September 1, 2009

The 31-metre-tall Mu Ta , also named Wooden Tower located just a few hundred meters north of the Zhangye Hotel, built in the sixth century, The upper storeys are supported by twenty huge wooden columns. On each corner of the octagonal storeys are carved dragon heads with pearls in their mouths. Behind the tower is a rectangular building for the storage of Buddhist scriptures. The octagonal tower is now home to large numbers of jackdaws, and its grounds are used by the local kung fu school.

 

September 1, 2009

The Giant Buddha Temple is located in the southwest part of downtown of Zhangye, which is well known for the remains of  China’s biggest indoor sculpture of Nirvana Buddha. The Temple was initially built in 1098. Historic Literature records that Wei Mie, a Great Master in West Xia State, unearthed a gold statue of sleeping Buddha covered by jade tile, and then built this temple there. The existing structures include the Grand Buddha Hall, Scripture Tower and the Earth Tower. Inside the Grand Buddha Hall lies the sleeping statue of Nirvana Buddha,  it is 34.5m long in lenghth with the shoulder of 7.5m wide , foot of 4m and ear of 2m long.  Decorated with the golden and colored patterns, it is vivid in lifestyle, looking awake but sleeping in fact.  The 10 disciples are sculptured behind the sleeping Buddha, and the 18 arhats standing at the both sides of the porch.  On the wall of inside Hall painted the murals about the“Pilgrimage to the West” and the“Classics of Mountains and Rivers”More than 6000 volumes of sutra bestowed by Emperor Ying Zong of Ming Dynasty are kept well, among which the collections written with the gold and silver powder are invaluable.  It is said that the Mongolian Emperor Shizu(Kublai) of  Yuan Dynasty was born in this Temple.  At the end of  Southern Song Dynasty, Zhao Xian, i.e Gong Zong, became a monk here to avoid the misfortune after his captivity.

 

September 1, 2009

Zhangye is is a prefecture-level city in China’s Gansu province, and located in the far western side of the  province. In the north it borders Inner Mongolia and in the south Qinghai. It has a large area of 42,000 km² and is blessed with numerous streams, abundant sunlight and fertile soil, making it an important agricultural center for Gansu and all of China.

Zhangye is in the center of the Hexi Corridor. The area was the frontier for much of China’s history, forming a natural passage to the Central Asian portion of the empire. During the Western Han dynasty, Chinese armies were often engaged against the Xiongnu in this area. It was also an important section of the Silk Road.

Population: 1.17 millionArea: 41,900 square kilometers (16,177 square miles)