Bingling Temple | Bingling Temple Grottoes


Lying in about 100 kilometers southeast of Lanzhou, Bingling Temple is a series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculpture carved into natural caves and caverns in a canyon along the Yellow River. It is regarded as one of the Three Grottoes in Gansu Province, and one of the Five Grottoes in China, which is very grand and splendid above the ground.

Bingling Temple Bingling Temple
Bingling Temple along the Yellow River Overview from the top of Bingling Temple

Bingling Temple Grottoes boasts its vivid sculptures and paintings with a simple and brand new style, inheriting the folk arts as well as integrating the exotic Buddhism arts. The grottoes of Bingling Temple were made in Wei, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, illustrating the typical artwork from the corresponding dynasty. However, because of earthquakes, erosion and looters over the centuries, there are only 183 caves, 694 stone statues, and 82 clay sculptures that remain in Bingling Temple. The relief sculpture and caves filled with buddhas and frescoes line the northern side of the canyon for about 200 meters. Each cave is like a miniature temple filled with Buddhist imagery.

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