Bizeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

  • First and foremost, the Bezeklik, Thousand Buddha Caves was a composite of Buddhist cave of which it existed from 5th century and 14th century. These caves were in the middle of two cities namely; Turpan and Shanshan. This was north-east from Taklamakan desert near the remains of Gaochang in the motuo valley. The cave that had existed for long from the Uyghur kara-khoja kingdom estimated to be 10th to 13th centuries. There were about 77 rock-cut caves place. These caves had amazing shapes, most of them had rectangular spaces which were fitted with arch ceilings and they mostly divided into four and they were fitted with wall paintings of Buddha in each. This was to ensure that the ceiling was covered with hundreds of Buddha murals. In most cases, the wall paintings would show a large Buddha surrounded by other four figures such as Indians, Europeans or even Turks. The murals in most circumstances could vary depending on the inexperienced artist or masterwork of religious art. The large-sized Murals would represent the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves which were named as Pranidhi Scene, which symbolized sakyamuni`s promise depicted from his past life.
    However, the murals at the Bezeklik have greatly been destructed. In most circumstances, the eyes and the mouth were scratched out. These damages were done by the Muslims whose religion was against the use of images resembling the human beings. In addition, the murals could also be broken down where it was used as fertilizer by the locals.
    Later in the late 19th century and early 20th century European and Japanese explorers were able to get undamaged murals buried in the sand. They removed them and circulated them in the whole parts of the word. However, the best preserved murals were removed and taken by a German explorer called Albert Von Le Coq and he sent them to his country, Germany. Other large pieces were fixed on the wall of Museum of Ethnology in Berlin such as those ones showing Pranidhi scene. Unfortunately, after the rise of Second World War, they were destroyed when the museum was bombed by the allies. This is because it was not possible to remove them for safekeeping.
    Other pieces may be found in museum in the other parts of the world such as Tokyo national museum in Japan, the British museum in London, the National museum of Korea and India an also in hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. Finally, a digital recreation of the Bezeklik murals was invented and was shown in Japan.