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Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Bazaklik]

Site in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, 56 km north-east of Turfan. It is the site of the most outstanding complex of Buddhist cave temples in Khocho and is located in the steep side of an extensive terrace above the Murtuk River. At one time access to the caves was via free-standing timber buildings or terraces constructed in front of them, but by the time the caves were discovered by Albert von Le Coq at the beginning of the 20th century these were largely in ruins. In type the caves conform to those in the Kucha region (see Kizil; see also Central Asia, §II, 2).

The cave temples contained sculptures made of unfired clay, but it was mainly the wall paintings (removed by von Le Coq for safekeeping, few survive; see below) that in their unsurpassable diversity provided evidence of a flourishing Buddhist community. The most impressive were the paintings depicting consecration of a ...

Article

Henrik H. Sørensen

[Teng-feng.]

County in Henan Province, China, east of the city of Luoyang. The presence of Mt Song (also called Mt Xiaoshi, Mt Songyue or Mt Songgao) means that the county is primarily known as a centre of Buddhism. Mt Song was a Buddhist sanctuary as early as the Three Kingdoms period (ad 220–80). When Emperor Xiaowendi (reg ad 471–99) of the Northern Wei (386–534) moved the dynastic capital from Datong in north-western Shanxi Province to Luoyang, the mountain was selected as an ideal place to establish Buddhist temples.

The Fawang Temple (Fawang si) is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary on Mt Song, supposedly dating to ad 234. It features a large, square, brick pagoda of the mid-8th century ad, 15 storeys and 40 m high, built in the same style as the Xiaoyan ta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) in Xi’an. Other buildings in the Fawang Temple, including the Precious Hall of the Great Hero (the main hall), the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings and the Ksitigarbha Hall, date from the Qing period (...

Article

Dorothy C. Wang

[Tun-huang.]

Site of Buddhist cave sanctuaries located 25 km south-east of the county town of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China. In the wider definition Dunhuang also includes the Yulin caves at Anxi and the Xi qianfo dong (Western Cave of the Thousand Buddhas). From the 4th century to the 14th, Buddhist cave sanctuaries were continuously carved out in four or five tiers on the cliff face of an alluvial hill that faces east over the Dang River. At its height as a Buddhist complex in the 8th century ad, the complex is believed to have comprised more than 1000 caves. A total of 492 caves with wall paintings and sculptures survive, the earliest of which date to the early 5th century ad. A hoard of old and rare manuscripts was also found at Dunhuang, including the world’s oldest complete printed book (see China, People’s Republic of, §XIV, 3).

Dunhuang was first established as a garrison town in the ...

Article

Ganden  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[dga ’ldan]

Site near Dagzê, c. 40 km east of Lhasa, Tibet. It was the principal monastery founded by Tsong Khapa (1357–1419) in the early decades of the 15th century, and it thereafter became a major sanctuary of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism that he established. Formerly an impressive monastery town with several hundred shrines and chapels and a population of over 5000 lamas, Ganden was utterly destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76). The monastery is still largely ruined, though some reconstruction has begun. The buildings that stand today all date from after 1980.

Ganden was built on the slopes of a hill with the buildings constructed in descending layers in a crescent shape. The heart of Ganden and its most important structure is Tsong Khapa’s Golden Tomb, the Ser Dung. This consists of several interconnecting buildings with high, tower-like superstructures and a courtyard; the inward-sloping walls are painted brown-red. This sanctuary contains several chapels with golden images of Buddhas and guardian deities. In the central chapel in the upper storey is Tsong Khapa’s tomb, a replica of the large stupa made of silver and gold in which the master was originally enclosed. Other main buildings include the Tri Dok Khang, where the abbot of Ganden lived. In a chapel on the second floor is kept a set of the ...

Article

Molly Siuping Ho

[Kung hsien]

Site in Henan Province, China, east of the city of Luoyang. A complex of five Buddhist caves, dating from the Northern Wei period (ad 386–534), is located on the south side of Mt Mang on the northern bank of the Yiluo River. The ground level along the river is higher than the ground level inside the caves by over a metre because of dirt accumulated from flooding. The construction of the caves, sponsored by the Northern Wei imperial family, took place between c. ad 505 and 526, starting with Cave 1. In addition, many small niches and inscriptions sponsored by other devotees were carved later on the outside of the caves and bear dates ranging from ad 531 to 1735.

Cave 1, on the far west, measures 6×6 m; caves 3, 4 and 5 are successively smaller in size, and Cave 2 is unfinished. All are square in layout and, except for Cave 5, have internal central pillars. The once coherent sculpted façade between caves 1 and 2 is now in a fragmentary state. Inside the caves, all surfaces are fully sculpted. The main Buddhist images occur in configurations of three or five, in niches occupying the centre portions of the west, north and east walls and the central pillars. The ceilings of caves 1, 3 and 4 are divided into squares by crossbeams, and each square is decorated with an ...

