Mogao Grottoes

                       The Mogao Caves-Gansu

     

The Mogao Caves, or Mogao Grottoes,also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas and Dunhuang Caves,is located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The construction of the caves started in 366 AD.The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and,along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient sculptural sites of China.

The Caves are the greatest and most consummate repository of historical and cultural collection over a thousand years between China and other nations. The most noted collections are many pilgrims painted murals, Clay statues and 50,000 manuscripts written in many languages.

According to local legend, in 366 AD a Buddhist monk,named Lezun,he had a vision of a thousand Buddhas and inspired the excavation of the caves he envisioned.From the 4th until the 14th century, Buddhist monks at Dunhuang collected scriptures from the west while many pilgrims passing through the area painted murals inside the caves. The cave paintings and architecture served as aids to meditation, as visual representations of the quest for enlightenment, as mnemonic devices, and as teaching tools to inform illiterate Chinese about Buddhist beliefs and stories.The Mogao Caves was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987

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