Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves
Located at northwestern side of the Flaming Mountain - 45 km from Turpan, the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to the 13th centuries. These caves were built on a cliff face fronting a river valley.
Since 5th century, here had been the Buddhist center of Gaochang Kingdom. At the end of 13th century, the Gaochang royal family had to move to Yongchang of Gansu Province due to the invasion of Mongolians. Islam was introduced to Turpan area, while the Buddhism declined. Later, Many large Buddha statues have been badly destroyed or stolen, and the faces of the Buddhas ornamenting the walls have either been scrapped or completely gouged out.
There are 57 rock-cut caves still survived at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings, which are often divided into four sections, each with a mural of Buddha. The entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha paintings.
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