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2013 Feb by Jorge Sanchez
I reached by train Chongqing but did not find it an attractive city for a traveller. In the railway station they offered excursion along the Yangtze River, but I had taken one of those cruises in the past from Wuhan to Shanghai and was not interested in another one.
Then I decided to spend the night in a hotel in Dazu, from where the next day would visit Baoding Shan with its stunning Buddhist statues.
In Dazu, in the first hotel where I asked accommodation, was denied a room alleging that I was a foreigner and the hotel was only for Chinese,but in the second one, just next door, they gladly accepted me. I paid about 100 Yuan per a single room.
The next day, early in the morning, I took a motorcycle with driver to Baoding Shan at about 15 kilometers distance.
In that area there were other mountains (Shan means Mountain in Chinese) with rock carvings, but I chose Baoding Shan because the history of the monk Zhao Zhifeng, who spent 70 years of his life realizing a wonderful work of art in the site.
Entrance fee was 135 Yuan, but what I saw inside was of incalculable value. The statues captivated my heart since the first one that I could distinguish at the distance.
The perfection of the rock carvings was exquisite. I saw wisdom in those stones; the whole complex was like an open air school of Buddhism, explaining even its esoteric aspects.
In past journeys to China I had been in the most famous and ancient Buddhist sculptural sites, like Yungang grottoes (in Datong, Shanxi province), Longmen (in Luoyang, Henan province), Mogao (in Dunhuang, Gansu province) plus Bezeklik Thousand Buddha caves (near Turpan, in Sinkiang province). But those rocks carving in Dazu were the best among the best, the ones that touched the fibers of your soul. Indeed, Zhao Zhifeng must have attained the Nirvana state to reach such perfection in the statues. Parts of the statues complex were lessons to develop your condition, from featherless biped to man.
Among the main masterpieces were the Six-Real Wheel of Life, the Shakyamuni’s Nirvana Holly Figure and the series of practical lessons of life.
Back in Dazu I travelled by motorcycle to Chongqing, from where I boarded a night bus to Guiyang, in Guizhou province. |
2006 Dec by Veikko Huhtala*
We arrived to Chongqing by train from Guiyang town in Guizhou province. When we were entering there the air came very polluted. It was not cloudy day at all, but visibility was very poor.|
There are living over 30 million people and because day was calm without any wind, all pollution was floating over the city.
This was reason why we did not stay over night there, but proceeded our voyage to Chengdu in Sichuan province.