Beishiku monastery, (near) Xigouquan, Gansu, CN

Raw data

"Beishiku Grottoes are one of the four most important grottoes of Gansu province. They lie at the confluence of the Pu and Ru Rivers 25 kilometers southeast of Xifeng. They were constructed by Xi Kangsheng, the local governor of Jingchuan in 509 AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and later expanded during the Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Song and Qing Dynasties. The present grottoes are in several locations within a few kilometers of each other; they include, Jingqousi, Shidaope, Huabaoya, Lufucun, and Sigou Grottoes. Among these, Sigou Grottoes are the best and most concentrated. They are cut into the cliff of Fuzhang Hill which is 20 meters high and 120 meters long. The grottoes are carved southwards and northwards from Cave 165. They are also built row upon row like a beehive. All the grottoes are connected to each other by stone stairs and paths. There are 282 grottoes and niches and 2,125 sculptures. The sculptures of Beishiku are very similar to those of Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang in terms of artistic style; this is especially true of the seven 8—meter high standing Buddhas which bear dignified expressionss and the ten Bodhisattvas with her graceful forms, plump faces, elegant clothes and kindly expressions. The ancient laboring people artistically expressed their desire for the good and the beauty of the sculptures of the Bodhisattvas. Even though centuries have passed, their aesthetic values live on.

Beishiku Grottoes are the most resourceful grottoes in Longdong, their representatives’ are No. 165, 240 of the North Dynasty and No. 32, 222, and 263 of Tang dynasty. The various shaped sculptures show the essence of Han and Tang dynasty, it is also the essence of the communication between China and foreign countries. It enjoys a high status in the art history of Buddhism Grotto.

Grotto No. 165, presided to be discovered by Xi Kangsheng, is one of the representatives. The gate is 5.9 meters in height, 3 meters in width. There are two Gate Gods outside. The grotto is square in shape, 14 meters in height, 21.7 meters in width, and 15.7 meters in depth. There are 8 Gaoli Buddhas and Ten Bodys Gaoleidai Buddhas, etc, as well as reliefs of Buddhism stories. This grotto is very typical and has high research and art value.

Grotto No. 32, 222, 263 are representative grottoes of Tang dynasty. The sculptures and relieves in them are vivid, colorful, and deserved to be rare treasures." -

“The city is famous for its Qingyang North Grotto Temple, which is located at the junction of the Ru River and is 25 km away from the downtown. The North Grotto Temple is the key cultural relics under national protection and one of the four greatest grottoes in Gansu Province.”
Input by: tmciolek, Jun 17, 2011

"North cave temple is located southwest of Xifeng district Po, 25 kilometres East Bank, yongping Jing in the second year the Northern Wei State created by the feudal provincial or Prefectural Governor Xi Kangsheng. Natural environment of the North cave temple is very elegant, with perfectly round the clock cover of Zhongshan, in the face of powerful timei Ridge, Pu he, Ruhe to water such as two silver belt settlement before the temple, pleasant.
caves dug in the 120-meter-long, high above the Zhongshan-covered Cliff more than 20 meters, total size cave shrine 295, stone statues 2,126, cave shrine by cliff face natural form is divided into upper and lower layers, corridor stone steps through, the layout system, structured. Especially 165 caves up to 14 meters, 15.7 metres deep, 21.7 meters wide, large-scale, national rare.

North cave temple caves is a national key cultural relics protection units, is one of the four caves, Gansu, cave shrine than the Maiji mountain grottoes and two Binglingsi Grotto, and second only to the Dunhuang grottoes, grottoes in China occupies an important position in the art.
North cave temple is one of the four caves, Gansu province, located in the southeast of Xifeng Ru He and Pu River interchange, 25 km from the urban areas, founded Northern Wei yongping year (509), and at the East 15 Li in jingchuan County of South Grotto with the created for the State of Northern Wei Jing feudal provincial or Prefectural Governor Xi Kangsheng. Is the sister of tertiaryred South Cave Temple caves, important cave on North Road.
North Grotto Temple back Castle Peak, face green flow, in long 12 m, high 20 m of Zhe red stone cliff above, dug with since Northern Wei, and West Wei, and Northern Zhou, and sui, and Tang, and song, and Qing the generation cave shrine 295 a, has size statue 2,125 respecting, cave shrine intensive, shaped as peak room, high 20 m, long 120 m, is formation in longdong area content most rich of Grotto.
Grotto down on a three-tier, with Xi Kangsheng 165th created caves, to the maximum, it is a large cave with seven Buddha as content. Seven magnificent exquisite Buddha statues, solemn, without losing the brilliance and charm of the Northern Wei statues. Accompanied seven carved Buddha and bodhisattva Maitreya bodhisattva, riding like Asura, handheld Moon is full of works of art appeal success. In addition, there are caves, No. 240 of the Northern Zhou dynasty statue showing Nathan Park heavy manners. North cave temple to largest cave in the Tang dynasty, most representative was built during the first year of Wu Zetian (ad 692), 32nd at Mogao grottoes. Size statue faces full and graceful in the cave, Sau lovelook, sail, attitude is moving, which is called Tang dynasty art, Tang dynasty statues reached new achievements in art. Cave also holds in sui, Tang, song, Jin, Western Xia, Yuan the Chinese inscription of more than 150 generations, is to study history, treasures of calligraphy."
Input by: tmciolek, Jul 27, 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 Beishiku monastery, CN.

General location of the Beishiku monastery, CN.
Lat 35.7156 Long 107.2178
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2011.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=35.7156,107.2178&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China: Gansu Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

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 0500-32c - tmciolek 27 Dec 2012
  • 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 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

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

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

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

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