Dazu Rock Carvings
Dazu, located in the west suburb of Chongqing City, is famous worldwide as Rock Carving Home. It is a wonderful land. Dazu Rock Carvings is 160 kilometers to the west of Chongqing. Over 60,000 carved stone figures relating mainly to Buddhism are spread around 76 places. The content and craftsmanship are best at Beishan Hill and Baoding Hill. The art of Dazu, which emerged in the late Tang Dynasty (618- 907) and flourished in the Song Dynasty (960-1127), represents an important chapter in China cultural and religious history.
Cliff-side stone carving on Baoding hill, 15 kilometers northeast of the seat of Dazu County, were first constructed in the Southern Song Dynasty (1179). With Dafowan as the center, there are stone statuses in the surrounding areas. Those in Dafowan are the largest and best preserved, with the highest artistic value. The other famous stone carving on Beishan hill, 1.5 kilometers north of Dazu, were carved from the late Tang Dynasty to the Southern Song Dynasty (892-1162). There are nearly 10,000 fine carved images.
The Dazu rock carvings has made a significant contribution to artistic expression in China, taking into account a new realism and exaggeration in depicting the contrasts between good and evil, beauty and ugliness. In their contents the carved scenes reflect the moral and rationalistic call for the punishment of evildoers, while encouraging people to do good, to control their desires, and the regulate their behavior. Their layouts demonstrate an ingenious integration of art, religion, science and nature. Aesthetically they are mysterious, natural, elegant, and fully reflecting traditional Chinese culture, which emphasizes learning from the past.
The carvings were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999, citing "…their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism."
Recommended Chongqing Tour: 4 Days Chongqing Elite Tour
(Attractions: Dazu Rock Carvings, General Joseph W. Stewell Museum, Eling Park, Chongqing Three Gorges Museum and Ancient Town of Ciqikou)
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