World's smallest temple discovered in China
  • Wed, 11/02/2005 - 11:00

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 11:59:38 amPTI ]
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BEIJING: Chinese archaeologists have claimed to have discovered the world's smallest ancient temple with Mahayana scriptures in the southern rim of the Taklimakan Desert in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The temple, dating back more than 1,500 years, was located about seven kilometres from the Damagou Township of Cele County. The Tuopulukedun Temple is 2.25 meters long and two meters wide, with walls about 1.3 meters high.

The wood and mud structured temple has fine frescos of Mahayana scriptures on the four walls. A Buddha statue, about 0.65 meters tall, stood in the central part of the temple.

In the middle of the northern parts stand other Buddha statues.

The Tuopulukedun Temple is so far the smallest ancient temple that has been discovered in the world, Xinhua news agency quoted Wu Xinhua, head of the Xinjiang Archaeological Team of the Archaeology Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as saying.

"The temple is also the sole ancient temple which is comparatively intact and with the best reserved frescos and Buddha figures discovered in the Taklimakan Desert," Wu said.

Approximately 3,000 years ago, the Yutian Kingdom was established in the southern rim of the Taklimakan Desert, the largest desert in China and the second largest desert in the world.

Buddhism was introduced into the Yutian Kingdom around the year of Our Lord, according to a historical document.

The Yuchi family, which began ruling the Yutian Kingdom around 2,000 years ago, were devoted Buddhists and made great efforts to promote Buddhism inside the kingdom by building many temples and Buddhist pagodas.

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