Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves Turpan Xinjiang
Hidden in a wonderful setting of sand dunes with a green canyon below, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are an invaluable testimony to the area's mixture of peoples, religions and cultures typical of the Silk Road.

Exceptional Relics

It was discovered recently that Caucasians lived in Turpan region over 2,000 years ago. The paintings represented in the caves of Bezeklik are evidence of the mixture of people a few hundred years later and thus an invaluable treasure for historic research. Although we do not yet know where this ethnically-Caucasian group of people came from, it is undeniable that their presence marked the region. These paintings are not only examples where Caucasians are represented, but also Chinese, Indians and Mongols. In one painting, many ethnicities are presented and their religion. For example, a painting shows a Caucasian and Mongolian, both with a red dot on their faces as Hindus.

A Buddhist Site

This site is home to various caves built between the sixth and fourteenth century. It was actually an important Buddhist center on the Silk Road. Travelers came to pray for a safe journey. It was then that 83 caves were dug along the Mutou Valley. Today, many of these caves are not open to the public for preservation, considering that 57 of them are already quite degraded.

Today's Caves

The site was indeed plundered by German archaeologists in the early twentieth century. So we can’t fully observe its splendor. Many prints have disappeared and are now exhibited in museums around the world. But perhaps this was a good thing because Muslims who arrived in the region and then the Red Guards deteriorated many things remained. Besides, the beautiful natural landscape of the site is worth appreciating. Indeed, Bezeklik caves are located in a beautiful setting of sand dunes with a canyon below.

  • Best time to visit

    Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. 
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