Bizaklik Thousand-Buddha Caves

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves (Simplified Chinese:柏孜克里千佛洞; Hanyu Pinyin: Bózīkèlǐ Qiān Fó Dòng) are complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to the 9th centuries between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan) at the north-east of the Taklamakan Desert near the ancient ruins of Gaochang in the Mutou Valley, a gorge in the Flaming Mountains, China. They are high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains.

There are 77 rock-cut caves at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of Buddha. The effect is of entire ceiling covers with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some ceilings are painted with a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Indians, Persians and Caucasians. The quality of the murals vary with some being artistically naive while others are masterpieces of religious art.

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