The ancient western regions, the silk road, the Chinese civilization is more prosperous and rich. During my trip to xinjiang, I paid most attention to the ancient sites and heritages along the ancient silk road. Hotan, xinjiang, is the focus of my trip. When I came to hetian, I realized the splendid Chinese culture, not only the ancient silk road, but also the han and tang cultures. Hotan, known as “khotan” in ancient times, was a member of the federation system of han and tang dynasty in one thousand years after the first century BC. It was the crossroads connecting Tibetan civilization in the south, Indian civilization in the southwest, Persian and Roman culture in the west, and central plains civilization in the east.
The buddhist site of damagou, located in hotan, is one of the important harvests of this trip. The buddhist temple, no. 2 toprukdun, is the smallest temple ever discovered in the world, with an area of only 4 square meters. Some archaeologists believe that this is a building with Buddha statue before temple. Because the figure of Buddha is large in size, it does not conform to the architectural specifications from the pattern, and then the wall fresco and statue are different periods and so on. The picture shows a restored model of the topruk dun 1 site.
This is a buddhist temple site found in the desert south of damagou township. At present, there are three sites with different establishment time and specifications. But in the relics exhibition hall of the ruins group, we have seen many exquisite buddhist frescoes, although most of them are incomplete, they are still attracted by them. Through the visible objects, we find that the figures in these murals are round and plump, with characteristics of the middle and late tang dynasty.
The frescoes unearthed in three buddhist temples basically accord with the aesthetics of tang dynasty figures, which shows that the central plains have great influence on khotan Buddhism and art. Hotan, known as khotan in ancient times, is an ancient buddhist kingdom in the western regions. Buddhism was first introduced into our country in hong bu, carry forward, and developed into a buddhist holy land, the buddhist center of our country. Therefore, there are many buddhist sites in hotan today, but they are also the most seriously damaged. Since the 20th century, this site has been the focus of foreign “explorers” and “archaeologists”. Damagou buddhist sites, they may have been looted. The picture shows the king of pishamun.
There are many sculptures in ancient khotan buddhist art, and there are also a lot of excavated sculpture sites. The statues are mainly Buddha and bodhisattva. So this time, I first fixed my eyes on these incomplete ancient murals. Lines and colors have always been the artistic language of traditional paintings in China. These murals unearthed in the damagou buddhist site have high expressive force and generality. With concise brushwork, they create characters with distinct personalities and complex hearts. The more complete figure in the picture seems to be smiling.
This fresco is badly damaged, but it is still visible as a seated Buddha sitting on a lotus. The clothes are drooping and shaped like a ladder, which is very similar to the structure of the main Buddha statue in the small buddhist temple (the smallest in the world), and the lotus stage is small, which has the characteristics of the early Buddha statue, and maintains the influence and style that was introduced to the western region from India.
This is also an early figure of Buddha, as can be seen from the clothes and the lotus stand, and the clothes cover the feet. Although it is a fragment, it still displays the brilliant light of ancient khotan buddhist painting art, which is of great significance for understanding and studying khotan buddhist art around the 8th century.
This mural should be bodhisattva, picture peaceful, content is rich. Four figures can be seen in the fragment, in a style of Indian culture. Khotan’s buddhist culture not only profoundly influenced Buddhism in central China, Buddhism in Tibet, Buddhism in east Asia, but also deeply influenced by other aspects. Murals, such as those in the style and pattern of the kasaya, are typically characteristic of gandharan sculpture, meaning that after Buddhism was introduced into the western regions, Indian culture remained and was influenced by it.
This is not a mural, but it is quite unique and has not appeared anywhere else in the country. Carved with many Buddha eyes, the plank is named “thousand-eye Buddha plank painting”. It was unearthed in no. 2 buddhist temple of topruk dun.
This is also a fresco of seated Buddha, which shows the Buddha’s hand, coat and lotus stand. But this one is especially small.
Although this head of Buddha is not a fresco, it is the best among the unearthed statues in khotep. This is the head of a bodhisattva shaped in mud, showing a slightly oblong head shape, with flexed hair combed into a half moon shape, but the decoration above is damaged. The bridge of gao long’s nose and eyebrow bone meet, the eye that close closely resembles willow leaf, black eye son reveals contemplative state of mind, the lip slightly smiles.
This is the head of the protective method. Although the content of the whole fresco is unknown, the mellow and peaceful manner of the protective method makes the visitors feel comfortable and warm.
Thousand buddhas and knights. The Buddha is on the top, the knight is on the bottom. The Buddha and the Buddha are separated by a pattern similar to a six-petal flower. The rider rode with his hair tied in a crown, his official tunic of the tang dynasty, his belt tied, and his moustache tied. This mural is very interesting, from the figures to the layout intriguing.
This is the bodhisattva head, the overall damage is severe. In fact, almost all the murals unearthed in damagou buddhist ruins are incomplete, but these do not affect the rich connotation and artistic characteristics of khotan buddhist paintings. It is deplorable that buddhist sites have been destroyed and looted because of their history. But at the same time, we should protect the precious heritage left from it.
Although none of the murals were complete, the colors and shapes of the unearthed murals were very good, which experts speculated was related to the local desert cover and dry climate. & have spent
The murals were painted between the 6th and 8th centuries. In the exhibition hall, the female image is mostly charming and dignified, and the central plains image is not different. However, the male characters, no matter the king of heaven or the statue of the guardian spirit, basically have thick beard and eyebrows, high nose and deep eyes, kongwu and powerful, and their facial features and bodies obviously have the image characteristics of figures in the western regions, which are different from the frescoes in dunhuang and other grottoes in the same period.
This is a mural of female figures, slim and dignified, which does not seem to be influenced by the tang dynasty culture. Since none of the frescoes unearthed at the site were painted at the same time, a temple often has multiple frescoes from different periods.
This is a portrait mural for tubo. At first glance, I thought it was a woman looking back.
When I first saw this mural, I thought of the figure of tang dynasty, and sure enough, it was the mural of the donator in the han dynasty. The head of this person is obviously the costume of the han people in central China, and the face is also in line with the people in central China. The eyes are long and thin, the nose bridge is slightly lower, the nose tip is round, and the face is flat. And the western figures believe that the comparison, not three-dimensional, but looking at it is very cordial.
This mural, can you see what it is? Is a thousand hands thousand eyes avalokitesvara. But when I zoomed in, I found an interesting sight: a rabbit or mouse. But whether it’s a rabbit or a mouse, the image below might give you a glimpse.
Due to the serious damage to the site and the erosion of groundwater, the archaeological team only collected some pieces of the mural. Through the splicing of the fragments, we can get a glimpse of the true face of the picture. Avalokitesvara face full, show long eyebrows, small mouth, small nose, long eyes, there is a stand in the yintang. From mural remnants piece can see in the chest has a pair of hands to make a pattern print, its left side has several to go up of arm, among them have a hand to hold round moon, in the middle of the month can see an animal, be rat still rabbit? From the perspective of buddhist culture and Chinese mythology, it is likely to be the image of the rabbit.
There are too many murals to photograph and share. If you have a chance to visit hotan in xinjiang, don’t miss it. The damagou buddhist ruins are worth a second look. In those days, many of them went to the west for buddhist scriptures, but few actually reached the so-called “west sky” (modern India). Therefore, the culture of central plains has a profound influence on hetian. Here, the damagou buddhist site group alone can see the spread of central plains culture here.