Seeking the Dhamma in Dazu

Nirvana refers to the ultimate unfettering of the mind from earthly bonds. A quietude of mind and body, a total connection and merging with one’s inner self, a release from all desire and suffering. Enlightenment.

The spiritual journey of Siddhartha from crown prince to the “Enlightened One” is one of the most profound stories of transformation and salvation.

The Buddhist grottoes in Dazu document this journey and depict the Buddha’s basic tenets and the daily life of the times, in the form of a breathtaking array of rock carvings, that I chronicled earlier in my post titled More From The Chonqching Region. Below are a few more snapshots of the amazing and colourful art from this UNESCO world heritage site.Buddha - Dazu, China

The secret of health for both mind and body
is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future,
or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present
moment wisely and earnestly
~ Buddha

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

74 thoughts on “Seeking the Dhamma in Dazu

  1. the intricacy of these carvings is incredible. Worthy of being called A World Heritage Site and preserved as such. Now if we would just follow the master’s wisdom…..

    1. Exactlyy! We seem to have forgotten the basic tenets of kindness and peace and the renouncing of greed! Thanks Lynne

  2. Breathtaking stone carvings! 1,230 years ago, wow!
    Perfect interpretation for the quotes. Thank you, Madhu!

    1. Couldn’t think of anyone better to illustrate “the renouncing of chains that hurt the mind”! Thank you Amy

  3. Great pictures Madhu. Were they similar to the paintings in the Ajanta and Ellora Caves – these pictures remind me of those ancient paintings.

    1. Somewhat, but these are more a fusion of Confucian and Taoist beliefs with the Buddha’s teachings and much larger in scale. Thanks Shaantz

  4. Not only the shots are stunning but they are so powerful that they create this warmth and peace in ones heart….beautiful write up Madhu 🙂

  5. Buddha is my Idol. One of my most favorite place, is where he meditated after the Kalinga war. I have been to that place hundred times and the countdown still goes on. 🙂
    Thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful place. Great post Madhu.

    1. Oops that wasn’the Buddha!! The Kalinga war took place more than 200 years after the Buddha attained nirvana Arindam! You are probably referring to Ashoka the great. Thanks all the same 🙂

      1. I am really sorry, I could I made such a mistake. 🙂 I knew He was Ashoka, since my childhood I am going to that place. So how could I got confused between Ashoka and Buddha, may be that’s why we are humans! 🙂 Thanks a lot for helping me realize the blunder I made with the names. Do not tell anyone, but I always get confused between Ashoka and Buddha! 🙂

      2. Actually the place I was talking about is where Ashoka meditated after the Kalinga war and then later he built several chaityas, stupas and pillars to make sure that place become an important centre of Buddhist activities.

  6. I love your quotes! And it’s interesting, each time I visit a buddist temple or shrine, I somehow always walk away feeling enlightened! Thanks for enlightening me! =D

  7. Pierced the heart with such stunning photos and essay, Madhu. Totally love it – one of these days I should spend some time on your sphere – it is a meaningful blog – but you know this!

      1. yaara, on my recent post some ppl have become so nasty!
        All your photographs have touched my heart – inspiring !

        1. I just cannot comprehend the nastiness on your blog Mashaal! I guess if one seeks ugliness, he will only see ugliness in everything. I would delete those comments, treat them as spam. Those ignorant fools are not worth breaking your head over, nor do they merit a response. And don’t think this is restricted to your faith, we have plenty such fools here as well.
          Loved your rebuttal “I welcome any one of the demi-gods circling our world to shoot his arrow and annihilate me” 😀

        2. My dear, I did think of disapproving or spam, then I felt that some dialogue can be intelligently achieved, alas..some like to play demi-gods. And, I don’t know why I left my rant here…thanks for your love, dearest Madhu.

  8. I think one of the things that fascinates me most about art, travel and religion, is how they shape-shift and morph into something intrinsically home-grown, while still espousing the new message and artistic genre. This extraordinary grotto is just mind-blowing … I’m off to “More From The Chonqching Region” to get the full treatment!

    1. I knew you would enjoy this. Yes it is fascinating how Buddhism has been adapted and morphed into home grown versions. And sad that we have retained very little of it. Early brahmin persecution to blame apparently.

      1. I think that’s the simple explanation, I think it’s more socio/political than that. My opinion is that Asoka forced his ideas of imperial Buddhism down everyone’s throats, and by siding with the new ‘sect’ – by funding temples and universities, etc. – he caused a political backlash from all the ‘upper’ casts so that after his death the new boys on the block were marginalised.

        it’s a fascinating subject – almost all religions through the ages have been subject to the same processes. Seems it’s human nature to adapt the new to the old, rather than relinquishing the old in favour of the new, so we end up with all sorts of religious hybridisations.

  9. You may call those snapshots, but they are more than that 🙂 Wonderful quotes to end this enlightening post!

  10. Dear Madhu, is thirty years that I follow the Buddhist philosophy …
    I can only thank you wholeheartedly for this wonderful post …
    that surely will be for many a kind of “discovery” … a hope of salvation …
    A big hug, in serenity
    🙂 claudine

  11. Thank you for the high quality of the photographs, which let us see and appreciate these amazing scuptures. For us stay at home tourists, these photos are a wonderful gift.

  12. Breathtaking was used already, but that seems like a good one. These are stunning, Madhu. It must have been amazing to be breathing the same air as the stone. 😉

  13. As always, the pictoral renditions of your posts take my breath away and are some of the best I have seen, Madhu.

    I loved your prologue on Nirvana. As a friend says, ” This is akin to being in resonance.” May I therefore point you and others to my recent post on , What is out of Resonance and how do I restore it?” Maybe you would discover a connection…..



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