North Zhongshan Grottoes [monastery?], (near) Anding, Shaanxi, CN

Raw data

Zhongshan Grottoes
Type: Religious Sites, Caverns/ Caves
Anding Town Zichang County 717308

The Zhongshan Grottoes, believed to be built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (A.D. 317-420) are located at the southern foot of Zhongshan Mountain, Zichang County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. 
It consists of 18 caves. Five of them have been unearthed so far.
The main cave alone contains more than 10,000 Buddha of different sizes.
Both Chinese and foreign archaeologists said that the Zhongshan Mountain grottoes have the same historical value as the Yungang grottos in Shanxi Province, the Longmen grottoes in Henan Province and Mogao grottoes in northwest China's Gansu Province.
They surmise that the Zhongshan grottoes may be the earliest grottoes in China.
( July 17, 2008)

"Grottos of Zhongshan Mountain are at the southern foot of Zhongshan Mountain, some 15 kilometers west of Zichang County, Shaanxi Province.
Built in 1067 during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the grottos are distributed along the Wanfo Cliff in five grottos that are still intact.
The biggest grotto is the Wanfo Grotto 20 meters wide, 14 meters deep and seven meters tall. At the center of the grotto is a Buddhist altar — 11.5 meters long from east to west, five meters wide from north to south and 2.5 meters high — with eight square stone pillars that reach the roof. The grotto vault was engraved with lotus lines. Divided into three groups are 16 Buddha statues encircling the altar. At two to three meters in height, all of the statues are the disciples and Bodhisattvas of Sakyamuni. The grotto walls and eight pillars were carved with more than 10,000 Buddha statues in various poses. Carved using smooth lines, the Buddha statues are representations of the sculptural art of the Northern Song Dynasty."

Input by: tmciolek, Jul 26, 2011

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 29 Jan 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than **200 m ** from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of North Zongshan Grottoes monastery?, CN.

General location of the North Zongshan Grottoes monastery?, CN.
Lat 37.19860 Long 109.4520
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2011.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=37.19860,109.4520&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • North Zongshan Grottoes [monastery?]

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Shaanxi Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 37.19860 Long 109.4520 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 3 Aug 2011.

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 0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p 0400-32p - tmciolek 29 Jan 2014
0300-32p 0333-66p 0367-99p 0400-32p 0433-66p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

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]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License