Why are Dazu Rock Carvings special?
Dazu Rock Carvings are located in Dazu County at the southeast of Sichuan province, 167 kilometers away from Chongqing on its east. It is a piece of great work of China's grotto art, which contains an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century. In 1999, UNESCO listed Dazu Stone Carvings as a world cultural heritage site.
Dazu Rock Carvings Highlights
These Dazu carvings are considered to be the best representatives of the latest phase of rock art in China. They clearly demonstrate the ingenuity and craftsmanship of their artists with respect to carving techniques and subject matter. In that way, they differ from the other, earlier, Chinese rock art world heritage sites Yungang Caves, Longmen Caves and Mogao Caves.
The general term of "Dazu Rock Carvings" refers to all the cliff-side carvings in Dazu County, which includes the carvings in Beishan, Baodingshan, Nanshan, Shizhuanshan and Shimenshan. The grottoes on the Beishan Hill and Baodingshan Hill are the largest in scale, richest in content and most refined in artistic skill.
The earliest grotto was carved in the early Tang Dynasty and most of them have a history of over 1000 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.