Taishan Complex, this formation contains magnetized, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock as well as intrusions of other origins during the Archean Era. The uplift of the region started in the Proterozoic Era; by the end of the Proterozoic, it had become part of the continent.

The main attraction of Tai Shan, aside from an exhausting climb and the views along the way, is seeing a magnificent sunrise from the summit. Most visitors make this a priority on their itinerary. So, let’s meet there!

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