We spent a weekend in Chongqing several weeks ago, and on the way home our Chinese traveling companions wanted to stop off to see what they described as an 800 year old Buddhist statue. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Buddha statue as much as the next guy. But we’ve seen a lot of them in our ten months in Asia, and I was not feeling particularly enthusiastic about driving three hours out of our way to see another one. Boy, was I wrong. I was expecting yet another larger than life representation of Shakyamuni. Instead we got Dazu, the pinnacle of Chinese rock carving art, representing a blending of Tantric Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian influences as expressed in hundreds of images.
These carvings date from the 9th to the 13th century. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The photos do not really do justice to the enormity of this project. To see it in 360 degree imaging, go here.