West Shrine Grottoes
Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-11-10
Xihua Mountain, also Fenggu Mountain in ancient times, lies in the first village, Chengshou Township. There are 59 statues and 1,900 bodies scattering West Shrine Temple, Liuhuai Pool and Longri Temple. Statues in the three places are gathered to form large-scale grottoes of beautifully wrought shrines. West Shrine Grottoes originated from Sui Dynasty, but most of them are the works in Tang Dynasty. On the right wall of the No.10 Grotto and the wall of the No.16 grotto are inscriptions left by our ancestors.
West Shrine Grottoes show the art of Buddhist statue. The main representatives are ‘Sakyamuni Buddha’, ‘Maitreya Buddha’, ‘Amitobha’, ‘Seven Buddha’, ‘One Buddha, Two Buddhists, Two Bodhisats, Two Vajras, and Two Men of Great Strength’, ‘The Story of Thousand-Buddha Itself’, and ‘The Change of the Western Heaven Pure Land’. Among all the grottoess, the No.16 grottoes, with the height of 310 centimeters, the width of 210 centimeters, and the depth of 240 centimeters, is one in Sui Dynasty. The preserved 57 statues are in grottoess like houses. The chief Buddha’s figure on the main wall, with two Buddhists standing its two sides in attendance and hollowed-out Bohdi trees engraved has been weathered. On the main wall and flank walls, the picture of a Bodhisattva and guardians of over 20. Inside the lintel of the Shrine is engraved with seven Buddha and 6 deities of skills and music, while outside are six colorful pictures of honeysuckles, lions and so on. On the pillars of the shrine are high relief sculptures of dragons.
Outside the West Shrine Grottoes are two Vajras and two men of strong strength. With long skirts, the latter two showed their figures of slender waists and broad shoulders. On the roof of the grotto, there are four flying Apsaras of graceful images, among which some are supporting offerings with their hands, and some playing pipa with ribbons flying. The No.35 grotto, a work in early Tang Dynasty, is called ‘The Change of the Western Heaven Pure Land’. The chief shrine ‘Amitobha’ has been weathered. Main wall of the grottoes are four high relief towers and temples connected by banisters. Six goddesses are gazing into the distance and eight deities of skills and music are playing instruments proudly, which present a spectacular Western Paradise. Actually, it is the representation and distillation of the royal life of emperors on earth. It is especially the precious towers and temples engraved with the shape of Dougong that is the representation of the buildings from Northern and Southern Dynasty to Tang Dynasty.
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