Mount Tai in Shandong Province
The stately and sacred Mount Tai has since been the object of worshipping by emperors for 2,000 years. The humanistic masterpieces mingle with natural scenes in perfect harmony. The mountain has been the spiritual source of Chinese artists and scholars, looming as the symbol of ancient Chinese civilization and belief.
Mount Tai lies in the north Tai’an City in the middle of Shandong Province in the north of China. With the elevation above sea being 1,532.7m, it is grand and overwhelming and claimed as “the first of five famous mountains” and “the first mountain in the world”.
Since ancient times, Chinese people have been worshipping Mount Tai and it is believed when Mount Tai is in peace, the whole world will be peace. Throughout all the dynasties, Buddhist activities and sacrificial ceremonies had been happening on the mountain with temples and statues built with words engraved on them. Men of letters in the ancient past even cherished a deeper reverence for the mountain, coming to pay a visit non-stop with essays written in memory of the events. The gigantic body of the mountain has over 20 places of ancient architectures and more than 2,200 tombstones and engravings.
Mount Tai is noted for its scenic grandiosity. The overlapping terrain and massive body, and the supporting giant rocks and ever changing clouds combine to make it look graceful while massive and magic while serene.
The sunrise on the mountain top is a rare scene as well as a symbol of Mount Tai. When clouds and mists pervade early in the morning or at dusk, visitors who watch in a high place along the sun rays will be able to see a colorful ring, blue inside and red outside, against the background of mists and clouds. When the whole profile of a person or his head is cast upon it, it seems as if a colorful ring is glowing above the Buddhist image, hence the name Buddhist Light or Sacred Light. The Buddhist light of Mount Tai is actually a diffraction of light that appears under certain conditions. According to record, the Buddhist Light usually appears from June to August each year on half-sunny and half-foggy days and when the sun is shining slantly.
Mount Tai is also famous for the stone engravings, mostly done by emperors and celebrities and the essays are mostly beautiful in diction and calligraphy and are of fine workmanship. Now, there are 1,696 places of stone engravings, falling into cliffs and tombstones, which is both important data for recording the history of Mount Tai and the highlight of scenic spots to explore.