The Dazu Rock Carvings are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings located in Dazu County southwest of Chongqing City, the reputed “county of rock carvings”. The Dazu Rock Carvings are a masterpiece of rock carvings of China, which are as famous as Mogao Cave in Dunhuang, Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi and Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang. The Dazu Rock Carvings are world-renowned for their large scale, exquisite carvings, widely-ranged subject matter, rich ornamentation and excellent preservation. Dazu Rock Carving is the essence of Chinese sculpture, depicting Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. The Dazu Rock Carvings, together with Beishan Rock Carving, Baodingshan Rock Carving, Nanshan Rock Carving, Shizhuanshan Rock Carving and Shimenshan Rock Carving was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999.
The history of Dazu Rock carvings can be traced back to the 7th century CE of the early Tang Dynasty. It began during the Song Dynasty and was enlarged during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and then the large carving sculpture complex was created. The Dazu Rock Carvings is home to more than 70 protected sites with over 100,000 statues, among which are carvings on Mount Beishan, Mount Baoding, Mount Nanshan, Mount Shizhuan and Mount Shimen are the most famous and concentrated.
The Mount Baoding Carvings are located 3 (5 kilometers) from the northeast of Dazu County, where Buddha statues carved on one-and-a-half mile (2500 meters) high cliffs are ubiquitous. The statues in Dafowa and Xiaofowan revolving with Shenshou Temple could be found.
The Mount Nanshan Carvings are situated 1 1/2 miles (2.5 kilometers) southwest of Dazu County. Atop the Mount Nanshan, the Taoist Temple named Jade Emperor Temple was originally built. Therefore, Taoist deity figures are carved vividly here.
Mount Shizhuan Carvings is located 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of Duzu County. With an altitude of a quarter-mile (444.6 meters), the carvings on Mount Shizhuan are mostly carved onto cliffs. Here, Buddhist, Taoist and Confucius statues are merged with each other, which is quite rare in Chinese grotto art.
Mount Shimen is located over 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the eastern part of Dazu County. Here, Buddhism and Taoism are also combined, while the Taoist statue is predominant.
The Mount Beishan Carvings is more than a mile (2 kilometers) from the northwest of Dazu County. Mount Beishan Carvings was started during the late Tang Dynasty and accomplished during the flourishing of the South Song Dynasty, which is one of the two largest carvings in the Duzong Rock Carvings. The nearly 10,000 statues were built in Fowan, Yingpanpo, Guanyinpo, Northern Tower Temple, Fo’er cliff, etc. Carvings on Beishan feature exquisite engravings, sophisticated skill and fine workmanship, which appeals numerous travelers home and abroad to pay a visit.
Location: Dazu County, Chongqing City, Sichaun Province
High Season (Mar.1 to Nov.30): CNY120 for Baodingshan; CNY90 for Beishan; CNY170 for combined ticket of the two sights
Low Season (Dec.1 to Feb.28/29): CNY90 for Baodingshan; CNY70 for Beishan; CNY130 for combined ticket of the two sights
Open Time: 08:40 to 17:00
How to get there:
From Chongqing: Take the highway bus bounding to Dazu at Caiyuanba Long Distance Bus Station or Chenjiaping Long Distance Bus Station. The bus is launched at 20 minutes’ interval. It takes about 50yuan to get to
From Chengdu: Take the bus bounding for Dazu at Lotus Pound Long Distance Bus Station. It costs 80-100yuan to get to.