The Dazu Rock Carving is located in the southeast of the Sichuan
Basin, 271 kilometers away from the west of Chengdu, 167 kilometers
away from the east of Chongqing. The Dazu Rock Carving lies in Dazu
County, which is 167 kilometers away from the urban area of
Chongqing city. It's a general designation of the stone statues
distributed in 76 places in the whole Dazu County. The number of
the stone statues amounts to 60,000.
It's the most convenient to take a bus from Chongqing to Dazu. It
just takes 2 hours to arrive there. There are tens of buses in the
Chongqing West Bus Station.
The Dazu Rock Carving is a piece of great work of China's grotto
art. It's not only rich in content but also carved with
marvelous technique. It skillfully combines the scientific
principles of mechanics, optics, and clairvoyance with statues
themselves and landform. The Dazu Rock Carving is reputed as
"Artistic Palace of the Tang and Song Dynasties".
The Dazu Rock Carving was firstly excavated at the beginning of the
Yonghui time of the Tang Dynasty. Experiencing the late Tang
Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, it was very popular in the Southern
Song and Northern Song Dynasties (A.D.960-1278). In the Ming and
Qing Dynasties, more statues were carved.
Finally, a large rock-carving group, which gathered the pith of
China's rock carvings, was formed. It's equally famous with the
Yungang Grotto, the Longmen Grotto and the Duhuang Grotto. It's
hailed as the "Magic Pearl of Oriental Art" home and abroad. Dazu
is the home of rock carving, with more than 40 rock carvings and
over 50,000 statues.
Among them, two rock carvings, which are the most famous and on the
biggest scale, are Baodingshan and Beishan. There are nearly 10,000
stone statues in Beishan. They mainly gather in Fowan, which is a
U-shaped section of about 500 meters long and looks like a new
moon. These rock carvings here were excavated in the Jingfu time of
the Song Dynasty (A.
D.892). They underwent the Five Dynasties, the Southern Song
Dynasty and the Northern Song Dynasty. It has been built for 250
years. These statues are lifelike and excavated elaborately. The
most wonderful statues are several statues of Guan Yin, Wen Shu and
Pu Xian. The rock carvings in Baoshishan are rare in the grotto art
Baodingshan of Dazu Rock Carving
Centered on Dafowan (Great Buddha Crescent), Baodingshan of Dazu
Rock Carving has 13 scenic spots. Xiaofowan, Daota, Longtoushan,
Shushishan, Huang po, are in the east; Gaoguanyin is in the south;
Guangdashan, Fozhuyan are in the west; Yanwan, longtan, Duimianfo
are in the north. The stone statues in Dafowan are on the largest
scale and have the highest artistic value.
They are kept in the best state. Dafowan is a horseshoe-shaped
mountain. There are more than 10,000 small or large statues
distributed in the 500-meter-long and 15-30-meter-high cliff. At
the same time, there are some stone tablets recording the origin of
Baodingshan and Buddhism. The statues in Dafowan are carved
according to the landform.
They are tall and magnificent with wide subjects and in rigorous
design. Buddhist image is full of novel and unique conception, with
skillful carving technique and rich color of folk custom. The
content is mainly about the sutra stories. The main features "Six
Recurrents", "Loving parents Buddhist Image", "Hail Buddhist
are vivid and full of profound significance.
Beishan of Dazu Rock Carving
Beishan of Dazu Rock carving was firstly excavated in the first
year (A.D. 892) of the Jingfu reign of the Tang dynasty. After the
Five Dynasties and the Southern and Northern Song Dynasties, nearly
10,000 statues were built in Fowan, Yingpanpo, Guanyinpo, Northern
Tower Temple, Fo'er cliff, etc. The statues in Fowan are the most
There are 290 small caves in the cliff. In the 300-meter-long and
7-meter high cliff, there are 6 stone tablets, 55 inscriptions, 8
stone pillars engraved Buddhist classics, one piece of "Wenshu
Treating Patients" picture in intaglio, 264 niches of stone
statues. The Buddha images in Fowan are engraved carefully and
complicatedly, with pretty and easy posture and in special style.
The statue of Puxian Buddha in Xinshenche Grotto is fine, which is
hailed as "Oriental Venus". Rotating Wheel Storing Buddhist
Classics Grotto is called "the palace of stone statues". Weijunjing
Tablet, Caijing Tablet and Old Wenxiao Tablet exist in the world
solely. Not only they are the treasures of handwriting, but also
they offset the vacancy of historical materials.
They have very high value. Stone statues in Fowan are divided into
the south region and north region. Most statues in the south region
are the works of the late Tang dynasty and Five dynasties. Most
statues in the north region are the works of the Southern and
Northern Song dynasties. The features of the works of the late Tang
dynasty are full and dignified.
They are engraved in flowing line, with simple and honest
temperaments and simple attire. The works of the Five dynasties are
exquisite and colorful. The attires are from the simple to the
complex. They get rid of the influence of foreign culture, and have
the characteristics of the stone statue's transition period.
The works of the Southern and Northern Song dynasties have
outstanding national characteristics.