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Mogao Caves

Travel Guide Asia China Mogao Caves

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Introduction

This World Heritage Listed Site attracts a steady stream of visitors from within China as well as internationally. Located on the legendary Silk Road, these caves are a must to visit.
During 2008, I visited this site whilst travelling along China's Silk Road route from Beijing to Kashgar in the far west.
The caves are also known as Grottoes as they have been carved out of the cliff faces alongside the river and not far from the desert and the nearby Singing Sandunes. Dating back to the seventh century AD, these caves were created by buddhist monks, who were supported by affluent traders and businessmen in order to have places of worship for the many merchants, couriers and traders travelling through this tough environment on the silk road. Each grotto is exquisitely painted with buddhist icons on all walls as well as the ceiling and are of many varying sizes. Buddhist statues are also still present in many of them. Due to the delicate nature of the artwork, no lighting is installed so guides will shine a torch to show visitors as they are taken through a series of caves. As a result, no flash photography or even any photography is allowed inside. I really sensed a feeling of awe and magic to be seeing such ancient artwork in the centre of China. The nearest town is Dunhuang with good quality hotels and an international airport and train station.
The nearby Singing Sands include the opportunity of camel rides or walking into the massive dunes.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 18:33 on May 27, 09 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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