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This cave was constructed in the later period when Guazhou was ruled by the Western Xia. With the diversified contents and art of both exotic and esoteric Buddhism, supported respectively by Chinese and the Tibetans, it is a most representative cave with the most matured and unique art. The cave is rectangular in plan with a dome ceiling. In the central back is an octangular altar with three steps on which stand a few statues of the Qing dynasty. The lower parts of the four walls are platforms of double steps built in the Qing dynasty, on which stand the statues of eighteen arhats. The ceiling is covered with a Mandala: in the center are five Buddhas of five directions. The middle part of the east wall is used for depicting Buddha's life stories, and on the two sides are a mandala of fifty-one headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of exotic Buddhism, a garbhadhatu-mandala of the esoteric Buddhism, and an illustration of the Sutra on Deva's Questions of exotic Buddhism. On the south wall, starting from the east, are a mandala, the Amitayus sutra illustration and a mandala. The north wall is in the same composition: a mandala, a pure land illustration and a mandala. On the space above the entrance in the west wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration, and the both sides of the entrance are respectively used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. The north and south walls of the corridor are occupied by donor figures.

Guazhou Yulin Grottoes Cave 003

  • DYNASTY::Western Xia Regime(A.D.1038-1227)
  • Summary:This cave was constructed in the later period when Guazhou was ruled by the Western Xia. With the diversified contents and art of both exotic and esoteric Buddhism, supported respectively by Chinese and the Tibetans, it is a most representative cave with the most matured and unique art. The cave is rectangular in plan with a dome ceiling. In the central back is an octangular altar with three steps on which stand a few statues of the Qing dynasty. The lower parts of the four walls are platforms of double steps built in the Qing dynasty, on which stand the statues of eighteen arhats. The ceiling is covered with a Mandala: in the center are five Buddhas of five directions. The middle part of the east wall is used for depicting Buddha's life stories, and on the two sides are a mandala of fifty-one headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of exotic Buddhism, a garbhadhatu-mandala of the esoteric Buddhism, and an illustration of the Sutra on Deva's Questions of exotic Buddhism. On the south wall, starting from the east, are a mandala, the Amitayus sutra illustration and a mandala. The north wall is in the same composition: a mandala, a pure land illustration and a mandala. On the space above the entrance in the west wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration, and the both sides of the entrance are respectively used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. The north and south walls of the corridor are occupied by donor figures....