Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas, is one of the Four Greatest Caves in China, together with Yungang Grottoes in Datong in Shanxi Province, Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang in Henan and Maiji Mount Grottoes in Tianshui in Gansu. Mogao Caves is deemed as the most valuable cultural discovery in 20th century and was listed into World Cultural Heritage in 1987.
Firstly built in early Qin Dynasty, Mogao Caves was reconstructed in Sui dynasty, Tang dynasty, Xia dynasty, Yuan dynasty etc., and thus, the large-scale grotto gallery was created. Now, Mogao Caves is home to 492 caves, 45000 square meters’ murals and 2415 color-painted statues. At its peak, it hosts 18 monasteries, over 1400 monks and nuns, and countless artists, translators and calligraphers.
Mogao Caves is a perfect combination of architecture, statues and murals, which is particularly known to the world for its colorful murals. Located 25 km (15.5miles) from downtown Dunhuang, it was caved on the eastern slope of Echoing Sand Mountain. This great cave gallery stretches 1600-plus meters from north to south and is stacked into five stories, large in scale, numerous in statues and impressive in momentum. It is regarded as the largest and richest Buddhist cave art best-preserved in China.
Location: 25 kilometers from southeast of Dunhuang
Admission Fee: 160RMB (May-October); 80RMB (November-April)
Open Time: 8:00-17:30 (May-October); 9:00-17:00 (November-April)
Recommended Visiting Time: 3-5 hours
How to get there: Traveler could take the bus No.12 opposite to Dunhuang Hotel to get there