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Liao dynasty dharani pillar (陀羅尼經幢) at the Yunju Temple (雲居寺) Van Cutsem, Laurent; Luo, Yuqing


The Dharani pillar is located near the exit of Yunjusi (雲居寺). It is originally called "the Dharani pillar built by North Zheng Yard People" (北鄭院邑人起建陀羅尼幢). It was excavated from within the North Zheng Yard Pagoda and is dated to the fifth year of the Liao Yingli Reign (955). The stone material is white marble. The pillar is consisted of three parts: the base, the pillar body, and the canopy. It is of 3.12 meters tall. The eight sides of the base is covered with lotus patterns, and the eight sides of the pillar body is engraved with Chinese sutra (a preface to the dharani sutra and the actual transliteration of the dharani sutra 佛頂尊勝陀羅尼經). There is visible traces of white plaster adhesive between the base and the body as well as between the canopy and the body. At the current location, the cartouche and the donors are in the front. Going clockwise there is the preface and the then the transliteration of the dharani sutra.

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