Limutai is formerly known as Limuantai, which has an implied meaning of safety. Located in the remote mountains and canyons, it is the only platform among the valleys. There are many sour pear trees growing in the surrounding area. Due to the lack of doctors and medicines in the past, the surrounding masses often picked the sour pears to treat the cough, cold, headache and fever, etc. According to the record in the Jizhou Record by the county magistrate Zhang Chaozong in the Kangxi Period that, “an earthquake once took place in the 18th year of the Kangxi Period, and then a plague was spread in the next spring which led to numerous deaths of people and livestock…, but none of the masses living in the surrounding area of Limutai were infected with the disease”. The strange affair was reported to the imperial court by the local officers, and then Kangxi Emperor decreed that the Imperial Academy of Medicine should thoroughly investigate into the matter. It was found through investigation by imperial physicians that, the masses in the surrounding of Limuantai escaped from the disaster because they often ate sour pears (which can resist infection, virus and influenza). Upon hearing the news, Kangxi Emperor named the sour pear as “safe pear”, implying safety and good health. Since the character “An” was granted to the sour pear, the “Limuantai”
was changed into “Limutai”, which continues to be used nowadays.
According to the legend, there was a village named Huangmiezi in Limutai Scenic Spot, which was formerly known as Huangdiezi. Interestingly, the name was honored by Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
retinue was then busy looking for restaurants or wine shops. But how could they find a restaurant in such a remote mountain with few households. The retinue was just worrying when they saw a household in the halfway up the hill. They rushed to knock at the door.
At that time, what the emperor said was precious words, and since then the village was called Huangdiezi. Later, Huangdiezi was changed into Huangmiezi in the mouth-to-mouth communication among the masses.
The thin strip of sky in Limutai Scenic Spot “Dengtianfeng” is otherwise called Yixiantian Liefengdouya. The crack is straight and vertical to the ground. If you climb up along the crack and look up to the sky, the walls soar into the sky, so it is called Dengtianfeng. The crack is formed when the steep quartz sandstone is cut by the large crack vertical to the strata. The huge rocks split off, but the rocks on both sides remain in the position. The perilous landscape of the thin strip of sky is the result of the great power of the tensile power of the earth’s crust.
One day, the eight immortals arrived here. They were excited to revisit the old haunt, so they had a hearty drink. Soon they were drunk. They practiced martial arts with each other for improvement, and displayed their treasures, which was rather boisterous. Unexpectedly, the centipede monster slept under the table was awakened. It had a good stretch and listened to the outside under the table. At the beginning, it thought the surrounding villagers were drinking besides the stone table, but when it listened carefully, it realized that it was the eight immortals. It immediately got excited that, “You wear out iron shoes in hunting round, when all the time it's easy to be found!”. It just wanted to learn from the eight immortals about the way to become immortal, and they happened to appear in front of it. It rubbed its eyes, stretched its legs, and emerged from the crack of stone. Regretfully, it was too late. When it got out of the crack of stone, the eight immortals had gone to the Court of Heaven after having dined and wined to satiety.
At this time, the eight immortals returned. In fact, the book was left here by one of the eight immortals Royal Uncle Cao. After he found in the halfway that his heavenly book was lost, he immediately returned to look for it. Upon seeing the eight immortals, the centipede monster knew that they were for the book, and was just about to escape when Lan Caihe with sharp eyes and agile hands grasped its neck. Royal Uncle Cao gently asked the centipede monster whether it saw a book on the table. The centipede monster freed itself from Lan Caihe and quibbled that it didn’t. Upon seeing that the centipede monster had something hidden in its bosom, the bad-tempered Iron-Crutch Li realized that the book must be stolen by it, but it didn’t admit the fact, he got so irritated that he smashed the centipede monster with its iron crutch. The centipede monster had some magical skills with more than one thousand years’ practice. When Iron-Crutch Li intended to attack it, it immediately fought with him with its unique skills.
There is an old well in the Limutai Scenic Spot named “Baxian Well”.
The father of Qiwan went out to do business when Qili was several months old for the livelihood of the family, leaving the stepmother to take care of two children. The stepmother was not kind-hearted. Considering that Qiwan would share the family properties with her own son, the stepmother intended to get rid of Qiwan when her husband was not at home.
