Matisi grottoes – A mountain carved into a temple

The Matisi Grottoes are Buddhist cave temples in the administrative region of the Mati Tibetan community in the Chinese province of Gansu. It is a large group of different cave complexes that are scattered over 30 square kilometers in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains. The best accessible site is approximately 65 kilometers south of Zhangye city center. The first caves were dug about 1,600 years ago. It is named after the Mati Monastery (Mǎtísì), which literally means “Horse Hoof Monastery”. According to Chinese legend, the god Erlang stopped here so that his horse could rest. Tibetan tradition, however, attributes the horse’s hoof , which is seen as an imprint in a rock, to the riding horse of the famous hero king Gesar. The section of the cliff carved out as a pagoda is the most imposing part of Mati Si. It’s nearly 200 feet  in height. It’s divided into seven floors and houses seven grottoes, an intricate set of tunnels, and 200 Buddha statues.

Von Immanuel GielEigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

By Immanuel GielOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Von Andreas Gruschke (d.h. ich selbst) – Andreas Gruschke (d.h. ich selbst), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Von Immanuel GielEigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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A unos 70 km de Zhangye, flanqueados por las #montañasQilian, se encuentran los templos de Mati Si. Son templos budistas cavados en la ladera de la montaña, formando una serie de cuevas-templo interconectadas entre sí por estrechos pasadizos con balcones colgantes. Según la leyenda, un caballo sagrado dejó su huella impresa en una de las rocas. “Mati” significa literalmente pezuña de caballo, y “Si” significa templo, de ahí su nombre. ¿Te gustaría visitarlos? 😱❤️🇨🇳 📸Photo by: @zifstagram #mati #matisi #templodemati #China #Chinamagica #photography #photo #Chinatravel #culturachina #GanaDineroComprandoEnChina #import #business #commerce

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DAY 53 "Mati Si (Horse’s Hoof Temple) . . . Mati Si (which translates to Horse’s Hoof Temple) is a group of Buddha grottoes located in the Linsong Mountain in the Gansu Province (China). Thousands of grottoes are grouped together in seven clusters and human-made tunnels link the various grottoes. There is no official record proving the exact time when Matisi Temple was built. However, large numbers of poets have portrayed Matisi Temple in their great works, and the earliest one could date back to Eastern Jin Dynasty (A.D. 317 – 402). . . . . . . . Crazy shot by @dmjean . . . #archaeology #history #china #asia #matisi #temple #photography #ancient #times #inspiration #architecture #sky #travel #legacy #skyporn

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Day 4, A different area of Matisi…Qianfo Grottos #千佛洞 was a Tibetan Buddhist Temple constructed in Yuan Dynasty. Matisi Grottoes #馬蹄寺 (Horse’s Hoof Temple) is located in Sunan Yugur autonomous county, the only grottoes in China built among Snow Mountains (Qilian Mountain) #祁連山 with elevation over 3000 meters above sea levels. Composed of 7 small grotto groups: Lower, Middle and Upper Guanyin Cave, Jinta Temple, Qianfo Cave, Puguang Temple and Shenguo Temple…3 are Northern Liang dynasty and 4 are Yuan dynasty cave complex). In the early Han dynasty (206BC), it was the summer resort for the King of Huns. Legend #甘镇志 depicts a celestial horse (a Bixi, or Chinese Pegasus) left a mark of its hooves in a rock here, (hence Horse Hoof Temple). Records indicate that Matisi Temple was initiated by Guoyu #郭瑀 of Western Jin Dynasty. Because of its long history, Matisi Temple is regarded as 1 of the 3 Treasured Grottoes (the other 2 being Yulin and Mogao). #matisi #matisitemple #zhangye #gansu #china #silkroad #lifewelltravelled #flysomewherenew #bucketlist #natgeotravelpic

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A photo blog focused on the unique things of the world, exploring a number of different subjects such as art, photography, architecture and travel.

4 thoughts on “Matisi grottoes – A mountain carved into a temple”

  1. Immagini davvero incredibili, la tenacia e la forza dell’uomo sono encomiabili!
    Buon inizio di settimana e un caro saluto,silvia

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