Luoyang Longmen Buddhist Caves

There are several locations for Buddhist Caves in China and at Luoyang East of Xian about 2 hours by fast train are the famous Longmen Caves.  Luoyang was once an ancient capital in China before it moved to Xian and now to Beijing.  The White Horse Temple located there was the very first Buddhist Temple constructed in China during the 1st century.  Called the White Horse Temple because two monks rode white horses all the way from India to establish the temple.  The Grotto and caves were constructed from the year 494 taking over 200 years to finish as they are today.   The art is mostly constructed at the Grotto as you can see as well as in shallow caves hollowed out of the cliffs.  Some have been damaged by art hunters as well as the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.  Many heads were removed and are in museums in both Europe and North America today.  During the last 30 years some restoration work has been done and continues.  You may click on the photos to get a full screen view of them.  Caves at Datong and Dunhuang in the north are also excellent places to view Buddhist caves.  Dunhuang on the Silk Road has the best preserved caves and art with over 700 caves in which they have been covered with wooden doors to preserve the art which has never been damaged.   Unfortunately they do not allow cameras on the grounds so I do not have photos to post.    For more information email us at  interlak@eskimo.com   We have traveled China and Tibet for the  past 25 years and planning private tours for our customers for over 25 years. Click on the photos for full screen views.

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