Dazu

Rock Carving at it's best

The exquisite Dazu Rock Carvings are located about 125 km west of Chongqing. They are among the best preserved and most impressive rock carvings in the world and are considered to be the best representatives of the latest phase of rock art in China. These exceptional series of rock carvings date from the 9th to the 13th century and consist of over 10’000 cliff side figures. Tantric Buddhism from India and the Chinese Taoist and Confucian beliefs came together at Dazu and provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism during that time. Historically the Dazu Grottoes can be comparable with the more famous rock carving sites in China like Dunhuang Luoyang and Datong.

The Dazu Rock Carvings consist of five separate sites of cliff side carvings - Beishan, Baodingshan Nanshan and Shizhuanshan – of which Baodingshan and Beishan are the most impressive ones. The most remarkable Baodingshan carvings were all created during the Southern Song Dynasty between 1174 and 1252 under the supervision of a Monk called Zhao Zhifeng.  The Beishan carvings where all created between 1127 and 1162 and are in a poorer condition than the ones at Baodingshan. All the Dazu Rock Carvings where listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The Dazu Rock Carvings can be visited during a day trip from Chongqing.

 

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