One night, the stepmother lied that the grandmother of Qili was sick, and she had to take Qili to his grandmother’s home and live for several days. She asked Qiwan to live in his grandmother’s home. Upon hearing this, Qiwan was delighted and followed his stepmother out of the home. Soon they came across a well besides the mountainous road. The stepmother told Qiwan that she was thirsty and wanted to get some water from the well. Qiwan was also thirsty, so his stepmother embraced Qili and asked Qiwan to get some water. Qiwan pulled the well rope and was about to get the water when his stepmother quickly went onto the well platform and pulled the trouser leg of Qiwan. Qiwan fell into the well with his head down. Seeing Qiwan fell into the well, the stepmother hurried back home with Qili in her arms.
“Oh, what’s that?” Other immortals asked together.
The immortals left then, but Qiwan remembered every single word.
Qiwan then asked the rich man whether there were any dumb people in the town. The rich man found several dumb people and they were all able to speak after eating the fish and drinking the soup. The rich man immediately fulfilled his promise and made him the live-in son-in-law.
One day, the whole family begged to the rich family for food. When the stepmother saw Qiwan in the courtyard, she was frightened to death and shouted: “Ghost, Ghost!”. Qiwan’s father didn’t believe, and went into the courtyard. It was really his son Qiwan. The father and son burst into tears and expressed their miss for each other. The father asked Qiwan why he was here, and Qiwan told his father that he fell into the well by accident, and heard the words of the immortals in the midnight. And then he came here. Upon hearing this, his stepmother wanted to have a try. Qiwan disagreed and said what if she fell into the well. His stepmother persevered in having a try. Qiwan and his father finally agreed with the stepmother. They put the stone mill in the well, and put a mattress on the stone mill, on which the stepmother would sit. It happened that the eight immortals passed by at that night. They were annoyed that their words were eavesdropped by others, so they decided to fill up the well. Soon they filled the well up, and the stepmother was buried in the well. It was late when Qiwan and his father woke up in the morning. Just like an old saying goes “sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” Upon seeing the well, the later generations will recall the eight immortals and the story, so the well is called “Baxian Well”.
Story of Mother-and-child Stone
Located at the entrance of the Limutai Scenic Spot, the Mother-and-child Stone is opposite to the Great Wall of the Northern Qi Dynasty on the opposite mountain. Among green trees, a mother and child is saying something face to face, and it also seemed as if the young mother is telling the story about his father.
There is a beautiful and sad tale about the stone.
According to the legend, this placed was named as Chuancangkou Pass in the Northern Qi Dynasty over one thousand years ago. It was once the military fortress of two countries, and soldiers once were stationed on and at the foot of the mountain to protect the Great Wall in the frontier.
One year, the war in the frontier was critical. The defending soldiers always had their armor on and the horses had their saddles on day and night. There was a young general in the military camp surnamed Zhou. He was a southerner, and his wife just gave birth to a son. Within three days, the emperor transferred him from the capital to the frontier with an imperial edict to be stationed on the defensive wall.
Time flied and soon half a year passed, but neither of the two armies agreed to budge. General Zhou missed his wife and son very much. He sent dozens of letters home, but there were no replies. The emperor was afraid that the soldiers would be distracted, so he detained all the letters from and to the military camp.
Upon the knowledge that her wife went out to battle in the frontier, the wife of General Zhou missed him very much and couldn’t fall asleep every night. Her son could call “daddy”, but there was still no news about her husband. Was it possible that he died or injured in the battle? Upon thinking the possibilities, the wife became more and more depressed, and took neither bite nor sup of the food, soon she became a bag of bones. Her father and mother-in-law were worried about her. Since the child was stronger and stronger, they prepared enough money and hired a carriage to send the mother and son to the military camp.
Mrs. Zhou and her son travelled day and night in the carriage, and arrived at the foot of the Chuancangkou Great Wall for less than half a month. Upon entry into the Chuancangkou, they heard that the noise of battle echoed to the sky with horns blown on the other side of the wall. From a passing-by soldier, they knew that the two countries began to fight in the frontier several days earlier. Soldiers were shouting, horses were nickering, and the two armies were fighting fiercely on and at the foot of the mountain. It was hard to distinguish who were enemies.
Upon seeing the situation, the carriage driver turned back, and persuaded Mrs. Zhou to leave the battlefield immediately, and see her husband at home when the battle ends. But Mrs. Zhou disagreed and cried: “We two came here from a great distance just to see my husband. We would not regret if my son could see his father.” The carriage driver understood her eagerness to meet her husband in the army, and the hardship of the soldiers to defend the frontier away from their home. Therefore, he found an inn nearby, settled the mother and son, and waited for news.