Article

Hadda  

E. Errington

[Haḍḍa; Hilo]

Site of numerous Buddhist monasteries, 8 km south-west of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. It flourished from the 1st century bc to the 8th century ad. The ancient site, known as Hilo to Chinese pilgrims of the 5th–8th century, is partially covered by a modern village. The earliest archaeological reports were compiled by Claude-Auguste Court (1827), Charles Masson (1834) and William Simpson (1878–9). Masson excavated 14 stupas, primarily at Gundi Kabul (also known as Tepe Kabul and Tepe Safed). He also uncovered the stupa at Tepe Kalan (also known as Tapa-é-Top-é-Kalan, Tope Kelan and Bordji-i Kafariha). A French delegation excavated most of the remaining ruins, including Tepe Kafariha and Bagh Gai, between 1926 and 1928. In 1965 a Japanese mission investigated Lalma, 3 km south-west of Hadda. Tepe Shotor (also known as Tapa-é-Shotor) and Tepe Kalan were excavated by the Afghan Institute of Archaeology between 1965 and ...

Article

Kashgar  

Henrik H. Sørensen and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Kashi; Chin. Shufu, Shule]

Important trading town in the western part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Kashgar is located where the northern and southern branches of the Silk Route met before the crossing of the Pamirs into Afghanistan and India. Buddhism is likely to have been introduced here as early as the 1st century ad. Information on ancient Kashgar can be found in the Fa xian zhuan (‘Faxian account’) by the pilgrim–monk Faxian (fl 4th–5th century) and in the Da Tang xiyou ji (‘Great Tang record of travelling to the west’) by Xuanzang (600–64). The latter reports that the town was a centre of the Sarvastivadin sect of Buddhism, and that the local community consisted of some 10,000 monks living in several hundred temples. This source also mentions that the people of Kashgar made fine carpets of wool. The town was under Chinese control from 685 until the late 8th century. The Korean monk ...

Article

Khocho  

M. Yaldiz

[Karakhoja; Qočo; Chin. Gaochang]

Site 47 km south-east of Turfan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The most important complexes of monasteries in the Khocho area are Idikutshahri, Lenger, Senghim and Bezeklik. To the west of the town is the Chinese necropolis of Astana. The earliest evidence of settlement in the area is that a ruler of the Tujue dynasty, probably of Turkish origin, had an inscription placed on a temple of Maitreya, the Future Buddha, in Khocho in ad 445. Chinese, Sogdians and Tokharians also lived here between the 5th and 7th century. Khocho was occupied by forces of the Tang dynasty in 640. A brief Tibetan interregnum (c. 790–843) ended when the Uygurs established their kingdom here. From the evidence of their manuscripts and art objects, the Uygurs not only observed the Buddhist cult but also practised Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism (see also Central Asia §II 1., (v)...

Article

Kizil  

M. Yaldiz

[Qizil]

Site of Buddhist monastic complexes c. 40 km north-west of Kucha on the upper reaches of the Muzart River in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. So far 227 caves have been uncovered. They are in a wall of rock pierced by a ‘Great Gorge’ in the western third of the complex and two ‘small’ gulleys to the east. At the end of the main terrace of the complex of caves a narrow path below the Devil’s Caves (nos 198 and 199 in the Chinese numerical system) leads north-east along the edge of the mountain to the ‘second’ and ‘third’ complexes.

Because they are so well preserved the temples can be unhesitatingly assigned to four definite architectural categories. Type 1 is what is known as the pillar-temple, consisting of a square or rectangular cella with a pillar forming the back wall. The cult image stands on a pedestal in front of the pillar. On either side there are corridors leading into a transverse passageway and into the mountain; these are used in the ritual transformation (Skt ...

Article

Kumtura  

M. Yaldiz

[Qumtura]

Site of Buddhist monasteries c. 25 km south-west of Kucha in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The monasteries were built on both banks of the Muzart River, spread out over three gorges, and comprised both cave temples and free-standing buildings. The architecture is the same as that at Kizil. The wall paintings (some in situ; some Berlin, Mus. Ind. Kst) are in the first and second Indo-Iranian styles (5th–7th century ad). However, there are also caves with paintings in the style of the Chinese Tang period (ad 618–907) dating from the 8th to the 10th century, mainly in the eastern monastery site north of the Silk Route, such as the Kinnarī, Apsaras and Nirvāna caves. These paintings are similar to those at Shorchuk and Turfan further east. There are also a few paintings showing a gentle transition to a third style, such as a preaching scene (Berlin, Mus. Ind. Kst, MIK III 9024), where Indo-Iranian elements mix with Buddhist–Chinese ones, so that it is impossible to compare the drawing and colours with the work of the main schools. The facial traits of the Buddha, the flaming halo and the spotted garments are strong eastern characteristics, while the braid, lotus and clothes of the monk show influence from the west....

