Mt. Laoshan (Laoshan National Scenic Area)

Laoshan Mountain is located in the southern part of the Shandong Peninsula, and 20 kilometers east of Qingdao. Mt. Laoshan is 1,133-meter tall, it is known as the first famous religious mountain along China’s 18,000-kilometer coastline and the birthplace of Taoism. Mountains, sea, forest, springs and waterfalls have left the area with the reputation for being the dwelling place of fairies.

 

Mount Laoshan rises majestically from the sea, features precipitous cliffs and strange rocks. Grass and trees flourish on the mountain as the area has abundant rainfall. It is said that the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.) once came here in search of elixirs. A huge rock inscribed with the words "waves blending into the sky" is said to be where the emperor once stood when he climbed Laoshan. During the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties the area was dotted with monasteries and nunneries along the mountain slopes. The mountain became a Taoist shrine during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) when many Taoist temples were built here. Legends described that the mountain is a place of mystery and wonder, it was regarded as a residence of immortals.

 Mt. Laoshan (Laoshan National Scenic Area) Mt. Laoshan (Laoshan National Scenic Area)

There are three routes for visitors to reach the summit. Along the south route, the climber will find Genghis Khan's Supreme Purity Temple (Taiqinggong) which was the second largest monastery at that time. This Taoist temple is composed of Three Emperors Hall (Sanhuangdian), with its towering cypresses over two thousand years old; Three Officials Hall (Sanguandian); and Three Purity Hall (Sanqingdian), with its Magic Water (Shenshui) Spring. The north route zigzags among grotesquely shaped rocks and cliffs,it offers many breathtaking views, including Three Steps in Succession (Sanbujin), Ladder in the Sky (Shangtianti), and Terrace for Meeting Immortals (Huixiantai). At strip of Sky (Yixiantian) the overhanging precipices are particularly thrilling. The Terrace for Meeting Immortals, rising more than a hundred meters above the ground like a tower, is also called Dressing Terrace (Shuzhuangtai) -- a folktale says that fairies used to dress themselves at the top. Along the middle route, visitors can see Laoshan Springs, Regarded as "magic" since ancient times, the springwater comes from four directions: Nine Wter (Jiushui), Inner Nine Water (Neijiushui), Outer Nine Water (Waijiushui), and South Nine Water (Nanjiushui).

 

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