Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Dazu Rock Carvings, China

The Dazu Rock Carvings are some of the most exquisite ancient carvings in China. They are carvings from as early as 650 AD to the 12th century and depict art influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs.

In recognition of their Outstanding Universal Value, the Dazu Rock Carvings were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 23rd session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 29 November to 4 December, 1999. The carvings were cited for their aesthetic quality as well as their rich diversity of subject matter, which touches both the religious as well as the secular, and their offering a glimpse into everyday life in China during their period of execution.

The carvings are located in Dazu County, about 60 kilometers to the west of Chongqing, China. The two main sites of carvings are at Mount Baoding and Moung Beishan.

The earliest carvings were made in the early Tang Dynasty. However it was only during the 9th century, under the Prefect of Changzhou, Wei Junjing, that large scale carvings were carried out at Mount Beishan.

The work of carving rock art was continued after Wei Junjing, picked up by the locals as well as the gentry, monks and nuns.

In the 12th century, a Buddhist monk named Zhao Zhifeng spent 70 years doing elaborate carvings on Mount Baoding.

The rock carvings of Dazu were off limits to visitors until 1961, when local visitors were allowed to view them. Foreign tourists were only allowed to visit the Dazu carvings since 1980.

Photos of Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu Rock Carvings, China
Dazu Rock Carvings, China
Author: Gisling (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Mount Baoding Carvings, Dazu, China
Mount Baoding Carvings, Dazu, China
Author: Gisling (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Three Worthies of Huayan, Mount Baoding, Dazu
Three Worthies of Huayan, Mount Baoding, Dazu
Author: Calton (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Wheel of Reincarnation, Dazu
Wheel of Reincarnation, Dazu
Author: Calton (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Golden Hands Buddha, Mount Baoding, Dazu
Golden Hands Buddha, Mount Baoding, Dazu
Author: Truthven (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 29 42 3.996 E 105 42 18 in Dazu County, Chongqing, China
Inscription Year: 1999
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: I, II, III

Location Map

View Dazu Rock Carvings in a larger map

Visiting Dazu Rock Carvings

Getting into Dazu

By bus, Dazu is located two hours west of Chongqing and four hours east of Chengdu. You should fly to Chongqing and catch a bus to Dazu. The fare is ¥4.

Exploring Dazu

Modes of transportation available to you include taxi, motorcycle-taxi and trishaw. Taxi fare starts at ¥3.00.

To take the hassel out of planning it yourself, make the arrangement with a travel agent in Dazu to visit the sites, or with a travel agent in Chongqing or Chengdu, where you can shop for more options.

Local Tours of China

At times, it is faster, safer and cheaper to join a local tour than to go there yourself. This is especially true for many places in China. However, you need to be wary of the tour operators, especially those in China.

Here are a few local tours of China that you may wish to add to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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