Majestic Taishan is a national park and the holiest
and most revered of the sacred mountains in China. It covers an
area of 426 sq km and the peak is 1,545 meters (5,070ft) above sea
level. In imperial times, many newly established emperors would
come to the mountain to worship heaven and perform grand sacrificial
Many historical relics are found on Taishan including
the Heavenly Queen Pool (wangmu chi), Red Gate Palace (hongmen
gong), South Gate to Heaven (nan tianmen), Azure Cloud
Temple (bixia ci) as well as stone carvings from various
dynasties, including the Buddhist Diamond Sutra carved on a stone
cliff in Sutra Stone Valley (jinshi yu). Mount Tai has also
been a site of pilgrimage and worship for Buddhists, Daoists, Confucianists
and Maoists, and therefore many temples and shrines dot the slopes
of the mountain. In 1987, UNESCO listed Taishan as part of the World
Natural and Cultural Heritage.
To get to the peak of the mountain, visitors must hike up some 6,600 stairs and only the very fit should attempt to ascend and descend in 1 day.