Sichuan (help·info) (Chinese: 四川, known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the southwest of the country. The current name of the province, "四川", is an abbreviation of "四川路" (Sì Chuānlù), or "Four circuits of rivers", which is itself abbreviated from "川峡四路" (Chuānxiá Sìlù), or "Four circuits of rivers and gorges", named after the division of the existing circuit into four during the Northern Song Dynasty. The capital is Chengdu, a key economic centre of Western China.
The Dazu Rock Carvings (Chinese: 大足石刻; pinyin: DàzúShíkè) are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century AD, depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs. The sites are located in Chongqing Municipality within the steep hillsides throughout Dazu County, located about 60 kilometers west of the urban area of Chongqing. The highlights of the rock grotto are found on Mount Baoding and Mount Beishan.
The carvings were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999, citing "…their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism."