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Useful Information | Dazu Rock Carvings | Fishing Town | Beishan Rock Carving | Baodingshan Rock Carving | Shimenshan Rock Carving |

Useful Information

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23
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Putonghau (Mandarin)
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Dazu Rock Carvings

The Dazu Rock Carvings contains all the cliffside carvings in Dazu County. The collection is composed of the rock carvings in Beishan, Baodingshan, Nanshan, Shimenshan as well as Shizhuanshan, all of which are of the highest artistic attainment and demonstrate the most exquisite skills.

Dazu County, reputed as 'the county of rock carving' is located at the southeast of Sichuan province. It is 271 kilometers (about 168.4 miles) from Chengdu on its west and 167 kilometers (about 103.8 miles) from Chongqing on its east. The whole county has an area of 1,400 square kilometers (about 540.5 square miles), and it covers a history of 1,230 years since it came into existence in 758 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

The Dazu Rock Carvings was built from 650 in the Tang Dynasty and continued to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). It is as famous as the Mogao Cave in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. The rock carvings in these places are very distinguished both at home and abroad. Among the rock carvings, there are more than 5,000 statues and over100, 000 Chinese characters of inscriptions and epigraphs. The Buddhist statues dominate in this rock carving group, and the Taoist and the Confucian stone figures can also be seen.


Fishing Town

Fishing Town or Fishing City, also called the Oriental Mecca and the Place That Broke God's Whip, is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China. It is famous for its resistance to the Mongol armies in the latter half of the Song Dynasty. One of the most notable events was the death of Mongol leader Mongke Khan by cannon shot, which forced the immediate withdrawal of Mongol troops from Europe and Asia and prevented the Mongolian Empire from expanding towards Africa.

The Mongols launched an aggressive war against the Song dynasty in the thirteenth century. In the period from 1243 to 1279, Fishing Town experienced more than two hundred military confrontations in a miracle of "persistent resistance" that lasted for thirty-six years.


Beishan Rock Carving

It is 2 kilometers (about 1.24 miles) away from the northwest of Dazu County. Figures in this part are something like 'an Assembly of Oriental Beauty', since it enjoys good preservation and elaborate craftsmanship. Tourists can see the graceful statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, crowned as 'The Oriental Venus'. Rock carvings in this part reveal the common Buddhist faith. Standing here for a while, one may feel that it is really a Buddhist palace.


Baodingshan Rock Carving

It is 15 kilometers (about 9.32 miles) from the northeast of Dazu County. It is made up of 13 groups of stone carving figures, totaling nearly 10 thousand cliffside figures. In this part, magnificent rock figures in different shapes compose a story. One will see some original and ethnic Buddhist rock features.


Shimenshan Rock Carving

Apart 20 kilometers (about 12.4miles) from the eastern part of Dazu County, the Shimenshan Rock Carving combines Buddhist and Taoist statues, but the later one predominates. In addition to these stone figures, there are also some inscriptions and remarks beside the figures. Representaion of some gods' figures are lifelike and vivid. For example, outside the niche of the Great Jade Emperor stands the statuary of Shun Feng Er meaning 'Favorable Wind Ears' which looks as if he is looking into the distance and the figure of Chien Li Yen meaning 'Thousand League Eyes' which looks as if he is listening to attentively.

Many statues show the Buddhist and the Confucius doctrines, particularly the filial piety. In 1999, the Dazu Rock Carving was ranked as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Every year many thousands of tourists from home and abroad pay it a visit.

 



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