Jibin, Jibin Route and China

Li, Chongfeng (2005) Jibin, Jibin Route and China. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

There are two regions which can be considered as the sacred places of Buddhism in a broad sense: one is reaches of the Indus river; the other is reaches of the Ganges river. In the past, Chinese monks and laymen in most cases first visited the Indus and then went to the Ganges. The route between ancient China and India, a direct road from China to Nepal and central India, seemed to be not open before the Tang Dynasty (618-907A.D.). At that time, however, Chinese and foreign emissaries, pilgrims and monks often took Kāśmīra (Kipin) route across the present Kashmir area. Many monks and pilgrims such as Song Yun and Huiseng of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534A.D.) did not make it to the Central India. Instead, they only reached Kipin kingdom including Kāśmīra, Uddiyana, Taxila, Gandhāra, Peshawar and Kapisa. During the 3rd to 6th centuries, “Kipin kingdom abounds in saints”. Those who came to China from Kipin kingdom by the Chinese documentation include more than ten monks such as Sańghadeva, Buddhayaśas, Buddhajīva, Guņavarman, Dharmamitra, Puņyatara, Vimalākaşas, Sańgharākşasa, Sańghabhūti, Dharmapriya, etc. On the other hand, those from China who went to Kipin area to search for Buddhist sūtras and images or just made a pilgrimage through the area include Zhiyan, Zhimeng, Fayong, etc. The famous monk Kumarajiva went to visit Kipin for many times. Kipin route, therefore, remained an important land route leading to the south Asian regions at that time, which runs almost the same with the present Karakorum Highway. In the 1970’s, when Karakorum Highway was being built, many stone carvings and inscriptions by travelers of different historical periods were found along the highway. No. 2 of Hunza inscriptions which records Gu Weilong, Emissary of the Northern Wei, on a mission to Mimi is one of the most important findings. This also proves that Kipin route is one of the important routes connecting China and south, central and west Asia during the 3rd to 7th centuries. One of the important reasons of the opening of the Kipin route, in short, is that both Kipin kingdom and China have the same coherent settings, that is, Buddhist settings.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Li, Chongfeng
Languages: English
Keywords: cultural route; sacred places; pilgrimage; buddhism
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 07. Cultural routes
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 19A. Places of religion and ritual
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Jibin Route, China
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 16:09
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 14:28
URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/443

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