Article

Longmen  

Molly Siuping Ho

[Lung-men]

Site of Buddhist cave temples located 12 km south of Luoyang, Henan Province, China. From the end of the 6th century ad to the mid-8th century many caves were excavated into the low limestone hills that run along the northern and southern banks of the Yi River. The sculptures and reliefs they contain, also carved from the living rock, range in size from the small to the colossal. Work was begun under the patronage of the Northern Wei dynasty (ad 386–534), the capital of which was moved in ad 493–4 from Datong, Shanxi Province, to Luoyang. Construction continued until 755, the year of the rebellion of An Lushan against the Tang dynasty (ad 618–907). The caves thus provide evidence both of the development of Buddhist sculpture and of the imperial patronage of the Northern Wei and Tang dynasties between the late 5th century ad and the mid-8th century. The scale and ambition of the project is evoked in the ...

Article

Miran  

M. Yaldiz

Site of Buddhist monastic complexes and Tibetan fort in south-eastern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The earliest Buddhist complexes in eastern Central Asia, containing paintings of the 3rd–4th century ad, were discovered by Aurel Stein in 1906–7. Altogether Stein identified 16 buildings, some in a fragmentary state. Among them were two clay-brick stupas, which he called M. III and M. V. M. III consisted of a cella, the ground-plan of which was square externally and circular internally. In the centre stood a stupa on a circular base, probably of several storeys, with an ambulatory passageway round it. The interior of the cella was lit by three windows facing south, east and north; the entrance faced west. The walls of the ambulatory were covered with painted friezes ranged one above the other. The lower part of the wall was painted with lunette friezes separated from the paintings above by a dark, patterned band. The friezes in the north-east and south-east consisted of six lunettes. In the arch of each was depicted a human, winged creature whose soft round face with large eyes was turned to the left in three-quarter profile; apart from a thick tress on the top of the head and a wavy lock in front of the ear the hair was shorn (e.g. New Delhi, N. Mus.; see Yaldiz, pl. XXXII). The main paintings in the north-east and south-east sections—pictures of Buddhist legends—had become detached. One showed a standing Buddha with a nimbus in three-quarter profile. Based on a comparison with the style of ...

Article

Molly Siuping Ho

[Mt Mai-chi; Maiji shan; Mai-chi shan]

Site of 194 Chinese Buddhist cave-temples, carved into the south cliff of Mt Maiji in Gansu Province. The area is prone to seismic activity, and the collapse of the central portion of the cliff during an earthquake in ad 734 divided the site into east and west sections. Access to the caves is by means of scaffold-like timber walkways. The cave-temples house the second largest collection of Chinese clay statuary, after Dunhuang. While the figures follow the style of mainstream Chinese sculpture found at the central Chinese sites of Gong Xian, Longmen and Yungang, the artists at Mt Maiji exercised more freedom and imagination in the modelling of the Buddhas and their groupings. The figures and walls were once painted, and about 900 sq. m of wall paintings survive, though in very poor condition.

The Buddhist activities at the site lasted from the 5th century ad to the Song period (...

Article

Mary S. Lawton

[Mt T’ien-lung; Tianlong shan; T‘ien-lung shan]

Cave temple site about 25 km south of Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, China. This complex of relatively small caves is carved in a fairly homogeneous style displaying Indian influences. It was discovered by the Japanese scholar Tadashi Sekino (1868–1935) in 1918 and subsequently studied and photographed extensively. Thereafter, most of the sculptures were stolen piecemeal and acquired for various collections throughout the world, notably the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Van der Heidt collection, Museum Rietberg, Zurich; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA; and the National Museum, Tokyo.

Most of the caves are dated stylistically to a span of approximately 300 years: Caves 1, 2, 3, 10 and 16 date to the Northern Qi period (ad 550–77), Cave 4 to the Sui period (581–618), and others to the Tang period (...

Article

Frances Wood

[Mt Wu-t’ai; Wutai shan; Wu-t’ai shan]

Monastic site in Wutai County in the north-east of Shanxi Province, China, approximately 150 km north-east of the provincial capital, Taiyuan. It is one of the four Buddhist holy mountains and centres of Buddhist pilgrimage of China (the others are Mt Emei, Sichuan Province; Mt Putuo, Zhejiang Province; and Mt Jiuhua, Anhui Province). Manjushri (Wenshu), bodhisattva of wisdom, is said to have appeared on Mt Wutai, whose major temples are therefore devoted to the deity. As Manjushri is a favoured deity of Lamaist Buddhism, Mt Wutai was also a major place of pilgrimage for Lamaist Mongols from Inner Mongolia, which borders Shanxi Province to the north.

