In Xinjiang's Turpan
the Thousand-Buddha Caves of Bezklik
(柏孜克里克千佛洞) are collectively one of the China
's key cultural protection units. They were first built during the latter period of the South and North Dynasties (420 AD – 589 AD).
The caves area had been the center of Buddhism in ancient Gaochang Region
(高昌地区). Today many of the grottoes have been lost, just 57 remained here with better conditions. 40 of them are collecting colorful murals
, which were painted by several kinds of dyes. These are mostly about ancient Buddhist stories
(such as Sakyamuni Buddha's tale), the lifelike images of Buddha and something about Mani Religion (摩尼教). These Mani religious documents are rare to see in the world nowadays. The Thousand-Buddha Caves of Bezklik are the best cave groups in Turpan with the best mural art seen.
The Buddhist grottoes' form is mostly in shape of a rectangle, the ceilings are painted with thousand-Buddha, and the walls on both sides of the grotto have murals depicting ancient Buddhist legends. A Buddha statue in red rope stands on a giant lotus flowers with kind and solemn face expressions. He is accompanied by the heavenly kings and some legendary beings as well as ancient city scenery.
The colorful murals in the Thousand-Buddha Caves of Bezklik
In 2009, archeologists have found a painting, which had been drawn on the ground inside a grotto, reflecting the daily life of ancient Gaochang people in the place where made famous by colorful murals.