The administrator told us that Sichuan had suffered several catastrophes in its history. Every time when encountering disasters, people would do everything in order to survive in the troubled times, such as setting up stockade and living together for self-defending, and even building a home with stones on the steep cliff in order to get better defensive position. Thus, you can see a great number of caves in Sichuan today. In addition to necessary manpower and material resources, to be built on hard stone hills that cannot be too high is another requirement to build such caves.

    Listening to the administrator in an interview

At the turn between 18th an 19th century, Qing Dynasty, which once created the Golden Age of Three Emperors, entered an historical turning point from wax to wane marked by the 10-year-old White Lotus Rebellion that caused a population loss of one billion in Hubei, Sichuan, Shanxi and other provinces. Located in the north of Sichuan, Cangxi was on the important activity areas of White Lotus Sect and many people died from chaos. In order to survive from wars, poor people had to flee their homes to hide in the mountains, and rich people joined together and contributed their labor and money to build caves to be used as Noah’s Ark during troubled times.

     Listening to the administrator in an interview

Until now there are many families named Kou in the area of Scripture Crag for Happiness. Most of them say they are descendants of Kou Zishun who was the leader in the grotto carving. That is to say, many local people did survive from the great turmoil by relying on the caves on the crag. In the cold-weapon age, the caves on steep cliffs should be safer in defending than cities with hard walls and deep moats, because they were integrated with mountains and must get in and out with ropes and ladders. With crude munitions, White Lotus Sect had neither energy nor ability or patience to attack a humble cave like this. Furthermore, asylum seekers had sustainable living materials with food prepared in advance and ever-flowing spring in the cave.

When turmoil was over, caves would lose their reason for existence no matter how substantial they were. When villagers moved back to their homes down the mountains, the caves were left for tramps and animals. Until 40 years later in 1840, the cave firstly got its name when Jia Ruzhen decided to something meaningful.

The avoidance of catastrophe
Cave School
The holy land in culture


   Sichuan Cangxi Vocational high school