The Great Buddha Temple is located about 10 kilometers from the west of Binxian County, and to the south side of Xian-Lanzhou Highway. This temple is famous for its gigantic Amitabha statue, which is delicate and majestically sculpted. It is regarded as the 'First Wonder in Shaanxi Province' and a bright pearl on the Silk Road.
In 628, Tang Emperor Li Shimin asked people to build a temple to celebrate his mother's 60th birthday, so it was originally called Qingshou Temple. In fact, the Buddha grottoes were built during the Northern Dynasties (386-581) and some Buddhist statues were carved at that time as well. There are 130 grottoes and 1,980 statues, which are divided into the Great Buddha Grotto, Cave of a Thousand Buddhas, Buddha Cave and Zhangba Buddha Grotto.
The Great Buddha Grotto stands in the center of this temple and is the largest cave. A gigantic Amitabha stands in the middle of this grotto, which is 20 meters high and whose fingers are two meters tall. It is the largest Buddha statue in Shaanxi Province. On either side stand Bodhisattva Dashizhi and Kwan-yin Bodhisattva who are both 17.6 meters high. They are called the 'Three Saints in Paradise'. In addition, many niches in the wall contain about 200 Buddha and Bodhisattva statues of various different sizes.
The Cave of a Thousand Buddhas is situated in the east of the Great Buddha Grotto. The main statue is Maitreya with his disciples, Bodhisattvas and Heracles standing besides him. In other niches, most of the statues consist of one Buddha and two Bodhisattvas or one Buddha with two disciples and two Bodhisattvas. The Bodhisattvas complete with graceful poses and flowery clothes look like beautiful dancers. Therefore, they are considered by many tourists to be 'the Venus's of the East'.
Buddha Cave sits on the west side of the Great Buddha Grotto. The principal statue is Sakyamuni and one of its retinues, Wenshu Bodhisattva, who rides on a life-like lion. The lion is finely engraved finely with a bell on its neck and is posed whisking its tail. There are other statues of disciples, Bodhisattvas, Heracles and Vajras.
Zhangba Buddha Grottois located about 200 meters from the west of the Great Buddha Grotto. Nine small rock caves are scattered on the cliff, containing 108 statues carved in a simple and dignified style. The main statue is Zhangba Buddha which is about seven meters high. The two Bodhisattvas on either side are about six meters high.
The Buddhist statues and stone carvings of this temple reflect the exquisite art and style of sculpture of the Tang Dynasty. This temple also preserves 177 inscriptions and six stone tablets engraved by visitors throughout history. Moreover, according to the traditional Chinese calendar, on March 8th every year, this temple always holds a temple fair.