Maiji Mountain Grottoes is a key scenic part of Maiji Mountain scenic spot, which is an AAAAA national scenic spot. It is one of the four famous grottoes in China and is reputed as “Oriental Sculpture Gallery”. Other three grottoes are Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang of Henan Province, Yungang Grottoes in Datong of Shanxi Province and Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang of Gansu Province.
Situated at 35 kilometers southeast of Tianshui city, Gansu Province, Maiji Mountain is a peculiar peak of the Xiaolong Mountain, at the western part of the Qinling Mountain ranges. Maiji Mountain enjoys an altitude of 1,742 meters above the sea level but only 142 meters above the ground. The combination of its peak and the surrounding mountains looks like a stack of wheat, hence its name Maiji (means storage of wheat in Chinese) Mountain.
|What to See/Do:||Maiji Mountain Grottoes’ niches are digged out on vertical cliffs with a height of 20 to 80 meters and a width of 200 meters. There are 194 grotto niches on the cliff, including 54 on the east cliff and 140 on the west cliff, housing more than 7,800 clay statues, clay statues with inside body parts made of stone, and stone statues, and over 1,000 square meters of murals. The grottoes were initially constructed in later Qin Dynasty (384－417). It is renowned for the exquisite clay statues throughout the world. Since the Northern Wei Dynasty, almost all the statues were built in a posture of looking down and are looking like quite amicable. They were all “gods” in Heaven, but looks like worldly common people; probably they are incarnations of people’s good desires. From the aspect of the statues’ body shapes and their dresses, they are showing more characteristics of the Chinese Han nationality rather than the same as in foreign art. In addition, the materials kept here about religion, art and architecture greatly enrich Chinese ancient culture and history and also provide abundant information and historical facts for later generations to research into the Chinese Buddhism culture.|
|Duration:||2 – 3 hours|
|Address:||No. 2 Quanhu Road, Maiji District, Tianshui city, Gansu Province.|
|Opening time:||08:00 – 17:00.|
|Public transport:||Take bus No. 5 or No. 34; get off at Maiji Mountain Park Stop at around 6RMB.|