Dun Huang Building
No.15 South Shazhou Road,, Dunhuang, China, CN
More about Dunhuang
Gaotai watchtower, E of Nanhuxiang
Another apsara wall mural in Dunhuang
Travel Tips for Dunhuang
Preserving the grottoes .....
Because the buddhist cave art and statues in the Mogao Grottoes are very sensitive to carbon dioxide and light, no photography is allowed and visitors are limited to visit a handful of caves only. This is to preserve them for future generations.
More History of the Mogaokou - Part III
Buddhism at Dunhuang was not initially affected by the Tang dynasty persecution - in fact a major earthquake was more likely to have been the beginning of the end for active construction - but the general retraction of Chinese influence in the west of China left the desert oases vulnerable to attack from Tibetans, from the Xi Xia kingdom and later on by the rapid spread of Islam. Slowly the monks dispersed and at some point - believed to be around the beginning of the 11th Century, possibly in 1004 - the huge collection of manuscripts were hidden behind a brick wall in one of the caves. Eventually there were no monks left and this stony ravine became quiet, until monks finally returned again to worship the frescos and art. But these returning monks, some of them Taoist rather than Buddhist, were no longer on a great trade route, but in a remote desert gorge where peace and quiet was a definite attraction.
DUNHUANG 2, YADAN DI MAO
Yadan Di Mao is located more than three hours away from Dunhuang. Once you arrive there, you still need to rent a jeep for another Y80 to be driven to the wind-eroded structures in the desert.
Beware, it is EXTREMELY HOT!! I reckoned, 45 C to 50 C.
Many paintings in the Mogao Caves (which I could not take pictures of) show Bodhisattvas playing pipa behind... in other words, a difficult skill that only a Bodhisattva is able to do.
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