This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world’s smallest temple

Back to the millennium, under the kunlun mountains, the cele oasis, the clear current rippling, the trees whirling, the bustling camel caravan walking through this place, you can hear the spiritual sound echoed by the river, you can see a long corridor of Buddhism shrouded by auspicious clouds, the simple and deep, the realm of harmony between man and nature is unforgettable.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Today, the noise of history has quietly gone, but the light from the blending of eastern and western cultures on the ancient silk road is still bright.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Effect in hotan, located in the south edge of the taklamakan desert, the kunlun mountains, is the han dynasty 扜, khotan, and leather seat of mountainous country. Buddhism was first introduced into China in hong bu, and developed into a buddhist resort, China’s buddhist center. Therefore, there are many buddhist sites in hotan area today.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Among them, damagou buddhist site group is particularly famous, widely distributed, representative. The site was the site of the small oasis state of shimo in the western region in the han dynasty, and then merged with khotan.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

From the 10th century to the 11th century, the khalakan dynasty in the western region (centered on present-day kashgar and shule) launched a war against the neighboring khotan dynasty (centered on present-day khotan), destroying the ancient khotan kingdom which was popular with Buddhism.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

A thousand years later, archaeological experts discovered the buddhist temple site in the desert south of damagou township, cele county, hetian region, xinjiang, which was named topruk no. 1 buddhist temple, topruk no. 2 buddhist temple and topruk no. 3 buddhist temple.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

At the same time, in the south, north and east of the site group, there are also a large number of ancient buddhist buildings in the ruins of karakalegan, karadun, abbas-dun and togerac dun.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

According to textual research, most of the buddhist sites in damagou were built from the 6th century to the 8th century. It is believed that the earliest discovery of the topruk 1 temple was made by a young shepherd who was digging for roots of tamaru when he found the top of a broken Buddha statue.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Damagou topruk pier 1 buddhist temple sitting in the north facing south, the building plan is rectangular, north and south 2 meters long, east and west 1.7 meters wide, the statue of Buddha close to the north wall, is the smallest buddhist temple found in China and even the world.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Experts believe it may have been a temple with a Buddha statue and a buddhist temple. The murals on the four walls of the buddhist temple are different in style and not completed in the same period.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

However, the main Buddha statue does not have the characteristics of the late tang dynasty, but has distinctive characteristics of gandhara sculpture art. The shoulder wide waist fine, YiWen prolapse, Buddha clothes covered with feet, sit cross legged lotus is small and other characteristics, can be sure it is early of Buddha, should be built by north Korean late to sui, 1500-1800 years ago. Unfortunately, both the head and the shoulders of the Lord Buddha were damaged.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

But still can be seen that the main statue of Buddha is larger, and the whole temple is not quite in harmony. As a result, archaeological experts speculate that there may be the main Buddha first, followed by a temple. Mural painting may also be much later than the age of the statue.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

The second and third buddhist temples of topruk dun in damagou, which were later discovered, also have a long history. No. 2 buddhist temple layout is strict and clear, is the most complex structure found in the hotan area of buddhist temple.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

The site of no. 3 buddhist temple is arranged in a courtyard gallery, with a concave shape. The layout is regular and rigorous, and the site is on a large scale. The three sites should be part of a large buddhist temple.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

However, due to history and war, the small buddhist temple in damagou was badly damaged, and khotan was also defeated. The last buddhist army crossed kunlun and fled to Tibet, ending the history of Buddhism in ancient khotan.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

But the long river of history still leaves us countless treasures, we can clearly see the ruins of small buddhist temple, thousand Buddha fresco, thousand eyes woodcut, thousand-hand avalokitesvara and three-string pipa, visaman king, maitreya bodhisattva, Buddha head, tshaksha, nude bodhisattva and so on 108 pieces of precious cultural relics and murals.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

Although these cultural relics are defective, they are admirably exquisite. At the same time, their discovery also confirms the record in tang xuanzang’s journey to the west that khotan is “crowded with buddhist pagodas and monks”.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

The nude acting bodhisattva portraits displayed in the museum have typical Indian characteristics, and the excavated frescoes also show the portraits offered by the saizens dressed in beard and straddled the steed, which all indicate that this area was once an important meeting place of eastern and western cultures and RACES. In particular, the image of the donor, dressed entirely in tang style.

This ancient country in the western region is the center of Buddhism. Archeologists have discovered a mysterious site: the world's smallest temple

It is also known from unearthed documents that there were once alive ancient cypriots, han Chinese, litters, jews, persians and indians, who believed in different religions and followed different cultures. Ancient khotan flourished with art and romance thanks to the trade and cultural melding of the silk road. Despite the ruthless history, the flourishing ancient buddhist country has always been one of the sources of Buddhism in the central plains.

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