Bingling Temple, also called Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves, is located on the Small Jishi Hill, about 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) west of Yongjing County in Lanzhou City. Being one of the very noted four caves in China, it is the second to Mogao Caves in respect of artistic value.
Bingling means 'ten thousand Buddhas' in the Tibetan language. The starting construction time of Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves dates back to the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). In the following dynasties, the caves had been excavated many times. There are now 183 niches, 694 stone statues, 82 clay sculptures and some 900 square meters' (about 1,076 square yards') of murals, which are all well preserved. Among the caves, Cave No.169 is worthy of a particular mention. Made in the Northern Dynasties (386-581), it is the most imposing and delicate one which holds the clay sculptures of Kwan-yin, Dali Buddha (Dali means powerful strength in Chinese), etc. Dali Buddha has a round face, sitting with legs crossed. When we see this sculpture we will feel its expression as being very solemn. On its two sides stands Bodhisattvas with their hair bound, waving bare arms. The colors present us vivid Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. Cave No.125, which holds the stone sculpture of Sakyamuni, is also one not to be missed.