Bingling Monastery 柄灵寺石窟
Situated in Yongjing County within half a day*s distance from Lanzhou by car, the Bingling Monastery is one of China’s best grotto clusters. The grottoes are next only to those in Dunhuang and the Maiji Mountain in magnitude and the value of their historical relics. Among the survivals are 183 grotto niches (34 grottoes and 149 niches) displaying 679 stone figures and 82 clay figures, in addition to more than 900 square meters of murals. The highest figure is 27 Meters, while the smallest being more than 20 centimeters only. Also there are one stone square pagoda, and four clay pagodas.
Two-thirds of the grottoes and niches were carved during the Tang Dynasty. The rest were carved in Western Qin, Northern Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Ming and Qing dynasties. Its centuries-old stone-carving art is considered a gem of history and culture in China.
During the construction of Liujiaxia Reservoir in 1967, a 200-metre-long and 20-metre-high dam was built in front of the Monastery. The monastery can be reached by taking a boat.