China – Dazu Stone Carvings

Dazu County, 162 km northwest of Chongqing, is very popular for its stone carving Buddha Statues – more than100 locations and 100,000 statues. These sculptures are a mixture of Buddhism. Taoism and Confucianism. Two of the locations are the most noted: Beishan (Northern Hill) and Baodingshan (Treasured Peak Mountain), listed by UNESCO (UN Education, Science and Culture Organization) in 1999 as ” the World Cultural Heritage ” . The Northern Hill is a km away in the Northwest of the city of Dazu. The first statue was created in late Tang Dynasty (9 century), with more than 10,000 statues. Baodingshan (Treasure Peak Mountain) is 15 km to the Northeast of the city, first sculpted in South Song Dynasty (1179-1249). Centered at Dafowan (Grand Buddha Bay), nearly 10,000 Buddha statues are displayed along a 400 long U shape hill ridge, like a great picture roll unfolding before your eyes! The sculptures belongs to the later period of the grotto arts and indicates the rise of grotto carving in Sichuan after its decline in north China. Among these sculptures, you can see the 31 meter-high Nirvana of Sakyamuni, the 88 square meters ” Thousand-Handed Avalokitesvara ” and the 7 meter-high ” Huayan Three Buddhist Images ” as well as the ordinary secular sculptures like ” the girl flute-player ” , ” the girl chicken-raiser ” and so on. All these stone sculptures are well structured and vividly made.

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