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Mogao Grottoes

Located on cliffs 25 km southeast of Dunhuang. The first cave of the Mogao Grottoes was carved out in the year 366 and so far it has a history of more than 1600 years.

Artworks of this treasure house cover architectural designs, sculptures and murals. Still preserved are 492 caves with 2,415 colored statues and 45,000 sq. m of murals. It is the greatest and most consummate gallery of Buddhist art in the world.

Opening hours: May to October: 9:00-17:00

November to April: 9:30-12L30, 14:30-17:00

Apsaras in murals of Mogao Grottoes

Flying apsaras, described by the Buddhist scriptures as the goddess of fragrance and music, is a scented goddess who plays the musical instrument and dances. They are found in murals in all caves of Mogao.

Colored sculptures in Mogao Grottoes

The colored statues are divided into four categories, namely, Buddha, including Sakamuni, Maitreya, Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha) and Amitabha; Bodhisattva, including Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Samantabhadra and Bodhisattva and Great Power-Coming; disciples of the Buddha, including Ananda and Kasyapa; and heavenly warriors and earth deities. All the statues reflect vividly the characteristics of different periods.

Murals of Mogao Grottoes

The murals of Mogao Grottoes, with Buddhist stories, figures in Buddhist scriptures, stories of natural lives, Buddhist statues, apsaras, and decorative patterns and designs as the chief subject matter, reveal the great and profound Buddhist philosophical thinking. They also reflect the life and various societal aspects of China for a period of over 1,600 years.

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