Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture
September 3, 2016
For more than a millennium, the Bingling Temple was a work in progress. Inside natural caves and grottoes, artists and craftsmen carved their venerated Buddha statues according to the current stylistic attributes.
I suppose it takes a lifetime of research and scholarship to ascribe the origin of a carving to a definite century or dynasty.
The Bingling Temple is remote. There are no roads through the mountains. The site is accessible only from the river and then only on an official tour. The nearest city is one hundred kilometers away.
The highlight is the 27m (88 ft) high seated Great Maitreya Buddha
The remote and fast location undoubtedly saved the statues from either defacing or destruction suffered by other Buddhist sites during religious or cultural uprisings. Only time itself has contributed to the fading colors.
Yet the site and its location are impressive and worth the effort to visit.