Located on the west cliff of the Small Jishi Hill, about 35 kilometers west of Yongjing County in Lanzhou City, Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves is one of the very famous caves in China.
In the Tibetan language, Bingling means 'ten thousand Buddhas'. Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves were originally built during the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316) and it has 183 niches, 694 stone statues, 82 clay sculptures and 900 square meters' of murals. All of these are well preserved and stretches about 200 meters on the west cliff in Dasi Gully.
The main characters in these caves are the Sakyamuni, Kwan-yin, Amitayus Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, and other Buddhas. All of these characters were made into life-like appearances with elegant postures, flying robes and ribbons etc. the No.169 cave is definitely the most beautiful one, which was made in the Northern Dynasties (386-581). This cave has the clay sculptures of Kwan-yin, Dali Buddha (Dali means powerful strength in Chinese), etc. on the two side of the round-face Dali Buddha, there stands Bodhisattvas with their hair bound, waving bare arms. The colors present us vivid Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. Cave No.125, which holds the stone sculpture of Sakyamuni, is also one not to be missed.
Moreover, the stone sculptures represent the social situations and customs during ancient times. Meanwhile, the green hills, crystal water, grotesque stones and precipitous cliffs will add more beauty to this artistic site.
Admission Fee: CNY 50
In the morning 09:10-11:30
In the afternoon 14:40 -17:30
Recommended Time for a Visit: One day
Transportation: West Bus Station
Address: 456, Xijin East Road, Qilihe District, Lanzhou
It is located to the west of the Xiao Xihu (Literally Small West Lake) Overpass
Visitors can take bus from West Bus Station to Liujiaxia Reservoir (it takes about 2-3 hours with 10 CNY), then take yacht to Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves (it takes about 2hours with 15-20 CNY). So the round trip takes about 8 Hours.
As the lunch, you can take the orthodox Yellow River carp from the nearby restaurant.
The last bus from Liujiaxia Reservoir to Lanzhou starts at 18:00.