Chinese inscriptions
Representational picture of a Chinese inscription from 1891 found in Dayu Cave. It reads: On May 24th, 17th year of the Emperor Guangxu period (June 30th, 1891 CE), Qing Dynasty, the local mayor, Huaizong Zhu led more than 200 people into the cave to get water. A fortuneteller named Zhenrong Ran prayed for rain during a ceremony (Credit:T.Lan) T. Lan

After a gap of 11 years, some ancient stone inscriptions have appeared again at the bottom of the Yangtze River in southwest China, that is facing periodic water depletion due to more than 100 small and major dams built on it.

The decline in its water level to the lower reaches of the river led to the surfacing of stone inscriptions, which first showed up in the year 2007 in the Jiangjin section in Chongqing Municipality, Xinhua news reported.

The inscriptions include carvings on 36 rocks in the form of 47 poems carved during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Spanning over 800 square meters, the rocks form a unique shape of a blossoming lotus, and aptly named "Lotus Stones".

Another place that has submerged such inscriptions is the one where the Pengxi River joins the Yangtze River, belonging to the 20th year of the Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Apart from these stone inscriptions, the Yangtze river in China, especially the Three Gorges area is famous for its cliff inscriptions dating back to 1,700 years, revealing the ancient man's message to the modern man, recording history, accomplishments and lifestyle.

Buddhism dominated most of these inscriptions, irrespective of the dynasty that ruled China in the ancient period. Going upstream on the Yangtze River from Chongqing, the carving of Laughing Buddha near E'gongyan Bridge in Jicui village is a major attraction even today. It was built for the blessings of Buddha by Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebel leader towards the end of the Yuan Dynasty.

The 7.5-meter-high statue is revered as the statue of Buddha blessing the boats to sail safely in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, which boasts of 15 cliff statues, 60 calligraphy inscriptions and one ink mark.