Five major peaks (about 3000 m above sea-level) surround a depression in which stands Taihuai zhen, now the centre of a much diminished Buddhist community. During the Tang Period (ad 618–907), when Buddhism was at the height of its power in China, and Japanese and Korean monks (including Ennin) came on pilgrimages, over 200 temples were set in an area of some 250 sq. km; by the late 20th century only 47 were reasonably well preserved. The persecution of Buddhism in ...

Article

Henrik H. Sørensen

(b Kyoto, 1876; d Beppu, Ōita Prefect., 1948).

Japanese collector, geographer and Buddhist priest. In 1901, while studying in London, the young Otani became acquainted with Stein, Sir (Marc) Aurel, who had just returned from his first Central Asian expedition, and was inspired to undertake similar excavations. In 1902 Otani and four Japanese assistants set out for Central Asia, where they stayed until 1904, having worked in various sites in Khotan, Kuccha and Turfan (see Astana). A second, smaller expedition was organized in 1908–9 by Otani under the leadership of Zuichō Tachibana and Eizaburō Nomura, who excavated several sites on both the northern and the southern routes of the Silk Route. Finally, a third expedition was launched in 1910; this lasted nearly five years, ending in 1914. Although none of the Otani expeditions was conducted on a genuinely scientific basis, they led to the discovery of a considerable number of artefacts, including clay and terracotta sculptures, fragments of wall paintings, silk objects, as well as numerous manuscripts in Chinese and several Central Asian languages. Today most of the material collected by the Otani expeditions is in three collections; the Lüxun Museum in Liaoning, the National Museum of Korea in Seoul and the National Museum in Tokyo (...

Article

Ann Paludan

[formerly Yidu ]

Chinese city in Shandong Province. It was the political, cultural and economic centre of the Qingzhou–Jinan region from the 2nd century bc to the 14th century ad. The area is famous for its Han dynasty tomb sculpture and reliefs. The dramatic discovery in October 1996 of a pit containing some 400 stone Buddhist carvings on the site of the former Longxing temple, Qingzhou, and other post-1970 Buddhist finds at Zhucheng city, Longhua temple, Boxing County, Xingguo temple, Qingzhou and Guangrao, Gaoqing and Wudi further north, show that its sculptural tradition was also flourishing in the Northern–Southern dynasties period. An estimated 800 stone and bronze Northern dynasties artefacts reveal the existence of a hitherto unrecognized, vigorous, independent Qingzhou sculptural tradition during the 6th century blending Northern and Southern dynasty, local and foreign elements.

The Longxing collection, discovered carefully packed in an earthen pit with tamped floor and clean cut sides, provides a definitive chronological record of sculptural development between ...

Article

Sakya  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[sa skya; Chin. Sa’gya]

Site in western Tsang, Tibet, on the banks of the Sakya Tramchu River, c. 150 km south-west of Shigatse (Chin. Xigazê). It is the principal headquarters of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Sakya originally consisted of two separate monasteries: the Northern Monastery, founded in 1071 or 1073 by a powerful nobleman, Könchok Gyalpo (1034–1102), and later expanded by his son Kunga Nyingpo (fl 12th century); and the Southern Monastery, on the opposite side of the river, founded by a later leader in the order, Phagspa (1235–80). The Northern Monastery at one time consisted of 108 shrine-rooms, as well as several large stupas stretching along the northern bank and filling the hillside above the river. Some of the structures were surrounded by walls, but otherwise the monastery was open. Some time after 1959 it was utterly destroyed by the Chinese. Only one small structure, the shrine-room devoted to Ushnishavijaya, goddess of longevity, and some buildings used as living-quarters have been rebuilt....

Article

Samye  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[bsam yas; Chin. Samyai]

Site founded c. ad 770 in the Yarlung Valley, on the northern bank of the Tsangpo River west of Tsetang, Tibet. Traditionally considered the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, Samye was (and still is) a main sanctuary of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. According to tradition it was founded by the Indian scholar–monk Shantarakshita (fl 8th century ad), who was invited to Tibet by Trisong Detsen (reg ad 755–c. 794). Popular beliefs also implicate the semi-legendary figure of Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche; fl 8th–9th century ad) with the erection of this monastery. Samye is situated at the foot of Mt Hepori, on which Trisong Detsen is said to have had his palace. To the left of the entrance to the main temple is a stele with the inscription in which Trisong Detsen declared Tibet a Buddhist nation in ad 779.

The central part of the monastery consists of one large and four lesser temples in the form of a ...