Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves
Source: Global Times [12:50 July 11 2009]
The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves is located in The Mystic Grand Canyon of the Tianshan Mountains. It is one of the key national cultural protection units.
Sixty kilometers (37.2 miles) east of Baicheng County, the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves sit on the cliffs on the northern bank of the Muzat River, 7 kilometers (4.34 miles) southeast of Kizil town.
Kizil means red in the Uigur.
According to the characteristic of the layout of the caves, the subjects and art style of murals and the radioactive carbon examination, the time of most of the caves ranges from the fourth to the eighth century, and can be generally divided into the early, middle and the late stage. They are the representatives of Qiuzi grottos.
The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves is the earliest Buddhist art treasure trove in China, even one century earlier than the famous Mogao Grottoes.
Some existing caves retain the number serial such as the No.236 caves, and about one-third of the caves retain relatively complete shape and murals.