1Brief Introduction of Mount Tai

    Mount Tai locates in the middle part of Shandong province spanning two cities (Tai’an city and Jinan city) with total area of 426 square kilometers. Mount Tai was called Daizong (means the principal mountain of China) in ancient time and then was renamed as Mount Tai in Spring and Autumn Dynasty went by the name of Dongyue (the Sacred Mountain of East China) that ranks No.1 among the five most important mountains in China. In 1987, Mount Tai was listed as Cultural and Natural World Heritage site and honored “World Geopark” in 2006. In China, Mount Tai is among the first group of “National Parks of China”, the state 5A-class tourist attraction, the top 10 best National Civilized Spot in China.
    Mount Tai is well known for its spectacular, grandness, elevation, width, steadiness and massiness. The typical character of natural scenery of Mount Tai is imposing, steepy, surprising, serene, secluded, profound, and spacious. The picturesque of the Mount Tai has various sceneries like cragged cliff, deep canyon and gorge, grotesque peak and strange rocks, luxuriant vegetation and the flowing springs and twittering birds…. The mountain also has the unique marvelous wonders: the rising sun at dawn, the jade plate of sea of clouds, the aura appearing around Bixia Temple, rosy clouds at sunset etc.

    Since ancient time, Mount Tai is recognized as holy and sacred Mountain and held the accolade as “Most Revered of the Five Sacred Mountains”. Furthermore, Mount Tai symbolized the peaceful life and unified country. Four thousands of years, more than a dozen emperors paid their homage to the mountain. Vast quantities of poetry and stone inscriptions were left by emperors, poets and scholars of every era. Confucians and Taoists coexist harmoniously on the mountain. And civilians worshiped the mountain with sincere esteem. In other words, the Mount Tai has becomes the symbol of Chinese spirit. There are also peculiar geologic structures as three grand fracture layers, Komatiite rocks and Zuixin Stone (a swirl shaped allgovite rocks); masterpieces of ancient constructions as Dai Temple, Nantian Gate, Bi Xia temple; precious stone inscriptions of past dynasties as Qin dynasty stone inscriptions, inscriptions rocks of the Diamond Sutra, cliffs with inscriptions of Tang dynasty; ancient trees like pine trees of Qin Dynasty, cypress of Han Dynasty (about 1800 years ago), locust tree of Tang Dynasty(about 1200 years ago). All the above syncretize and integrate nature scenery and human culture. 7000 stone stairs which runs 9 kilometers long through the mountain from the foot to the zenith looks like the axes of Mount Tai integrating earth, heaven and human as a whole and thus is a road for human beings to heaven. Because of the unique integration of human civilization and natural landscape, Mount Tai is respected by billions of Chinese people and becomes famous all over the world as well as treasurable heritage of panhuman.
2Mountain Worship (Feng Shan)

The ceremony of mountain worship is unique old courtesy of Mount Tai, which forms the important element of apotheosis and godliness for Mount Tai. Because the ceremony was held by emperors of each dynasty, it attracted more attention and had far-reaching influence. From the legendary pre-historical period to Emperor in Song Dynasty, “Feng Shan” was a continuous traditional rite through primeval society to feudalized society.

According to the meaning in Zheng Yi written by Zhang Shoujie and recorded on historyin Shih Chi .Book of Feng Shan, “Feng Shan” is explained as “To build altar by soil on Mount Tai for returning the god of merits is called ‘Feng’; to clear the land on a hill below Mount Tai for expressing gratitude to earth is called “Shan””.


Therefore, the actual meaning of “Feng Shan” ceremony is to declare the emperor’s legitimate rule over the land and the people was in compliance with heaven’s will and to report the peace to god; moreover, to pray the blessing of the heaven. Certainly the emperor would also report how brilliant his achievement in his regality was. The connotation of the ceremony symbolized harmony between spiritual will and external behavior by harmonizing the relationship of heaven, terra, deities and humans. First emperor of Qin, Emperor Wu Di (140-87 BC) of the Western Han dynasty, Emperor Gaozong (650-683) of Tang dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong(r. 712-756) of Tang dynasty, Emperor Zhenzong of Song dynasty had ever held “mountain worship” ceremony “Feng Shan”. After Emperor Zhenzong, the posterior emperors came to Mount Tai only held sacrifice and didn’t hold “Feng Shan” anymore.
3The Three Treasures of Mount Tai

