Rock Frescoes at Dazu

Chongqing Travel Blog

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The wheel of life at the Baodinshan, Dazu
Drove about 2 hours to Dazu today, to see two of the ancient frescoe/rock carving sites.  Passed through some very long tunnels and hit some great road - we actually got up to 100km/hr at one point, a record for this trip!  Closer to Dazu, however, and back onto the small roads which deteriorated quite rapidly and slowed us right down again.  First stop was the frescoes of Beishan (North Hill), where some of the frescoes are 1000 years old, all carved into the limestone hills, and illustrating many Buddhist stories and deities.  Our guide, Eric, gave us a terrific explanation of the site and pointed out that most of the statues were handless - they had all been knocked off by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.
The 1013 hand deity at the Baodinshan carvings, Dazu
  On many of the carvings, some of the original paint is still visible and although now very worn you can get a good idea of how vibrant and glorious they would have been early on in their lives.
Next stop was the carvings at Baodinshan, also near Dazu.  This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and date mostrly from the Tang Dynasty (9th Century) and Song Dynasy (13th Century).  This is a much larger site than the one at Beishan and the figures hug the hillside in a horsehoe formation.  The largest figure, a reclining Buddha, is over 31 metres long.  These carvings combine tenets of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucionism and include carved fountains and halls within the rock.  It is hard to imagine how these massive and complicated structures were carved with such simple tools so long ago.  Especially interesting was the depiction of Buddhist hell - definitely not a place you'd want to spend any time in, what with knee chopping, boiling in oil and being ploughed into the ground!
After lunch we drove 4 hours to Chengdu where Eric left us, just to hop on another bus and go back the way he'd just come.  We felt so sorry for him having to do that journey again.  Had a traditional Sichuan meals tongith with hot and spicy snacks and mains - delicious - although so much food appeared on the table it was embarrassing!  A couple in our group were celebrating their 41st wedding anniversary today, so our guide bought some Chinese wine to celebrate - interesting, not quite what we're used to!
sylviandavid says:
nice blog
Posted on: Feb 12, 2008
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The wheel of life at the Baodinsha…
The wheel of life at the Baodinsh…
The 1013 hand deity at the Baodins…
The 1013 hand deity at the Baodin…
photo by: FK27