South Site | Cave 1
Southern Xiangtangshan, located on the edge of the mining town Fengfeng, is about fifteen kilometers from Northern Xiangtangshan. There is a brick pagoda at the site is from the Song dynasty (960-1279) when the Buddhist temple there was called Xiangtangsi, Temple of Echoing Halls, giving its name to the caves. The site is much smaller in scale, begun later, around 565, and without imperial sponsorship. There are seven main caves of small to medium size on one section of a southwest-facing low cliff in two levels. Two of the caves have central pillars and the others are open chambers with the main images around three walls. Of these, the central pillar caves, Caves 1 and 2, are on the lower level, and Caves 3-6 are above them. Caves 2, 4, 5, and 6 appear to have been designed as a unit and to be earlier than the others. Cave 7 is set slightly lower and to the north of the other upper level caves and appears to be the latest of the main group, possibly as late as the Sui dynasty (581-618). At that time people made repairs to the caves that had been damaged at the end of the Northern Qi. A small Tang dynasty cave is located nearby above the others. During the Tang period (618-907), worshipers also added many smaller carved niches with images inside the existing caves and around the site.