In early August, three cliffs each containing hundreds of Buddha carvings appeared beside a reservoir in San Su County, in Sichuan province, China. The Buddhas, which have different expressions, are well preserved.
Most villagers said they never knew these "Buddha cliffs" existed. However, an old man said he had seen them about 49 years ago. In fact, this place used to be a temple. In 1963, construction of the Chen Gou Reservoir was completed, and the three Buddha cliffs were submerged. In 1983, it was declared a heritage conservation unit at the county level.
According to one expert, the decision to submerge the Buddha cliffs in water was opposed by cultural sectors. However, compared to exposing the Buddhas to the elements, submerging is a much a much better preservation method even though they would also be eroded by water to some extent. Source