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Longmen Grottoes

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Luoyang, China.

  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
  • Photo of Longmen Grottoes
Photo of Longmen Grottoes
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Longmen Grottoes, located in the south of Luoyang City, China started around the year 493 after the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) moved the capital to Luoyang. Thousands of Buddhas were carved into the rock slopes and cliffs aside the Yi River, and were carved for 400 years until The Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

Stretching 1094 meters along the river, there are over 2,300 small caves and niches, with 100,000 statues of all sizes. Ancient writings and displays in the caves contain a wealth of historical materials concerning art, music, religion, calligraphy, medicine, period dress, and architecture.

In November 2000, Longmen Grottoes was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO...as you come up to the site, you walk through two huge arched ribs from the bridge above…into this other worldly experience. It truly is amazing. There is one cave there called the Wanfo Cave that was completed in 680AD in honour of Gaozong and his wife Wuzetian. She was the first woman Emperor in Chinese History, and this cave was planned by two women…most unusual. It has, among other things, over 15,000 sitting Buddha’s engraved on the walls.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

See Longmen Caves from Xi'an

Longmen Grottoes is a UNESCO site for the reason. We took the High-speed train from Xi’an which needs only 90 minutes. It is so amazing to see that the Buddhas are carving inside of the mountain, with more than 1000+ years of history. And there are also different dimensions of rock sculptures ranging from 25mm to 17mm in height.

Longmen Grottoes

Some of the larger-than-life stone carvings and inscriptions of the Longmen Grottoes were created as early as the 5th century. At the initial request of Emperor Xiaowen, hundreds of artists painstakingly chiseled signs of their commitment into the rocky walls, devoted to venerating Buddha. Over the centuries, they produced thousands of statues, caves, dagobas, and more. The Fengxian Temple, in the biggest grotto, is particularly well-know for the statue of Vairocana Buddha. He is almost 60 feet tall, even while sitting cross-legged.

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