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Yushan Temple Grottos stands on cliff (3)

(People's Daily Online)

09:04, June 20, 2012

Photo shows the appearance of the Yushan Temple Grottos in Zhenyuan County, north China’s Gansu Province. (

The Yushan Temple Grottos is situated on the sandstone cliff in Zhenyuan County, north China’s Gansu Province. These grottos can date back to the Song dynasty, and were renovated in the Ming dynasty. Now, the Yushan Temple Grottos is the important protection unit of cultural relic of the province.

The Yushan Temple has had five grottos numbered from 1 to 5. Now, the No.1 grotto has been damaged, and the No. 5 grotto has become incomplete due to rock subsidence. Fortunately, the other three grottos are well preserved.

Currently, the Yushan Temple Grottos has 82 stone caving statues in total.

The Yushan Temple Grottos is built in the architecture style that was common during the period of the Tang and Song dynasties. These eaves of the grottos employed the use of techniques that were common in China for building wooden structures, reflection the process of assimilation of Chinese culture. In the frescoes that were created in different dynasties, what one sees are the scenes of daily social activities of the ancient people. The characters of the frescoes present a good study on the costumes and accessories worn by the different ethnic groups in different periods.

The Buddha images back then were strongly influenced by the Central Asian art. The looks of the characters and their costumes are rich in Indian and Persian flavors. It was until the Northern Wei Dynasty that the depiction of the characters in the frescoes started to change. One noticeable change would be the costumes, which had become more Chinese in style. The Tang Dynasty was the peak of the development of Buddhist art. During this time, the images of Buddha became plumper and more lifelike, and the decorative lines in the images took on very obvious changes as well. The palaces and the various buildings such as pavilion, chambers, pagodas and bridges depicted in the frescoes during this time became treasures to historians in leading them to new historical finds around the whole of China。

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