Leaving the mega city of Xian meant that the team would now go through some more rural areas and to the Maijishan Grottoes close to Tianshui…
The Maijishan Grottoes, are a series of 194 caves cut in the side of the hill of Majishan in Tianshui, Gansu Province, northwest China.

This example of rock cut architecture contains over 7,200 Buddhist sculptures and over 1,000 square meters of murals. Construction began in the Later Qin era (384-417 CE).

 

Sometime between 420 and 422 CE, a monk by the name of Tanhung arrived at Maijishan and proceeded to build a small monastic community.

One of the legends is that he had previously been living in Chang’an but had fled to Maijishan when the city was invaded by the Sung army.

 

 Within a few years he was joined by another senior monk, Xuangao, who brought 100 followers to the mountain. Both are recorded in a book entitled Memoirs of Eminent Monks; eventually their community grew to 300 members. Xuangao later moved to the court of the local king where he remained until its conquest by the Northern Wei, when he, together with all the other inhabitants of the court, were forced to migrate and settle in the Wei capital. He died in 444 during a period of Buddhist persecution. Tanhung also left Maijishan during this period and travelled south, to somewhere in Cochin China, when in approximately 455, he burned himself to death.

Lipstick was parked off at the bottom of the mountain and Andre and Willy were transported up the hill in a converted golf car but still had to do some walking of about another 2km before they reached the bottom of this amazing mountain sculpture

Again the climb to the top was as hair-raising as the pervious and similar mountain near Datong – however the staircases this time seemed to be more robust with proper steel handrails but still with very narrow walkways

Here some pictures which can explain the scenario much better than words.

Explanatory plaque found at the bottom of the mountain

Explanatory plaque found at the bottom of the mountain
 
A lot of time must have been spent carving these grottos into the face of the mountain

A lot of time must have been spent carving these grottos into the face of the mountain.
 
hundreds of sculptures can be seen in the grottos

hundreds of sculptures can be seen in the grottos…
 
The boys crawled through tunnels

and climbed stairs with heaven above and ground 0 underneath

The boys crawled through tunnels and climbed stairs with heaven above and ground 0 underneath…
 
The who is who of Mount Maijishan - Willy

The who is who of Mount Maijishan - Andre

The who is who of Mount Maijishan…
 
After this sweat creating bit of mountaineering team Lipstick proceeded to
Tianshui where a nice restaurant was found after the idea of getting some take -aways from the street was shelved.

The food presented on the streets of Tianshui was a bit too rough for team Lipstick
 
The food presented on the streets of Tianshui was a bit too rough for team Lipstick so it was a matter of finding a restaurant or starve…

One thought on “Day 20 – 28th June 2016 Xian to Tianshui

  • July 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm
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    Hi Andre,

    Looks like you are having a fantastic time. I see you are sweating somewhat …nice and warm hey??

    Enjoy Regards
    John

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