Saturday, June 09, 2012

Buddhist niches

 All over China are found Buddhist caves and niches and sculptures in remote mountainous areas. Bing Ling Si is just one of them, a small one too. During six months of the year the water level in the reservoir is deep enough for boats to come and bring visitors to these caves. The lower niches have been submerged and that's a pity. These grottoes were inaccessible enough that they were spared the wrath of the cultural revolution. Today wooden walkways have been hammered into the cliffs to enable visitors to walk and view the carvings and frescoes. Windows have also been built to shutter some of them so that only a few can be viewed at any one time. It is the same with the caves at Mogao in Dunhuang. In fact out of the few hundred of caves in Dunhuang, only eight are opened at any one time. This remains the same eight for two years then every two years they opened up eight different caves. We were told by some Chinese visitors that they visit Dunhuang every two years to see different caves.

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