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Niches 45, 46, 47, and 48, Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻) Anderl, Christoph; Yu, Sau Ling Wendy


This complex of niches is located in Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻), Fowan (佛灣), Dazu (大足) District, Chongqing. Niche 45: A pair of standing bodhisattvas with unknown identities is depicted. Their peach-shaped halos are decorated with flame patterns. Other details cannot be recognized due to severe erosion. Niche 46: Five figures are depicted. The central Buddha image is seated with crossed legs on a lotus throne, holding a bowl with his left hand and with his right hand touching his right knee. An octagon canopy is carved above the Buddha. The upper part of the central wall is depicted with bas-reliefs of Bodhi trees. The Buddha is flanked by two standing disciple figures with Añjali Mudras (Chinese: heshi 合十) and circular halos. Two unknown bodhisattvas with Lalitasana sitting postures are placed on the side walls. Both are severely eroded. Niche 47: A standing figure dressed in a warrior’s costume is depicted in the centre, while a badly eroded statue remains on its left side. Several small figures with unknown identities also remain under the central figure. Niche 48: The central figure is a Buddha sitting in a European posture on a Sumeru throne. The statue’s head, body and legs are damaged. However, a peached-shaped head halo and an oval body halo with flame patterns remain. The two attendant bodhisattvas have the same sitting postures and halo designs. Both of them hold lotus flowers with long stems. A pair of feitian 飛天 (Sanskrit: apsaras) is depicted on top of the three statues. They are severely eroded. There is an altar at the bottom of the niche. It is flanked by two kneeling bodhisattva figures and two lions. Descriptions of the photos: Key to the niches [1] Overview of the niches [2] Overview of the niches and the surrounding environment [3] Close-up of Niches 45 and 47 [4] Close-up of Niche 45 [5] Close-up of Niche 47 [6] Close-up of Niche 46 [7] Close-up of Niche 48 [8] Metadata created by: Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

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