Why are Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves special?
The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are found on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains, located 45 kilometer east of Turpan in Xinjiang. It is once inhabited by Buddhist monks from the 5th to the 9th centuries between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan) to the north-east of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang.
Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are famous for its rich collection of valuable frescos in ancient times. Most of the surviving art is thought to be made mainly by an ancient people called the Gokturks in the middle of the 6th century and the Uyghurs in the middle of the 9th century. In 1961, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are officially became cultural spot under State protection.
Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves Highlights
Melting-pot of Various Cultures
The paintings and carvings depict people of various races doing things together like playing music, standing or doing Buddhist rituals. The art depicts people of various races and cultures living and doing things together since this area underwent a lot of changes of rulers and invasions. The art makes the Turpan area look like a melting-pot of people from many places in Asia. When Westerners first came to the region, they were astonished to find evidence of lost cities and civilizations.
There are still 57 caves preserved, all numbered, which contain fragments of frescos from the 6th to 14th centuries, each portraying various Buddhist themes. In Cave No. 39 a group of mourners can be seen accompanied by thirteen disciples of Buddha. The north wall of Cave No. 37 shows a painting of a bodhisattva, dressed in red with blue eyes and a long, straight nose.