Cave #5, 892 AD
The Beishan Grottoes just north of Dazu were carved beginning in the late Tang, under the sponsorship of Wei Junjing, the newly-appointed governor of central Sichuan, a large territory that included modern Dazu, Chongqing, Hechuan, and Anyue. Beishan was first in the series of Buddhist cave-chapels in this region, that culminated in the Song-Dynasty carvings at Baodingshan and Anyue. The earliest dated carving at Beishan is 890; the last is 1172.
The statue of Vaisravana in Cave #5 is dated 892, the first year of Wei's governorship. The Guardian of the North treads upon two earth spirits, surrounded by warriors and attendants. The carving on his armor is so fine that it gives almost a filigree effect.