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Binglingsi Grottoes

Binglingsi Grottoes

Situated at the Small Jishi Hill, about 35 kilometers southwest of Yongjing County in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, Binglingsi Grottoes is the second to Mogao Grottoes in respect of its artistic value with 183 grotto niches, 694 stone figures , 82 clay figures, as well as 900 square meters of murals.

Scattered on the cliffs of red sand-stones at each side of Dasigou, the Grottoes are made up of three parts: Shangsi, Donggou, and Xiasi. With a history over 1,600 years, it was originally constructed in the Western Qin Dynasty, and experienced a continuous expansion throughout the dynasties of Northern and Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Yuan, Ming, and Qing.

Among the grottoes, the main characters include Sakyamuni, Kwan-yin, Amitayus Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, and other Buddhas. With elegant postures, simple style, half-naked body, flying robes and ribbons, the statues are all life-like and fully reflect a simple but solid romantic charm in northwest area.

After the founding of People's Republic of China, the State Council designated the site as a key cultural relic, and placed it under the state protection.