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The Oingtong Gorge Area

The 108 Pagodas

On the hillside west of the great dam of the Qingtong Gorge reservoir area, 76 km away from Yinchuan City, there are a group of 108 pagodas. They are key historical relics being protected by the state. Nobody knows when they were built. But they were called "ancient pagodas" in the chronic of Ming Dynasty. Inscriptions written in Western Xia words were found on a cloth, which was unearthed from the base of these pagodas.


The pagodas were built up along the curves and slopes of the mountain, on the levels of cut rocks. They are arranged into 12 rows according to odd numbers creating a triangular form of large group of pagodas. The unique form and style and the great number of pagodas have never been seen before.

Buddhism preaches that there are 108 kinds of troubles and miseries in the life of human beings. For relieving the numerous troubles, the number of linking beads of a Buddhist is 108. He or she would recite scripture for 108 times at a time. The pagodas are also a product derived from such a religious ideology. It is said that when a pagoda is counted, a kind of troubles would be eliminated. If one can count all the pagodas at one breath, he or she would completely be relieved from all kinds of troubles. So many travelers coming there would count the number of pagodas.

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