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Highlights Archives: Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes

The Caves stand high on the cliffs of west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountain, 45km east of Turpan and 15km north of the Gaochang Ruins. Of the 83 original caves, 57 caves currently remain. The murals cover an area over 1, 200 sq km in more than 40 caves.
As Buddhism was the first religion from abroad introduced to this area, Xinjiang witnessed the earliest development of Buddhist cave art in China. Soon after the religion’s establishment in the region, Turpan became the Buddhist center on the Silk Road owing to its geographic location. Among the Buddhist caves found in Turpan, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are considered most valuable.
The heyday of the caves was during the end of the Gaochang state in the 13th century before the kingdom was moved to Gansu province, after which, Buddhism in Turpan began to decline in popularity with the introduction of Islam. Subsequently, the religious importance of The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves became less apparent. Most of the statues and frescos here have either been destroyed by Muslims or by foreign adventurer-explorers. The caves of today are only a glimmer of their previous glory. Nevertheless the surrounding scenery is quite nice.

Turpan

Turpan is an old city with a long history. Traces have been found of humans living there, dating as far back as 6,000 years ago. The city was known as Gushi in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD); and in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it got its name Turpan. Turpan means ‘the lowest place’ in the [...]



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21 days 20 nights Beijing/Urumqi/Turpan/Kashgar/Dunhuang/Xi’an/Guilin/Shanghai/Hangzhou (PT21D-3)

As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Five rivers run through the city, connecting it to the eastern Bohai Sea.


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14 days 13 nights Beijing/Urumqi/Turpan/Kashgar/Dunhuang/Xi’an/Shanghai (PT14D-1)

As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south.


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