Daji Mountain locates 5 kilometers east of Laizhou City in Yantai. Daji Mountain is one of the five famous Taoist mountains in China. It is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Chinese Taoism culture and Chinese Deity culture. From the Pre-Qin Period before Chris to the late Qing Dynasty, Taoists have been practicing in this valley all the time, so local people also called it as Taoist Valley. It is is also the largest Taoism valley in China. Now, it is the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit.
Highlights at Daji Mountain
Daji Mountain was called Donglai Mountain in the ancient times, and it has a historical history of more than 4,000 years. In the Shi Ji (Historical Records), the famous historian Sima Qian of the Han Dynasty mentioned Donglai Mountain for several times. Sima Qian thought that the mountain was the place where the Yellow Emperor had been enlightened nearly 4000 years ago.
Daji Mountain has lush forests and steep cliffs. The forest coverage rate is nearly 80%. There are 10 peaks over 350 meters in height. The whole mountain is shaped like a ring. There is a gap in the southwest corner, which is a natural gateway. The forests are lush and evergreen, the air is very clear and the scenery is pleasant and eased here. Therefore, many historic records call this place as “the heaven of nature."
There are 24 stone carvings found in the valley which are very precious. Among them, there are 14 inscriptions on the cliff, which are the handwriting works of Zheng Daozhao. He was a calligrapher from the Northern Wei Dynasty. These inscriptions have different size and shapes. Some were carved with hundred words, while some with only more than ten words. They mainly distributed on the four sides of the peaks as well as the north and south entrance of the valley.
Among them, Zheng Daozhao's work -"Deng Daji Mountain Poetry" written in year 512, locates in the west of the mountain. It was engraved on a rectangular and independent stone. The stone is about 2.9 meters high, 4.2 meters wide and about 1.5 meters thick. It looks like loquat fruit, so it is called "loquat stone".
The Taoist Valley has rich forests, ancient trees and wild flowers, where is very quiet and peaceful. In the ancient times, there were four springs at the bottom of the valley, and the gurgling water flowed constantly year after year. As early as the Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern dynasties, the valley was an ideal place for the sedentary practitioners. The buildings which have been restored today include Taiqing Palace, Haotian Temple, San Palace, Wanshou Palace, Xiantian Temple, Baiyun Temple, Huangdi Temple, Guangyue Temple, Erhou Temple, Shengshui Temple and Jiyue Tower such Taoist temples.