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Bezeklik Caves

Bezeklik Caves, also known as the Bizaklik Thousand-Buddha Caves, is located in a gorgeous valley of the Flaming Mountains. More than 100 caves were hewn out of this cliff face between the 6th and 9th centuries by Buddhist monks who farmed the valley below. They were abandoned at about the same time as Gaochang Ancient City and Jiaohe Ancient City after the Muslim take over of the region in the late 14th century.

There are 77 rock-cut caves at the Bezeklik Caves. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of Buddha. The effect is of entire ceiling covers with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some ceilings in Bezeklik Caves are painted with a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Indians, Persians and Europeans. The quality of the murals varies, with some being artistically naive while others are masterpieces of religious art.

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