Thursday, May 26, 2011

Maiji Mountain Grottoes in China-Oriental Sculpture Gallery

Reputed as the “Oriental Sculpture Gallery”, Maiji Mountain Grottoes is located in Tianshui city of Gansu Province in China and named after the shape of grain stack. You will see at a distance the Buddha statues chiseled on the stone walls and figures like black beans on the cloister halfway up the mountain. When seeing at a close range, you’ll need more than a few moments to absorb the heart-stopping views of the vivid and spectacle mountain and be lost in admiration for ancestors’ matchless craftsmanship.

Most tourists tend to gravitate first towards the famed three Cliffside Buddha statues in east cliff, which are the sign of Maiji Mountain Grottoes. Buddha is in the middle with 16 meters height and Bodhisattva is on either side with the size smaller than the Buddha. Looking up at their feet, you will be shocked by the great stature. However, even more shocking than its stature is their solemn silence.

Damaged by many earthquakes and fires in history, Maiji Mountain Grottoes still preserve 194 grotto niches, more than 7800 clay sculptures and stone carvings, over a thousand square meters of mural paintings and 8 cliff cabinets.

Maiji Mountain Grottoes along with Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, Henan Longmen Grottoes and Shanxi Yungang Grottoes are known as “China Four Major Grottoes”. Mogao Grottoes is famous for the mural paintings, Longmen and Yungang are famous for the stone sculptures and Maiji Mountain Grottoes is famous for the exquisite and unique sculptures. Plenty of grottoes, perfect sculptures and long-lasting time make it deserve the fame of Oriental Sculpture Gallery.

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