Mrs. Zhou was rather worried about her husband, and couldn’t stay in the room. She climbed onto the mountain top opposite to the Great Wall with the child in her arms before dawn every day to look at the wall from a distance, and search for her husband. However, she didn’t see the familiar figure finally. The noise of battle on the opposite wall gradually quieted down several days later, and the flag on the wall was changed into another color and pattern. She suddenly realized that her husband must have been dead. However, she was not willing to accept the cruel fact that her husband left her when she was young, and only met his son once. She embraced the child with her back against the rock, looking at the Great Wall on the opposite with all her eyes, and expecting her husband to walk down from the Great Wall.
She didn’t eat, drink or move for a long time, and just kept on waiting for her husband. Finally she turned into a rock. Thousands of years later, she still maintains the posture.
This is the story about the stone in front of us.
There are many steep mountains in the northern mountainous area of Ji County, and the geological landscapes such as elephant-shaped stone and elephant-shaped peak are rare to find in the world. There are dozens of General Stones in the territory, but only the one in the Limutai Scenic Spot is the most vivid. It looks exactly like the statue of the famous general fighting against Japan Qi Jiguang on the Huangyaguan Great Wall.
Why is the General Stone like Qi Jiguang? There is a little-known story about it. According to the legend, when the famous general fighting against Japan Qi Jiguang was stationed on Huangyaguan Great Wall, he gained great popularity among the local masses with his strict military discipline and love for the masses. One year, the country suffered from great drought with the chapped land and dry rivers, and the water was precious in the remote mountain. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and horses were short of water. Marshal Qi was rather anxious and led the solders to seek for the water source. When they came to the Chuancangkou Pass, they saw an old man with white beard lying beside a large stone. It was then in the midsummer. The old man was in a coma with a pale face and closed eyes in the hot sun. Marshal Qi judged with experience that the old man must suffer from sunstroke. He immediately ordered the accompanying soldiers to move him to a cool place against the mountainous stone. Marshal Qi took the canteen down, and fed the water to the old man. Upon drinking the water, the old man gradually opened his eyes with his face red. Marshal Qi calmed down when the old man woke up. The old man intended to kowtow to them for gratitude, and Marshal Qi helped him stand up with a smile. They soon became friends in adversity.
The old man told Marshal Qi that he was the Dragon King of the East Sea, and he was degraded by the Jade Emperor to the mundane world to beg for three months because he produced rain for the masses. The dragon couldn’t live without water, not to speak of the old and frail Dragon King who used to enjoy in affluence in the Dragon King’s Palace. He fainted just on the first day in the mountain, and he could only wait for death but for the Marshal Qi. Upon hearing the words, Qi Jiguang thought that the Court of Heaven was so unfair that the Dragon King was punished for his good deeds for the mundane world. The two enjoyed their talk very much.
The old Dragon King asked Marshal Qi why he came to the wild mountains. Marshal Qi sighed that he had to seek for water to feed the soldiers and horses in the military camp due to the drought. The old man thought for a while, twiddling his beard, and said slowly: “Currently I cannot produce rain to save the masses due to my punishment. But I can give a clear spring to you in return for your saving my life.” With the words, he pulled out a silver hairpin from the bun and changed it into an iron rod with a shake in his hand. He put the iron rod into the random riprap on the ground and shook, and then a clear spring suddenly flew out and soon converged into a deep pond with clear and sweet water. The old Dragon King packed up the iron rod, and changed it into a hairpin with a blow. He smiled and gave a salute to Marshal Qi, and then fled into the water in a blink of an eye with “goodbye”. Such a series of actions were almost finished in a moment just like the magic, and Marshal Qi and other soldiers woke up after a while. They sprang at the pond in cheers and drank water to their satiety with hands and gourd ladles. The army was saved and refreshed with the help of the pond.
However, good times don’t last long. Soon the Japanese spies hidden in the mountain intended to put poison in the pond to kill the army and attacked China by taking advantage of the chaos. One night, several spies slipped to the pond with the poison, and they were about to sprinkle it to the pond when they heard a cry on top of the head: “Stop!” They trembled with fear and saw a general standing against a sword in the hillside in the direction of the sound, wearing a silver hat, silver armor and black cloak.
Seeing that several spies run away, the old Dragon King laughed with his beard shaking. He was afraid that others would damage the pond, so he pointed at a large stone with his finger and changed it into a vivid statue of Qi Jiguang.
