Lying in Yongjing County with half a day's distance from Lanzhou via car, Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves is one of the best-preserved collections of Buddhist cave art in all of China.
The ride from Lanzhou is pleasurable with vast corn fields, improbably fertile soil among riverbeds and distinctive red-caly banks carved by the incessant river current.
There are 183 grotto niches displaying 679 stone figues and 82 caly figures in addition to more than 900 square meters of murals. The highest statue is 27 meters while the smallest one is only 20 centimeters.
Construction on the first of the 183 caves began in 366 AD and continued for a thousand year. Most of them were carved during the Tang Dynasty.