(1) “Wen Liang Yu Gui” – A Jade Tablet for ritual services
The reign of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty
The jade was bestowed by empress dowager in 36th year of reign of Qianlong which is 92.5cm long and 29.5cm wide composed of two parts. The upper part embossed three circles connected by curve separately representing sun, moon and stars and sea water and cliff on the lower part. Another part has intaglio of “Qian Long Nian Zhi” meaning produced in reign of Qianlong emperor. The jade is in cyan.

(2) Lions Made of Agalloch Eaglewood
The reign of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty
Two lions carved from agalloch eaglewood are of 37.5cm high and 36.5cm long, which were bestowed by Emperor Qianlong in 27th year of his reign. The lions’ forelegs keep upright sitting on their buttocks and the tails cocked. The lumps on the surface are similar to the curled fur. Their eyes open wide and shine vigorously and the mouth opens slightly to reveal the soigné teeth and the stretched tongue.

(3) Yellow Glaze Calabash Vase with Green Flowers
The reign of Emperor Jiajing in Ming Dynasty
The vase is 22.5cm high with caliber of 3.1cm and bottom diameter of 6.3cm. It was conferred to Dai Temple by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty in 52nd of his reign. Its cover is hemicycle with a knob like mushroom and adorned with picture of 3 pieces of cyan clouds. There are 3 blossoms of lotus twined together in twigs, 9 blossoms of plum in corset, and 4 blossoms of lotus in below surface and inscribed “made in Jiajing Year” on the bottom. The cyan pigment is typical turn cyan color and the porcelain is exquisite porcelain of Guan ware of Jiajing.
4Wonders on Mount Tai

(1) The rising sun at dawn
The sunrise on Mount Tai is splendid and one of the marvelous spectacles of the summit of Mount Tai and is also the important symbol of Mount Tai. While the first beam of sunlight tears the last beam of darkness before dawn, the east sky turns dull black to grey, to red and then to dazzling golden yellow jetting out rays of morning sun and brightening the whole sky. Finally, one fireball suddenly jumps out of sea of cloud. The whole process is like a peak of perfection which likes thousands of polychrome pictures brought by a lofty magician.
(2) The rosy clouds at sunset
The sky clears after rain and the sun falls down to the west, if you amble on the peak of Mount Tai and look up the sky: the golden rays penetrate layers of clouds and dyed the clouds into golden rosy and shaped like gleaming apex. And all the cloud peaks are beset by golden selvage and flickering the blaze of precious jewellery. Just as portrayed in the poem: “Sky is painted into rosy and golden, who is holding an colorful pen to limn the sky”; “limpid spring water rushes down myriad of cliffs, glowing sunset drives thousands of peaks”.

(3) The aura on Mount Tai
The aura on top of Mount Tai is another one of wonders. When cloud and mist are diffusing in the early morning or nightfall, the aura emerges on the dimly clouds if tourists look down from a higher summit in the same direction of the light. The aura is one colorful halo with blue color inside and red color outside and reflects an image of a person just like the aura surrounds the Buddhist statue. That’s why called “Fuo Gang” (aura) or “Bao Guang” (jewellery light). The aura on Mount Tai is one kind of light diffraction and appears only under the whether condition of sunny with fog and the sunlight slanting in June to August.
(4) Jade plate of sea of clouds
The view of unfurling Jade plate of sea of clouds surrounding the summits is another one gorgeous wonder on top of Mount Tai. In summer, when sun comes out just after the rain, mass vapor vaporized to the sky, and the warm air from sea is lofty above about 1500 meters high and there is no wind, looking from the summit of Mount Tai, you could see white clouds tiling to thousands square meters as white jade plate suspending between earth and heaven. All forane hills are engulfed in the clouds and only few of them emerged; visible tourists like to step on the cloud as if they came to heaven. While breeze blowing, the cloud waved like sea water and the hills conceal and emerge as mysterious fairy islands; while the wind becomes strong, clusters of clouds turn into gigantic dragon flying up and down and thus agitate the sea of cloud.

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