Stairs to Perpetual Youth and Longevity, Taishan (Mount Tai)
Mount Tai in eastern China is a sacred mountain where one can see the earliest sunrise in China.
It is the mountain dedicated to the God of Heaven.
Stairs to Perpetual Youth and Longevity / Taishan (Mount Tai)
The city of Taian lies in Shandong Province in China and has a variety of splendid historical buildings in its urban setting. This is the Dai Miao Temple.
The temple enshrines the God of Taishan, the spiritual home for Taoists.
The Taishan God is believed to control the length of human life and has been worshipped since long ago.
The long climbing route to the top of Taishan starts from this gate.
The stone steps leading to the summit were built by the First Qin Emperor. Following the unification of the country, he held a ceremony at the summit to proclaim the unity and peace of his nation to the God of Heaven.
There are about 7000 steps to the summit. People have a long history of worshipping the God of Taishan and pray for longevity and the peace of their family.
Walking for an hour and a half takes you only halfway to the top. People are resting here to prepare for the remainder of the journey.
These women are eating deep-fried bread wrapped in layers of thin dough made of millet grains.
After the first ceremony held by the First Qin Emperor, successive Emperors also held ceremonies at the summit to show reverence to Heaven.
Many temples and shrines have been built along the route and Taishan became a popular pilgrimage destination for the cultured.
Poetic works and teachings of the great scholars through the ages are inscribed onto the rocks.
The combination of carved cultural works in a natural setting creates a very unique atmosphere on this spiritual mountain.
Near the top of the mountain there is a very steep hill known as The Eighteen Bends.
Just beside there is a small shrine dedicated to the grandmother of Taishan God.
People are praying for a long life.
The gate on the right connects heaven and earth. It is believed that one can become an immortal hermit by passing through this gate.
Porters transport goods from the bottom to the top of the mountain every day.
At the top of this mountain stands the South Heaven Gate.
After passing through the gate, a street known as The Heavenly Street offers restaurants and lodging facilities
Giant rocks stand in rows just below the summit.
This rock was placed when the Emperor Xuan Zong of the Tang Dynasty held a ceremony here in 726.
These Chinese characters Feng Shan means to honour Heaven and Earth. The ceremony to pray for Heaven was held here and for the Earth at the foot of this mountain.
This is the summit known as the Jade Emperor Peak and is 1545 metres above sea level.
At the summit is a small temple that enshrines the God of Taishan.
The incenses dedicated here are longer than usual, supposedly in association with their wishes for longevity. The longer the incenses are the better!
The incenses are bundled in a band with characters meaning peace and safety of the family and business prosperity.
This is the statue of Taishan God, worshipped by Emperors and commoners alike.
According to the legend, it is said that there is a book placed at the top of Mount Taishan that has a record of everyones lifespan.
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