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  • December 2009 (39)
  • Dazu’s Interesting Rock Carvings

    Wed, Dec 9, 2009


    The Dazu Rock Carvings are nothing but a huge and excellent a group of Buddhist figures. These figures are carved out of rock face. They are located in Dazu in Cina. UNESCO declared the Dazu Rock carvings as the World Heritage Site in the year 1999. During the declaration the UNESCO, regarding the Dazu Rock carvings said the following, “They are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.”

    dazu rock carvings

    The Dazu carvings are famous not for their size but for their wonderful quality. The carvings are quite small when compared with various other carvings such as Luoyang, Dunhuang and Datong. The carvings are very well preserved and have a variety of styles and various subjects. Some of the sculptures are small while others are quite huge. Some have religious tales to tell while some have morals to be given. Also some sculptures describe various historical stories. Many of the Dazu rock carvings are painted with bright colors.

    At Dazu there are nearly fifty thousand sculptures another one lakh Chinese characters of epigraphs as well as inscriptions accompany them. You can view the rock carvings in the natural light. The routes to reach the carvings are both paths as well as walkways. The two most important sites of Dazu rock carvings are Bei Shan and Baoding Shan. Both the sites are located in the exterior of the Dazu town.

    What to see

    Bei Shan Carvings

    The old work of carvingb to be done in Dazu is Bei Shan. The carving of Bei Shan began in 892 AD. A martial governor named Wei junjing was the one who initiated the carving works. He was been posted to Dazu as to campaign against the Sichuanese rebellions. Few of the sculptures of Bei Shan have worn out and while few are in proper condition even today. A comparison is always made between the sculptures at Bei Shan and Baoding Shan’s sculpture.  The sculptures of Bei Shan are divided in to two different groups.

    The first group comprises of the most sculptures in Bei Shan. You will also come across few military parts carved in a sculpture. A full-scale sculpture of Wei Junjing is also counted in this group. He is shown wearing his armor. It is placed near the entrance and is created by a conquered Shu warlord.

    The second group has the set of sculptures that are been created after 12th century. These sculptures have taken over a 500m long area. Also most of the sculptures are over-hanged. Most of the sculptures of this group feature the Mercy Goddess, Kwanyin. The nuns, monk as well as the donors accompany the goddess. Kwanyin comes into view strangely like a frightening Tantric goddess. She is shown holding many heads in her many different hand and also many weapons. Other sculpture of Kwanyin shows her in a peaceful form that is looking at reflection of the moon. Another sculpture of Kwanyin is featured with a huge 4.5 meter high wheel basically used for praying.

    Baoding Shan Carvings

    You will surely not afford to miss the realistic, comic as well as exciting sculptures at Baoding Shan Carvings in Dazu. These sculptures are created by Zhao Zheifeng who was actually a monk. He started creating the sculptures from the year 1179 which lasted up to the year 1245. Strangely there are about ten thousand sculptures present here.

    The Dafowan collection is the mot excellent set of carvings located in Baoding Shan. The place is a small gully and has the shape of a horse shoe. The scenes from the old Buddhist customs and traditions are been represented through the various sculptures. Images from the daily life are also carved out. Strangely most of the sculptures are in a very good condition even after been exposed to different climatic and whether conditions. The Cave of full Enlightenment is also carved it is shown as been guarded by the lions. A sculpture that shows 12 full scale views of lohans is also present in Baoding Shan. The Buddhist trinity in Baoding Shan is surrounded by the 12 lohans also the roof of the trinity is carved out with clouds. Beyond the trinity you would find over-hanging figures of demons that guard the trinity. These figures are painted in various colors such as red, blue, green etc. Walking further you will witness Annica who holds the wheel of destiny. You will later visit the sculpture of Reclining Buddha, whose length is around 20m. Further in the site are the horrifying sculptures of the 18 layers of Hell.

    Baoding Shan Carvings

    Getting there

    Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is nearest airport.Further you can use the bus services and reach your destination. You can also use the various options such as motorcycle taxis, taxis, pedal-taxis and sanlunche, a 3-wheeled vehicle to travel across the city.

    When to visit

    The best time to visit The Dazu rock Craving is in the months of March up to June and later in November as well as December.

    Opening timing

    The Bei Shan is opened everyday for the visitor’s visits from morning 8:30 up to evening 5 pm. The Baoding Shan is opened everyday for the visitor’s visits from morning 8:30 up to evening 6 pm.

    Entrance cost

    Every visitors visiting Bei Shan are required to pay ¥60 where as the students are required to pay ¥25. Every visitors visiting Baoding Shan are required to pay ¥80 where as the students are required to pay ¥45.

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