Helan Shan Rock Carvings

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The most significant sight in Helan Shan is these ancient rock carvings dating from 1000 to 10,000 years ago. Over 2000 pictographs depict animals, faces, hunting and copulation scenes, as well as inscriptions of Xixia characters praising the Buddha. They are remnants of the early nomadic tribes who lived in the steppes north of China. Admission includes entry to a museum on ancient rock art and a ride to the valley containing the rock carvings.

The pièce de résistance here is supposedly the image of the Rastafarian-like sun god (climb the steps up the hill on the far side of the valley), but the steps leading to it were closed off at the time of research. Bus Y2 (游二路; ¥15, 1½ hours) goes to the Rock Carvings from Xinyue Sq (新月广场, Xīnyuè Guǎngchǎng) in Yinchuan; get off at the last stop. The last bus back to town is at 3.30pm.

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