to the north of Tai'an City, the Dai Temple is the largest and most completed
ancient building complex of Mount Taishan. It used to be the venue where
emperors of the past dynasties held celebrations to worship heaven and earth
and bestowed sacrifices to the God of the mountain. And it was also the
first stop for the pilgrims on their way to the holy Mount Taishan.
According to historical records, the original temple was first built
during the Qin Dynasty (211BC ~ 206BC). Since the Han Dynasty (206BC ~
220AD), people replicated the imperial palace to construct it. Several
dynasties later pavilions, old cypresses and steles to the decoration
were added, bringing the modern Dai Temple to what it is today.
Most of the present
attractions inside the temple were left over from the Han Dynasty. Seen
from a distance, a feel of grandiosity and magnificence appears in your
mind. Take a closer view and you will feel astonished by its stateliness.
It is the symbol of the Chinese feudality. Standing at the entrance to
the temple, Yaocan Pavilion and the Archway of the Dai Temple will appear
before your eyes first. Its grand framework and elaborate engravings impress
tourists deeply and entice them to visit the temple. Entering it, there
are many gateways and palaces, colorful and brilliant. Among them, the
most conspicuous is the Hall of Celestial Gifts built in 1009 AD. This
was during the Northern Song Dynasty, and one of the three palace-style
architectures in China. Insidethe hall, there is a portrait of God, 4.4
m high, set in the middle. Around the walls of the east, west and north,
an enormous mural 3 meters high and 62 meters long named "the God
of Mountain Tai on an inspection tour" pictures the wonderful and
grand scene of the inspection tour itself. Old cypress trees in the courtyard
are very valuable. Five of them were planted by Emperor Wudi himself,
from the Han Dynasty, and have lived for 2,000 years. Behind the temple
is a bonsai garden. Different kinds of bonsais are offered for tourists’
Another attraction is the Bronze Pavilion. Lying in the northeast corner
of the temple, the pavilion is made of bronze castings. Intricate workmanship
makes it highly valuable, thus gaining its reputation as one of the famous
bronze pavilions in China.
Ticket: 20 yuan (US$2.4)
Address: Northeast of Tai’an city zone, Shandong Province
Transportation: Take bus 1, 3 at Tai’an railway station.