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Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province

The Longmen Grottoes (ch. 龍門石窟; lit. Dragon's Gate Grottoes) or Longmen Caves are located 12 km south of present day Luoyang in Henan province, China.

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Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province Location

The Longmen Grottoes (ch. 龍門石窟; lit. Dragon's Gate Grottoes) or Longmen Caves are located 12 km south of present day Luoyang in Henan province, China. The grottoes, which overwhelmingly depict Buddhist subjects, are densely dotted along the two mountains Xiangshan (to the east) and Longmenshan (to the west). The Yi River flows northward between them. For this reason, the area used to be called Yique (The Gate of the Yi River). From north to south, the distance covered by grottoes is about 1 km. Along with Mogao and Yungang, the Longmen Grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China.

Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province Attractions

According to the Longmen Caves Research Institute, there are 2345 caves and niches, 2800 inscriptions, 43 pagodas and over 100,000 Buddhist images at the site. 30% of the caves date from the Northern Wei Dynasty, 60% from the Tang Dynasty, and caves from other periods less than 10%.

During the Warring States Period, the general Baiqi of Qin (state) once defeated the allied forces of Han (state) and Wei (state) at the site.

Construction of the grottoes themselves began in AD 493.

The area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in November 2000.

Individual grottoes by dynasty completed

Northern Wei
Guyang Cave
Middle Binyang Cave (140)
Lotus-flower Cave
Weizi Cave
Huangfugong Cave

Sui
South Binyang Cave (159)

Tang
Fengxiansi
10,000 Buddha Cave
Hidden Stream Temple Cave (20)
Kanjingsi
Dawanwufo Cave
North Binyang Cave (104)


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More on Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province

Description of Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province at the World Heritage Listing

Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan province Photo Gallery

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