Traces of human presence at
date back to the Paleolithic period. Human settlement of the area can be proven from the neolithic period onwards. During this time, two cultures had emerged near the mountain, the Dawenkou culture to the south and the Longshan culture to the north. In the Spring and Autumn Period, the mountain lay on the boundary between the competing States of Qi (north of the mountain) and Lu (south). In the ensuing Warring States Period, the State of Mount Tai erected a 500 km-long wall to protect itself against an invasion. Ruins of this wall are still present today. The name Tai'an of neighboring city is attributed to the saying "If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country" (both characters of Tai'an, "泰" and "安", have the independent meaning of "peace"). Qi
Religious worship of
Emperor Lord of
The Emperor Lord of
Mount Tai (Chinese: 东岳大帝; pinyin: Dōngyuè Dàdì) is the supreme god of . According to one tradition, he is a descendant of Pangu. Mount Tai
Bixia Yuanjun (Chinese: 碧霞元君; pinyin: Bìxiá Yuánjūn) also known as the "Heavenly Jade Maiden" (Chinese: 天仙玉女; pinyin: Tiānxian Yùnǚ) or the "Empress of Mount Tai" (Chinese: 泰山娘娘; pinyin: Tàishān Niangniang). According to one of the legends, she is the daughter of the Emperor Lord of
. Statues of Bixia Yuanjun often depict her holding a tablet with the Big Dipper as a symbol of her authority. Mount Tai
Yanguang Nainai (Chinese: 眼光奶奶; pinyin: Yǎnguāng Nǎinǎi) is the Goddess of Eyesight and often portrayed as an attendant to Bixia Yuanjun.
Songzi Niangniang (Chinese: 送子娘娘; pinyin: Sòngzi Niangniang) is the Goddess of Fertility, like Yanguang Nainai, she is often portrayed as an attendant to Bixia Yuanjun.
Shi Gandang (Chinese: 石敢当; pinyin: Shígǎndāng) is a spirit sent down from
by Bixia Yuanjun to protect ordinary people from evil spirits. Mount Tai
Temple of the God of Mount Tai, known as the (Chinese: 岱庙; pinyin: Dàimiào), is the largest and most complete ancient building complex in the area. It is located at the foot of Dai Temple Mount Tai in the city of and covers an area of 96,000 square meters. The temple was first built during the Qin Dynasty. Since the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), its design has been a replica of the imperial palace, which makes it one out of three extant structures in Tai'an China with the features of an imperial palace (the other two are the Forbidden City and the in Qufu). The temple has five major halls and many small buildings. The centerpiece is the Confucius Temple (Tian Kuang), built in 1008, during the reign of the last Northern Song Emperor Huizong. The hall houses the mural painting "The God of Mount Tai Making a Journey", dated to the year 1009. The mural extends around the eastern, western and northern walls of the hall and is 3.3 metres high and 62 metres long. The theme of the painting is an inspection tour by the god. Next to the Palace of Heavenly Blessings stand the Yaocan Pavilion and the entrance archway as well as the Bronze Pavilion in the northeast corner. The Palace of Heavenly Blessings is surrounded by the 2,100 year-old Han Dynasty cypresses. Oldest surviving stair may be 6000 granite steps to the top of the sacred Tai Shan mountain in Dai Temple China
The site contains a number of well-preserved steles from the Huizong reign, some of which are mounted on bixi tortoises. There is a much later, Qianlong-era bixi-mounted stele as well.
A flight of 7,200 total steps (including inner temple steps), with 6,293 Official Mountain Walkway Steps, lead up the East Peak of Mount Tai, along its course, there are 11 gates, 14 archways, 14 kiosks, and 4 pavilions.
In total, there are 22 temples, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets, and 1,018 cliff-side and stone inscriptions located on
The Wordless Stela (Chinese: 无字碑; pinyin: Wúzì Bēi) stands in front of the
. Legend has it that the emperor who commissioned the stela was dissatisfied with the planned inscription and decided to leave it blank instead. Jade Emperor Temple
Other significant places
Abandoning-Oneself Cliff (Chinese: 舍身崖; pinyin: Shěshēn Yá), renamed Treasure Life Cliff (Chinese: 爱身崖; pinyin: Àishēn Yá) in the Ming Dynasty
Lu-Viewing Platform (Chinese: 瞻鲁台; pinyin: Zhānlǔ Tái)
(Chinese: 探海石; pinyin: Tànhǎi Shí) Sea of Clouds Rock
Visitors can reach the
Tai via a bus which terminates at the Midway Gate to Heaven, from there a cable car connects to the summit. Covering the same distance on foot takes from two and a half to six hours. The supplies for the many vendors along the road to the summit are carried up by porters either from the Midway Gate to Heaven or all the way up from the foot of the mountain. peak of Mount
To climb up the mountain, one can take one of two routes. The more popular east route starts from Taishan Arch. On the way up the 7,200 stone steps, the climber first passes the Ten Thousand Immortals Tower (Wanxianlou), Arhat Cliff (Luohanya), and Palace to Goddess Dou Mu (Doumugong). The climbing from the First Gate to Heaven (yi1 tian1 men2), the main entrance bordering on Tai'an town, up the entire mountain can take two and a half hours for the sprinting hiker to six hours for the leisure pace. Reaching the Midway Gate to Heaven from First Gate to Heaven is one hour at a sprint up to two and a half hours leisurely. To the northeast of the Palace to Goddess Dou Mu is
in which the Buddhist Diamond Sutra was cut in characters measuring fifty centimeters across believed to be inscribed in the Northern Wei Dynasty. The west route, taken by fewer tourists, is more scenic, but has less cultural heritage. Sutra Rock Valley
The Chinese idiom "Mount Tai & Big Dipper" (Chinese: 泰山北斗; pinyin: Tàishān Bĕidŏu) is an epithet for a person of great distinction.
According to a famous ancient quotation from Sima Qian, he said "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than
or lighter than a feather." Mao Zedong referred to this passage in the 20th century: "To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather." Rage Against the Machine also referred to the passage in the song "Year of the Boomerang": "So I'm goin' out heavy sorta like Mount Tai ." Mount Tai
The 1987 album Hold Your Fire by Canadian progressive rock band Rush contained the song "Tai Shan", referencing drummer/lyricist Neil Peart's journey to Mount Tai.
The Dai Miao is featured in Sid Meier's Civilization IV as a religious complex that can be built by a Great Prophet, thus establishing a holy shrine dedicated to Taoism in the Taoist holy city.