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Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings


Part of the collection of the Dazu Rock Carvings, the North Mountain is likely the second most famous location after Baoding Mountain. The statues at North Mountain (北山) were first carved around the time of the late Tang Dynasty and competed during the Song Dynasty. North Mountain, previously known as Longgan Mountain, is located only around 2 kilometers north of Longgan town. One of the things that make North Mountain special, is that, unlike Baoding Mountain where most of the carvings are along a long cliff face, at North Mountain, most of the carvings are found in hive-like caves. Aside from the famous carvings, at North Mountain, you will also find scenic spots such as the Duobao Pagoda, the Two Giant Buddhas, and the Beita Temple.

Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings. Photo by Luo Guojia


Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings. Photo by Luo Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings. Photo by Luo Guojia

The main protected area of the Dazu Rock Carvings at North Mountain is 7.62 hectares. The rock carvings here were carved from 892 – 1162 AD. The cliff face where most of the carvings are located is about 300 meters long and varies in height from 7-10 meters. There are nearly 10.000 sculptures on North Mountain, mainly carved by secular skilled carvers to show their devotion to Buddha. There are 51 types of carvings, mainly Tantric Buddhist carvings, which account for more than half, the remainder falls under the categories of the Third Order Sect, Pure Land Sect, and others. The motives of the carvings were very popular among the people at the time, a product of the secularization of Buddhism taking place then. The carvings at North Mountain are famous for their exquisite craftsmanship, elegance, and show the development and changes of the Chinese folk Buddhist beliefs.

Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings. Photo by Luo Guojia

Dazu Beishan Rock Carvings. Photo by Luo Guojia


Statues of the Five Dynasties

The Statues of the Five Dynasties from the middle of the 10th Century, account for more than one-third of the rock carvings at North Mountain, and this is where you will find the largest collection of statues from this era. These carvings have played an important role in connecting the past and the present. There are 18 themes for the carvings in this collection, and in some of the carvings, we can see the gradual change in style from the Tang to the Song dynasty.

Numerous Caves

North Mountain is home to a number of small caves with an impressive number of carvings inside. In these caves, you can see beautiful representations of the Guanyin statues. You’ll be able to find the Zhulun Jiangzang Cave, carved between 1142 – 1146 AD, considered to be the most representative of the Song Dynasty style carvings. You should also visit the Peacock Ming King Cave, Sizhou Great Sacred Shrine, and the Thirteen Guanyin Transfiguration Cave if you have the chance to go here.


Dazu District, Chongqing


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