Kizil Caves: China’s earliest Buddhist complex

Source: Published: 2019/5/24 19:59:09

Highlights: With 349 caves and nearly 10,000 square meters of mural paintings created between the 3rd and 8th centuries, the Kizil grottoes in Xinjiang's Baicheng county is believed to be the earliest Buddhist cave complex in China. Some of the murals were stolen more than 100 years ago and are currently overseas. The cave complex was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2014. (Photos: Yang Ruoyu, Liu Xin/GT)

  • Aerial view of the Kizil Cave complex in Aksu Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • A statue of the scholastic monk Kumarajiva was built outside the Kizil Cave complex in Aksu Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Liu Xin/GT

  • Two visitors wait to enter a cave at the highest point of the Kizil Cave complex in Aksu Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • A visitor takes a photo of a mural, which was stolen from the Kizil Cave complex and is now in Germany. Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • Kizil Cave murals in Aksu Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT

  • The damaged parts of the Kizil Caves in the early years. The gold foils decorated as the cassocks in the Buddha paintings were taken by the local residents. The murals and Buddha statues were cut and stolen by foreign explorers. Photo: Yang Ruoyu/GT






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