Taishan Mountain in Shangdong--- One of the Buddhist Mountains in China

04,2007 Editor:at0086| Resource:AT0086.com

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Taishan Mountain, pride of Shandong province, standing at an imposing 1,545 m above sea level, is the most venerated of China's five sacred Taoist mountains. Some 6 million tourists a year come to follow in the footsteps of Confucius and other great leaders and thinkers of China.
As one of the sacred Buddhist Mountains in China, it attracts the attention of most Chinese people, both domestic and international. It is endowed with many scenic spots. A large number of them were given names in ancient times. They include 112 peaks, 98 precipices, 18 caves, 58 oddly shaped rocks, 102 streams and valleys, 56 pools and waterfalls, and 64 springs. Vegetation covers 79.9% of the area. The flora is known to comprise 989 species in 144 families.
It also boasts cultural heritage with an incessant history of several thousand years. Currently on the mountain, there are 22 ancient architectural complexes, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets and 1,800 stone inscriptions, which provide a natural museum for the study of ancient history and calligraphy. Taishan Mountain is a mountain of outstanding value from the point view of aesthetics, science, history and culture. Taishan Mountain was elected to the "World Heritage List" in 1987. Chinese people tend to describe a situation as being as stable as Taishan Mountain or a matter as being as weighty as Taishan Mountain, giving clear evidence of such an impression. 
Taishan Mountain has been a center of worship and enlightenment, destination of pilgrimages, and inspiration to the masses for no fewer than three thousand years. During the Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC - 476 BC), Confucius who resided in nearby town of Qufu, ascended the mountain and found inspiration to author the doctrines of Confucianism, still venerated now more than two millennia later. Other famous figures from Chinese history would later follow in the master's footsteps in search of inspiration—Libai and fellow poet Dufu, to name but a couple.

Daizong Archway
The beginning of the ascent up Mount Tai begins at the Daizong Archway (Daizong Fang), located to the north of the Dai Temple. The temple was constantly expanded, reaching its zenith in the Tang Dynasty with more than 800 palaces and pagodas built in the royal style. The archway is built on a base of 4 pillars and 3 gates. Close by, there is the Heavenly Queen Pool (Wangmu Chi) from where you can see the river.
Stone Sutra Ravine
Northeast of the Doumu Convent, stands a huge rock inscribed with characters as large as 50cm by 50cm dating back some 1400 years. Taoists and Chinese calligraphic enthusiasts have long made the trek up the Mountain to see these invaluable cultural relics where the text of the Diamond Buddhist Sutra has been carved on the rock face. This is a quiet spot, set off from the main path.
Sun rise
The best scene is probably the sun rise. Once the sun jumps out of the horizon, it sends the first beam through the leaves of pines onto the rocks still shadowed in darkness - a magnificent scene. When darkness recedes and day breaks, a ball of fire appears over the horizon. One mountain after another catches the sun's beams, until every thing comes alive.
Entrance Fee: 80RMB per person (normal price ticket); Students: 40 RMB (half price)
Opening time: The whole day

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