Three Immortals Buddhist Caves of Han Dynasty (206BC--220) lie in the north of Kashgar Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. It is about 13 meters down the bottom of the cliff and about 8 meters from the cliff top. The cliff is vertical and smooth so that there is no plant on the face. It is impossible for people to reach without the aid of climbing equipment.
Why the Three Immortals Buddhist Caves is special
According to the research, these caves which were excavated in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) are one of the earliest in western China, and are possibly 300 or 400 years older than the Mogao Caves. So the caves boast profound archaeology value and aesthetic value, as well as uncounted importance of exploring the history of Eastern Han Dynasty.
Three Immortals Buddhist Cave highlights
There are three caves in total there, respectively West Cave, Middle Cave and East Cave. They are 2 meters high and 1 meter wide with rectangular entrances side by side. Each of them consists of a big front chamber and a small chamber, the chamber being half the size of the front one. A painted Buddha of the big chamber, whose cassock was painted in blue, green and red colors, is very rare seen among the earlier Buddhist murals. The original mural of the West Cave has been stolen while the other two are still there.
A legend on the Three Immortals Buddhist Caves is widely spread in Kashgar. Long time ago, a King had a little pretty princess who was very weak. One day, a fortune-teller told the King that if the princess was not stung by bees in 100 days, she would escape from the disaster. But in such a place, full of fruits, how can the little girl get rid of bees Afterwards, they decided to excavate a cave on the mountain. In order to make the princess feel happy, the workmen painted on the wall and decorated the caves like a palace. Unfortunately, the princess was stung in the 99th day and she died, but the carvings and paintings were left forever. The legend also adds some mysterious color thus attracts people from far away. But as it is a dangerous place for people to reach; most of them only look from a distance.