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This attraction arose from the Indian tradition of carving temple cave complexes in the rocks. It was believed that this improved karma and contributed to a better rebirth of the soul.
The first grottoes were carved near Datong city – the capital of North Wei. However, in 494 the capital was moved to Luoyang, and therefore it was decided to build a cave temple here, the name of which translates as 'Dragon Gate'.
In the 6th century, after the Sui dynasty, which did not like Buddhists, came to power , many statues in the temples were destroyed. In 618, the Tang dynasty came to power, which returned popularity to Buddhism. Construction of the temples continued.
The modern museum is divided into three parts. They stretch along the bed of the Ihe River, which flows between small mountains. The most important part of the complex – western bank of the river. This is where the most beautiful and impressive sculptures are located. At the very entrance is the Bignan Cave. She was one of the first to be knocked out. Here you can see Buddha Gautama, who is surrounded by bodhisattvas and disciples. This Buddha is dressed in a dressing gown, thereby demonstrating the availability of his teaching to all people.
The most magnificent sculptures of the complex are located in Fengxiang – Ancestor worship grotto. Its construction was completed in 672. In this grotto there is a sculpture of Buddha Vairochana, which is 17 meters high. This is Buddha – the most important among the Dhyani Buddhas, he personifies pure consciousness. Initially, the image of the Buddha and the statues of the bodhisattvas surrounding him were part of a wooden temple. Later, the temple burned down, and for several centuries the statues stood in the snow and rain. Recently, a special canopy was installed over them to protect these works of art.
The last one on the west bank – Guyan temple. It was with him that the construction of all the grottoes began. Inside you can see three statues of Buddhas, each six meters high. The walls of the cave are covered with carvings depicting the life of Buddha Gautama.
There are also several caves on the east coast of the river, which were carved during the Tang Dynasty. Among them, the Grotto of Prince Gaoping stands out, in which you can see a statue of Buddha talking with his disciples.
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Topic: Longmen Grottoes (Caves of 10,000 Buddhas) in Luoyang Resort, China.