Mount Livadiyskaya, part of the Livadiyskiy range of the Sikhote Alin mountains, is better known under it’s old name: Pidan. The title «the most» is applicable here. This is the most popular, the most visited, and the most mysterious mountain in South Primorye.
Pidan’s popularity is linked to its accessibility: 2-½ hours from Vladivostok by train, and then a little more than 3 hours by foot through the taiga trail along the clean, cold mountain springs (even in summer), and you have reached the foot of the mountain.
There are stunning views from Pidan’s peak: stretching into the distance like waves and melting into the haze of the sloping hills. And on a clear day the Sea of Japan is visible.
There are several versions regarding the origin of the name Pidan. To give the dense forest mystery, you should definitely say that the word Pidan translated from the Jurchen language means „stones scattered by God„ though, of course this has no written or linguistic basis. Others claim that the mountain was given its name by Ukrainian migrants, and it comes from the surname Pidan, which is a very common surname in Ukraine.
However, it is most likely the name came from the Chinese: Pi — large, dan — rocks, so “large rocks„. The rocks and rock slides are Pidan’s biggest attraction. They cover large areas on the slopes and top of the mountain. There are huge boulders piled on top of each other very beautifully; monoliths, a wall extending for hundreds of meters as if blocks of stone were artificially stacked, and megaliths in the most bizarre forms which capture the imagination. The stone structures have names: „The grave of the priest“, “Sentinel of the Mountain„, “Stairway of Pidan„, „Throne of the King of the hill“, „Balhae frog„, “Finger of God“ and others.
People with delicate psyches confirm Pidan's strong energy and call the mountain magical and mystical. The mountain even has its own mythology, with aliens, Balhae priests, and a famous flying man. The former is seen each year in different forms, all depending on the eyewitness' imagination: Sometimes it is a man in black, or a blond woman with a very pale face dressed in white.
It is not surprising that the mountain is a magnet for all sorts of pagan cult followers, beginning magicians and unrecognized psychics. Traces of their rites in the form of mysterious drawings and intricately placed rocks can be found here and there on the mountain.
However, "going to Pidan" is a mandatory part of a visit to Primorye. You can meet people here any day, in any weather, at any time of the year. And believe me, it is well worth it!
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