Stone Sculptures, Dazu Tourist Attractions
There are 5000 or more stone sculptures at forty different sites all in the vicinity of Dazu, a little town 100km/62mi west of Chongqing. Most of these historically and artistically valuable works - they include statues, bas-reliefs, high reliefs, etc. - are religious in character and represent Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian saints, although some do portray scenes from everyday life as well as landscapes, animals and plants. The statues are chiseled out of the hillsides and represent a type of cave temple otherwise mainly known from northern China; the oldest date from the end of the Tang period, i.e. the 9th C, and many others are from the 12th C.The most valuable of all are to be found on the slopes of Mount North (Beishan) and at the foot of Treasure Chamber Mountain (Baodingshan).The largest collection of Mount North sculptures, hewn over a period of 250 years starting from 892 AD, will be found near the town of Fowan (2km/1.25mi) northwest of Dazu), carved out of niches in a rock. The work in the southern section was carried out between the 9th and 10th C, that in the northern section after the 10th C.
Dazu Stone Sculptures - Statue of Buddha
Famous in Dazu is the 30m/100ft long reclining statue of Buddha entering Nirvana. Many other carvings depict scenes from everyday life, some showing important events in a woman's life, such as pregnancy, the birth and nursing of a child and later marriage. Another group of figures is intended as a warning against the evils of alcohol - a father rejecting his drunken son, and a man so much under the influence of drink that he fails to recognize his own wife.
Dazu Stone Sculptures - Treasure Chamber Mountain
Between 1179 and 1249 more than 10,000 sculptures were carved at the foot of Treasure Chamber Mountain (Baodingshan), 15km/9.5mi northeast of Dazu. The most beautiful are to be found in Dafowan, on a rock 15-30m (50-100ft) high and 500m/1650ft wide. They depict Buddhist saints and episodes from their lives and work.
Dazu Stone Sculptures - Goddess of Mercy
In a niche on the southern slope of the rock, quite a way to the east, stands the 3m/10ft tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy (Avalokiteshvara) with her 1002 arms. She is the main attraction in Dazu.
Dazu Stone Sculptures - Bodhisattvas Manjushri and Samantabhadra
The Bodhisattvas Manjushri and Samantabhadra, riding on a lion or an elephant respectively, represent the victory of good over evil as told in Buddhist teachings.