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The mighty and magical Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi

 2011-07-16    Chelly    Sights    Datong    1794  

Yungang Grottoes is in south west of Wuzhou Mountain, Shanxi Datong, the grottos were dug on the mountain, stretching one kilometer from east to west. The major existing caves are up to 45 size, with fifty-one thousand statues, is one of the largest Chinas ancient grottoes, 1961, the State Council promulgated the Yungang Grottoes as a national key cultural relics protection units, in 2001, it was listed as World Heritage. According to the literature, the famous monk Tan Yao hosted to drill five caves in Wuzhou during peace years of the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 460 to 471 years), which are numbered from 16 to 21, so-called "Tan Yao five caves". Most other major caves were completed before Xiaowen Emperor moved to luoyang in eighteen years of Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 494).


Yungang Grottoes has a long history, with large-scale and fine carving, also is known as the miracle of Chinese art. In the caves, there are a variety of different looking lifelike status, such as Buddha, Bodhisattva, disciple, and other law enforcement heavens; many different shapes with ancient style wood structure buildings; Buddha Biography reliefs in prominent theme and skillfully carved; complex composition and beautiful exquisite decorative patterns; as well as ancient musical instruments: Konghou, Panpipes, Chinese lute etc. all of which are colorful and dazzling. With such a long history, the Yungang Grottoes has been damaged rather serious due to weathering, erosion and the impact of the earthquake, it was also artificial damages before liberation, according to incomplete statistics, the total Buddha heads which were stolen overseas reach more than 1,400, the traces of chisels still exists on the stone.


It had been cloudy at the begining, but it turned out to be fine after we entered into the caves, good luck!




wall painting




Flying Apsaras








playing the reverse Pipa










There are thousands of Buddha statues in the caves.








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