Maiji Caves in Gansu, an Exhibit of Eastern Sculpture
CRI, August 19, 2011
China's Gansu Province is home to many of the national natural heritage treasures, including the Maiji Caves. Carved into the steep side of the Maiji Mountains, the caves are famous for their rich history and top-notch artistic sculptures and paintings.
Located in Tianshui County, the Maiji Caves include 194 caves with more than 7,200 clay statues and stone carvings. The oldest cave dates back to 384AD. During the course of restoration and expansion, the clay statues and carvings have been compared to an exhibition of eastern sculpture.
The heritage site is well preserved in that the colors on its Buddhist statues and wall paintings are still clearly visible although weathered to different degrees. Another reason for the site's well-preserved condition is that most of the caves and statues are located high on the mountain cliffs which are connected only by narrow suspension bridges largely out of visitors' reach.
The Maiji Caves are one of the four most important caves in China along with the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, Yungang Caves in Datong, Shanxi Province, and Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan Province.
Tourists who visit the Maiji Caves can take a bus that departs on a regular basis from Tianshui County and get off at the Maijishan stop. Tickets for the Maiji Caves are priced at 70 yuan per person.
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