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On the steep hillsides of Dazu in China, you will find some of the most mesmerizing rock art in the world. The rock art dates back to the 13th century and the themes of the art are diverse. They range from the secular to religious way of life of the then Chinese. The rock art is influenced by Tantric Buddhism from India, Chinese Taoism as well as the Confucian beliefs. They represent the epitome of Chinese art.

Dazu Rock Carvings you gotta go here

On the steep hillsides of Dazu in China, you will find some of the most mesmerizing rock art in the world. The rock art dates back to the 13th century and the themes of the art are diverse. They range from the secular to religious way of life of the then Chinese. The rock art is influenced by Tantric Buddhism from India, Chinese Taoism as well as the Confucian beliefs. They represent the epitome of Chinese art.

Although most of the art on the rocks date as early as AD650, most of the art is from the 13th century. In the AD892, the Prefect of Wei Junjing, Changzhou pioneered the carvings in Beishan. His example would be copied after the fall of the Tang Dynasty. The rock art discontinued during the reign of the Song Dynasty and it was not until under the leadership of Emperor Yuan Feng of the Northern Song Dynasty in 1078 that work in Beishan started again. The work continued until 1146 and it is at this time that the Nanshan and Shimeshan works were done. The following is the chronology of how the carvings came to be.

At Beishan (From Mid-10th century)

At this site, you will find 100 groups of Carvings to the north, and 190 groups of carvings to the south. The site is home to over 10,000 carvings from 264 niches. The carvings are small and pretty and assume different postures. They are dressed in delicate ornamentation.

Statues from the Song dynasty (late 10th to mid-12th centuries)

These statues are clearly differentiated using personalities and posture and more important due to the seven inscriptions that still survive. They are used in the study of history, beliefs, dating and identification of historical figures.

The Nanshan carvings (12th century)

Of the 5 major Taoist groups in China, the art at Nanshan is the best preserved. It extends over an area of 86 meters. It offers an insight into the evolution of Taoism through the worship of Supreme Master, The Three Officials into belief in the pure Trinity and the 4 Emperors.

Shimenshan carvings (1st half of the 12th Century)

The Carvings you will find here demonstrate the integration of Taoism and Buddhism. There are 92 statues in the Cave of Gods and Goddess of Mount Tai.

Of Course there are many other carvings in Dazu, but the above are the most important. If you love art, then you will have more than your fair share of Chinese art on you camera by the time you are done exploring this sites.

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