Dazu Rock Carvings (1999)
China

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The steep hillsides of the Dazu area contain an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century. They are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. 

All four stamps in the set have the face value (80 f), and each stamp is identified by the number indicated in the lower right corner. 

China 2002. Dazu Rock Carvings. Avalokitesvara of the Sun and Moon in the North Mountain (Song Dynasty) China 2002. Dazu Rock Carvings. Samantabhadra in the North Mountain (Song Dynasty) China 2002. Dazu Rock Carvings. Three Avatamasaka Sages in the Holy Summit Mountain (Song Dynasty) China 2002. Dazu Rock Carvings. Statues in the Cave of the Three Emperors in the Stone Gate Mountain (ibid)

China 2002. Rock Carvings in Dazu. Souvenir sheet. Avalokitesvara of a Thousand Hands in the Holy Summit Mountain.

The over 50,000 stone carvings on the precipices in Dazu County, Sichuan Province are distributed in 40-odd spots in the North and Holy Summit Mountains and other places. 

Most of them are Buddhist carvings, the rest being Taoist and Confucian. 

The earliest carvings date back to AD 650 in the Tang Dynasty. Most carvings were done in the Song Dynasty, and some in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The large group of carvings includes a rich variety of subjects and images. 

  • China 2002. Rock Carvings in Dazu. Souvenir sheet. Avalokitesvara of a Thousand Hands in the Holy Summit Mountain. 

Besides large and small carvings of Buddha, there are carvings of palaces, birds, animals, landscapes, etc. With perfect workmanship, great variety, and national and popular characteristics, the carvings are distinct in Chinese grotto art, being one of the representatives of later Chinese grottos.

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in China (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section China for further information about the individual properties.  

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Revised 20 jun 2007  
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