UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Niche of thousand buddha motifs, Qianfo zhai (千佛寨) Anderl, Christoph


This niche is located in Qianfo zhai 千佛寨, Anyue xian 安岳縣, Sichuan sheng 四川省. Dimensions: 255cm (H) x 282cm (W) x 160 cm (D). It is estimated to have been created in the mid-eighth century. On the central wall there are a total of 70 small buddha motifs sitting on lotus thrones with varying hand gestures. These are distributed in five rows. The bottom two rows are badly eroded while the upper three rows are better preserved. Images in the upper rows have some orange and blue pigment. The side wall on the lefthand side has two standing buddhas with damaged heads, but round halos behind the heads remain recognizable. These two buddhas stand on lotus platforms. There is a rectangular stage below their lotus platform. Some decorative patterns carved into it remain but are difficult to make out. The side wall on the right-hand side depicts a standing buddha and a seated bodhisattva, both badly eroded. According to Professor Zhang Liang, the niche might be a transformation tableau of the Sutra on Visualizing the Two Bodhisattvas Bhaisajyarāja and Bhaisajyasamudgata (Ch. Foshuo guan yao wang yao shang er pusa jing 佛說觀藥王藥上二菩薩經變, personal communication with Professor Zhang Liang, May 28, 2022). The photographs show: An overview of the niche from the left [1]. A close-up of the upper left corner [2] [3] [4]. An overview of the left part of the niche containing the images of two standing buddhas on the sidewall and part of the thousand buddha motifs on the central tableau [5][6]. An overview of the right part of the niche containing the images of one standing buddha, one seated bodhisattva on the side wall and part of the thousand buddha motifs on the central tableau [7]. Metadata created by: Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International