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South Binyang Cave

2013-05-23 14:15:17      Web Editor: Luo Chun

The niches on the north wall of the cave
Cut at the same time as the Middle Binyang Cave, it was originally offered by Emperor Xuanwu to his mother Empress Wenzhao. Unfortunately, the cave was uncompleted. The remaining relics of the Northern Wei period had carvings on the caisson ceiling and images of ten gods at the foot of the wall, but the main statue in the cave was built in the early Tang Dynasty.

The carvings on the eaves were destroyed and no longer exist. The cave has a U-shaped floor and coved ceiling.

On the main wall sits a Buddha attended by two disciples and two bodhisattvas. With his head held high and chest sticking out, the 8.20-meter-high Buddha sits cross-legged on a square seat, holding Buddhist chops of fearlessness.

It is a cave of merit built by Prince Litai in the Tang Dynasty in memory of his mother Empress Zhangsun, which was completed in the 15th year of Zhenguan (AD 641).

On the hair knot of the Buddha are engraved 3 eddy veins laid out in the shape of the Chinese character". On his kasaya are carved semi-circle wavy veins, a new style in Longmen Buddha statues in the Tang Dynasty.

On the north wall of the cave are a pair of niches of Sakyamuni built by Liang Pei-ren in the 12th year of Daye in Sui Dynasty (AD 616).

Besides, the cave possesses the densest distribution of niches built during Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty. There are more than 30 such niches, within one of which on the north wall stands a Buddha made after the image of King Acoka who wears a high hair knot and heavy kasaya. It is a representation of the artistic style in Gandhara (a place in India).


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