108 Dagobas

dagoba forestsThe last major gorge on the upper stretches of the Yellow River is situated on Qingtongxia Town, about 80km south of Yinchuan. The impressive 108 Dagobas stands on the eastern slope of the Xiakou Mountain, which is lying on the gorge's western bank.

The exact year of construction is unknown. However, the descriptions of 108 Dagobas appear in local historical books published in the mid-Ming Dynasty. According to historical records and the dagobas structure, some believe they must have been built early in the Ming Dynasty. As far as the meaning of 108 Dagobas is concerned, some say that in the Ming Dynasty, 108 officers and men died on the banks of the Yellow River while defending the Great Wall from enemy attacks, and the dagobas were built and arranged in a formation to commemorate them. Others believe that counting a dagoba is removing a worry and counting all dagobas in one breath can get rid of all worries, for Buddhism believes that there are 108 kinds of worries in people's life so that a devout Buddhist is to wear a rosary with 108 beads and say prayers 108 times to stave off such unlucky occurrences.

The group of dagobas is unique in terms of Chinese architecture. From a distance, a full view of the entire group of dagobas can be achieved. Located on the top of the triangle of the slope, a dagoba is bigger than the others. All 108 dagobas were erected on an octagonal Sumeru pedestal supporting the inverted-bowl-style main body crowned with a bead.

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