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Dazu Grottoes

Chengdu, China

Visit the Dazu Grottoes.

‘Dazu’ means harvest and abundance. The work of the Dazu Rock carvings began in the first year of Yonghui in the Tang Dynasty (650 A.D.), and continued until the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are more than 50,000 Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian rock carvings and 100,000 characters of inscriptions dotted around Dazu.

The carvings not only include the statues of Buddha and Bodhisattva but also include that of monarchs, ministers, military officers, high and low-ranking officials, jailers, executioners, monks, rich and poor people, and folk art performers. The earliest grotto was carved in the early Tang Dynasty and most of them have a history over 1,000 years.

With rich images as well as inscriptions, the Dazu Grottoes are regarded as an art treasure house that fully reflected the society, philosophy, religion and folklore of that time. In 1999, UNESCO listed Dazu Stone carvings as a world cultural heritage site. The Dazu Grottoes were the only grottoes that were implemented according to an overall design among 100 grottoes in China.

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