Upon expiry of the punishment period, the old Dragon King returned to the Dragon King’s Palace in the East Sea, and Marshal Qi left the frontier for his hometown. But the General Stone and the deep pond permanently remain in the place. In commemoration of General Qi, the masses call the deep pond as “General Pond”. According to the local villagers, the pond never dries for so many years. Perhaps because it is connected to the East Sea.
Lv Dongbin fought against Pangolin
The Limutai Scenic Spot has peculiar geological landscapes, as the Quartzite Karst Canyon Scenic Spot of Ji County National Geological Park. The Archaean rocks about 2.6-3.5 billion years ago have different forms and colors. There are also interesting tales about that. The story of Lv Dongbing’s fight against Pangolin is one of that.
According to legend, there were luxuriant trees on Limutai Mountain, but it was a pity that there were not any flowers. One day, when the flower faery passed by, she didn’t find a flower among the luxuriant trees. She then took out the seeds of one hundred flowers and sprinkled them among the green grass. Half a day passed before she knew it. The faery was so tired with sweat that she sat down on an even rock for rest. Seeing that the flower seeds rapidly sprouted and colorful flowers blossomed on the mountains, the faery was rather glad. She took out the handkerchief to wipe the sweat, and was about to continue to sow the seeds when she saw a huge pangolin squatting in the opposite grass. She was scared and was about to flee when a red-face man embraced her from behind. The man hugged the faery tightly with an obscene smile, turned her around, and intended to kiss her.
The faery was rather angry at the sudden assault. She tried to escape from the man and cried for help while running. She just ran out for several steps, and then the huge pangolin appeared in front of her. It changed into the red-face man, and rushed to embrace the faery, grinning cheekily. The faery was even angrier. She took out the hairpin and stabbed on the face of the man. The man skipped and continued to tangle her. The faery suddenly remembered that her good friends the eight immortals were cultivating in the surrounding mountains, so she cried: “Help! Eight Immortals!” Immediately she felt a gust of breeze and it was Lv Dongbin of the eight immortals. She quickly hid behind him.
The pangolin was annoyed that Lv Dongbin damaged his dream of marrying the faery, and fought with Lv Dongbin. One immortal and one monster began a fierce batter on the mountain. Although the pangolin obtained crooked ways for several hundred years in the mountain, it couldn’t defeat the immortal Lv Dongbin finally. It was cut into two halves after several movements, and lay still in the random riprap after the tail flipped for several times. Fresh blood gushed out and made the opposite precipice red. Till now, the precipice is still dark red.
Treasure in the Stone Sea
There is a stone sea in the Limutai Scenic Spot. It is actually a pile of ordinary stones without a vast area. As an old saying goes, any mountain can be famous with the presence of an immortal. The peculiarity of the stone sea lies in its immortal sense. According to the folk legend, the robber of the East Tomb Sun Dianying once buried all the treasures stolen here, and all were gone when he came to get them later. Many people with small tricks came here to explore treasure, but they all returned without any gains. Therefore, the stone sea became more mysterious.
According to legend that, after Sun Dianying stole treasures from the East Tomb, a part of the treasures were confiscated, and a small part was hidden by him. However, even the treasures buried with the dead had immortal quality. After stealing the treasures, Sun Dianying was frightened every day. When he closed eyes at night, he could see the corpses and demons in the robe of the Qing Dynasty, asking him to return their treasures. In addition, his superior also suspected him of privately hiding treasures, and focused attention on him. Several days later, he couldn’t endure the torture, and went into the Limutai Canyon one night. He walked for dozens of miles in the darkness. When he reached a thick forest, he took out several treasures and buried them under a large stone with marks on it.
After hiding the treasures, Sun Dianying lived quietly for several days. But he was afraid the treasures would be stolen by others, so he went into the mountain to get them several days later. When he arrived at the forest, he suddenly found that the tree he marked had fallen off, and the large stone also disappeared. There were many stones in front of him, all of which had no edges or corners as if they were washed by floods. There were not collapsed mountains in the surrounding, could it be done by demons? He was afraid of being found out after stealing the tomb, and he was even scared upon seeing the stones. He immediately ran out of the canyon and didn’t return any longer. Afterwards some people who cherished wealth rather than life went into the mountain, expecting to find the buried treasures. But the stones kept on coming out like the spring water, and were hard to remove. People who came for the treasures were all injured anyway. Therefore, no one dared to touch the stones. The stone sea is a mystery that cannot be solved.
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