Beishan, Dazu, Chongqing
(June 18, 2012)

(1) Because of a misunderstanding with a cab driver, I ended up climbing the "wrong" mountain to this pagoda, instead of heading straight for Beishan Grottoes. It's OK, though; I'm glad I saw it, and I had plenty of time to do everything I wanted. I just hope his ancestors survive all the curses I hurled at them when I discovered I had climbed over 300 steps in the wrong direction!

(2) Another view of the pagoda.

(3) Near the pagoda is this "temple": two dilapidated halls with so-so statues. At least one was my favorite Buddha.

(4) "My" Buddha in the rundown hall--see the light coming through the roof?

(5) In this second hall, the two side rooms are occupied by the guard: one room had a TV, the other a fridge. I'd totally live there--if there's a road up the other side of the mountain!

(6) Behind and below the pagoda (opposite the "temple") are these two giant Buddhas, which look like they're made of concrete. It was here I discovered I was not on the path to the Grottoes, and had to retrace my steps.

(7) This stupa is near the Two Giant Buddhas, along with a similar one. These look like the esoteric gorinto so common in Japan. You can learn more about them on my friend Mark's page.

(8) At last, the Grottoes! Here's a long view of just part of them. As there are so many, and identifying is hard, in the rest of the pictures I will only label those I'm sure of.

(9) Vaishravana Devaraja, one of the Four Heavenly Kings (the one usually holding an umbrella). He stands guard at one end of the Grottoes.

(10) A row of Buddhas along one side of what must once have been a defile in the rock. It now seems cave-like with the man-made roof added.

(11) A wall of Buddhas on the other side of the same defile

(12) An exquisite image of Guanyin

(13) A close-up of the previous Guanyin

(14) A Guanyin (Bodhisattva of Compassion) noted for her grace, and because she's holding beads.

(15) Thirteen images of Guanyin (one in the center, the other 12 standing around)

(16) The central image in the previous shot

(17) Guanyin?

(18) Guanyin?

(19) Called a "prayer wheel," but more likely an imitation of a sutra case. These are kind of the same thing, as such a case can turn, and doing so even once is like praying all the sutras in it. By the way, I think this is the only cave that had bars (though there was a wooden railing in front of all).

(20) Conservators were painstakingly examining and cataloging every one of the "thousand" Buddhas on the walls of the "Peacock King's" cave.

(21) The "Peacock King" in the center of its cave (above); taken during the conservators' break, with the lonely laptop visible.

(22) Some of the 500 Arhats in the (you guessed it) 500 Arhats Cave. There's a pagoda in the center holding the remains of a monk from the "Western lands" (central or south Asia)

(23) No label, but clearly a triad with a Buddha in the center. If I had to pick a favorite, this might be it. The detail is amazingly rich.

(24) Unknown triad

(25) Another unlabeled Buddha triad

(26) Another unlabeled Buddha triad

(27) Another unlabeled Buddha triad

(28) Shakyamuni and attendants

(29) A representation of the Maitreya Sutra, with Maitreya (the future Buddha) in the center

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Last Updated August 13, 2019

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