Bei Shan monastery, (near) Longgang, Chongqing, CN

Raw data

Bei Shan
Dazu, Szechuan province, China.
Coordinates: 29.743886° N, 105.722294° E
Dazu (200km E of Chengdu and 100km W of Chongqing), Szechuan, China

Bei Shan (North Hill)
Bei Shan is about a 30-minute hike from Dazu town […] aim straight for the pagoda visible from the bus station.

"The carvings are Bei Shan are the oldest works at Dazu, begun in 892 AD. They were started by the military governor Wei Junjing, who was posted here while campaigning against Sichuanese insurgents. […]
The first group is the oldest and features several military pieces, including a life-sized Wei Junjing dressed in armor. […]
The second group dates from the 12th century and is spread over a 500-meter-long overhang. The sculptures here mostly feature Kwanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, accompanied by monks, nuns and the donors who funded the project."
Input by: tmc, 14 Aug, 2009

"The site of Beishan Cliffside Statues is 2 km to the northwest of Dazu County of Sichuan Province.
Beishan (Northern Mountain), called Longgang Mountain in ancient times, is about 560 meters above sea level. The carvings here were first built in the first year (892) during the Jingfu reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the Five Dynasties Period (907-960) to the Shaoxing reign of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), it had stood through more than 250 years. The initiators of Beishan Cliffside Statues was Wei Junjing, the prefectural governor of Changzhou and the governor of four prefectures: Chang, Pu, Yu and He, in the late Tang Dynasty. There are about five or six thousand statues on the Northern Mountain, and about two or three thousand still remain extant, which are distributed in the Buddha Bay, the White Pagoda Temple, the Yingpan Slope, the Kwan-yin Slope, and the Buddha Ear Slope, etc, and the most statues muster in the Buddha Bay.
The Buddha Bay looks like a crescent, and its rock is 4 meters to 7 meters high, and about 500 meters long. The niches are connected with the grottoes with 290 numbered grottoes. Among them, there are six steles, including the Wei Junjing Stele that records the history of Beishan Statues, the Stele of Ancient Script of Filial Piety in 22 chapters carved during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), etc. There are also 55 pieces of annotations and records of statues, and 8 scripture pillars, one intaglio painting Manjusri Bodhisattva Diagnoses Diseases, and 254 stone carvings in total.
The Buddha Bay are divided into two parts: the works in the southern part mostly were completed in the late Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties Period (907-960), while those in the northern part were done in the Song Dynasty. The works done in the late Tang Dynasty appear elegant and well-rounded, with bold and vigorous disposition, and simple and smooth lines, while the works of Five Dynasties Period are ingenious exquisite, with varied postures, while the works of the Song Dynasty demonstrate a developed national form, with distinct characters and gaudy dress. The statues in No.136 Grotto are elegant and graceful with well-balanced proposition, and each figure there has different characters. For instance, Manjusri Bodhisattva seems vigorous and a little conceited, while Samantabhadra Bodhisattva with the typical charm of oriental women, sits on the back of an elephant, appearing tender, kind, elegant and quiet. The No.125 Grotto enjoys a high prestige of the best of Beishan Carvings, and the statue of Kwan-yin that Counts Beads in it leaves deep impression on visitors with its lively expression that breaks the dividing lines between human and God.
The Wei Junjing Stele in the Buddha Bay records the social situation of the late Tang Dynasty and the reason why he built the village and the statues. These are important data for the textual research into Beishan Carvings. The Stele of Ancient Script of Filial Piety in the Buddha Bay has altogether 6 segments. The Classic of Filial Piety has two versions: in ancient script and in modern script. Because the modern script is easy to find today while the ancient one is rare, the materials on the Stele of Ancient Script of Filial Piety in the Buddha Bay are of great value.
The Duobao Pagoda, also called the Northern Pagoda, lies in front of the White Pagoda Temple on the Northern Mountain, which was first built during the Shaoxing reign (1131-1162) of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and was repaired in both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The pagoda was made up of bricks, with an eight-square, thirteen-layer hollow structure. It is over 30 meters high, and has seven floors inside. The passage was placed in the centre of the pagoda. When you ascend to the top of the pagoda, you will have a panoramic view of the whole Dazu County. The internal and external walls of the pagoda, there are more than one hundred inlaid carvings of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Northern Pagoda has a close connection with the stone carvings on the Northern Mountain."
Input by: tmciolek, Jul 26, 2011

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 27 Dec 2012

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Bei Shan monastery, CN.

General location of the Bei Shan monastery, CN.
lat=29.7439 long=105.71
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=29.7439,105.71&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Chongqing Shi

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 29.7439 Long:105.71 - est. from - tmc, 17 Aug 2009.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0867-99c - tmciolek 27 Dec 2012
  • 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 27 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]l

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • art style
  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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