Chongqing, China Dazu 2002.06.03 - 06.05

Stone Buddhas

Between Chengdu and Chongqing is Dazu where Buddhist cave sculptures are found. One site is Bei Shan, about 30 minutes walk from Dazu town center. Another is Baoding Shan, 15km northeast of Dazu. Since Lonely Planet claims Baoding Shan is more interesting, we only visited this site.

Baoding Shan is a 1-km long horseshoe-shaped stone wall of carved Buddhas and Buddhist symbols. Two grottos on the semi-circle contain some of the best preserved sculptures. The site is an interesting outing but has little lasting impact. Admission is ¥50 for Baoding Shan or ¥80 for Baoding Shan plus Bei Shan. Student card holders and senior citizens get a 50% discount.

Buses from Chengdu's Hehuachi Bus Station (about 300 meters east of the train station) depart for Dazu around 08:00, 12:00, and 13:00. Buses from Chongqing's long distance bus station (across from the train station) depart for Dazu about hourly. From Dazu to Baoding Shan, ¥3 buses depart every 20 minutes. Near the Baoding Shan parking lot where the Dazu bus terminates, ¥2 golf carts transport tourists to the entry gate, but this 500 meter stretch is more pleasant on foot.

Hundreds of Buddha statues line a 1-km long horseshoe-shaped wall. Some of the statues are recently restored. Others have an authentic ancient feel like this one.
Animal carvings are interspersed among the Buddha statues. Water flows from the rocks of this carving.
No Buddhist site is complete without a Wheel of Life. Here, a protector holds a large Wheel with a diameter of about 2 meters.

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