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Mogao Grottoes 莫高窟

The Mogao Grottoes, commonly named Thousand-Buddha Caves, and praised as "a glittering pearl that adorns the Silk Road", are the most famous grottoes in China. Located 25km southeast of Dunhuang County, these caves are carved out of the sandstone cliffs of Mingsha Mountain, extending some 1600m from south to north. Constructed in 10 dynasties from the fourth to the 14th century, its 45000 square meters of mural paintings and more than 2000 color statues are regarded as the greatest treasure-house of Buddhist art existing in the world.莫高窟俗称“千佛洞”,被誉为“丝绸之路上的艺术明珠”,是中国最著名的石窟。莫高窟位于敦煌市东南25公里处,开凿在鸣沙山东麓断崖上。南北长约1600多米。从四世纪至十四世纪共有十个朝代在这里开凿筑像。共有45,000平方的的壁画和超过2000座彩色塑像,是世界上现存最大的佛教艺术宝库。

Located on the eastern slope of Rattling Sand Mountain (Mingshashan) southeast of Dunhuang County in Gansu Province. the Mogao Grottoes (also known as Thousand Buddha Cave) is one of four noted grottoes in China and also the largest, best preserved and richest treasure house of Buddhist art in the world. >>>Mogao Grottoes                         莫高窟位于甘肃省敦煌市西南的鸣沙山东麓。莫高窟(千佛洞)是中国四大石窟之一,也是中国最大保存最完好,世界上最丰富的佛教艺术宝库。                             

In AD 366, during the Eastern Jin Dynasty, a monk named Yue Seng chiseled the first cave here. The endeavor continued through later dynasties, including the Northern Wei (386-534), Western Wei (535-556), Northern Zhou (557-581), Sui (581-618), Tang (618-907), Five Dynasties (907-960), Song (960-1279), Western Xia (1038-1227) and Yuan (1279-1368), resulting in the fantastic group of caves that can been seen today.公元366年,东晋时期,沙门乐僧首次在这里开凿。后历建不断,遗留下的有北魏(386-534),西魏(535-556),北周(557-581),隋(581-618),唐(618-907),五代(907-960),宋(960-1279),西夏(1038-1227),元(1279-1368)等朝代的作品。
Today, 492 caves still stand, containing some 2,100 colored statues and 45,000 square meters of murals. These murals, if joined together, would cover a length of 30 kilometers. The caves vary in size. The smallest one just allows a head's
space, while the largest one stretches from the foot to the top of the mountain, having a height of over 40 meters. The colored statues also differ in size, ranging from a few centimeters to 33 meters high, embodying the remarkable imagination of their makers.现在,共计492个洞窟存在壁画和塑像,有壁画4.5万平方米、泥质彩塑2415尊。这些壁画如果连在一起,长度可达30公里。洞穴大小不一,最小的只有一个头的空间,而大的,从山脚可达山顶,40多米高。泥质彩塑也是大小不一,从几厘米大小到33米。反映了当时创造者的无穷想象力。
Despite years of erosion, the murals are still brightly colored, with clear lines. Through pictures of different styles and schools drawn in different historical periods, they tell Buddhist stories and ways as well as life in the secular world. All these, plus a largest quantity of Buddhist sutras and relics kept in the caves have provided valuable material for a study of ancient China's politics, economy, and culture and arts, as well as its science and technology, military affairs, and religion, documenting national history as well as cultural exchanges between China and the world.Painted clay sculptures and murals in the Mogao Grottoes have mainly Buddhist themes, but they also include human figures, reflecting various societies and cultures of different times. Besides, they also demonstrate painting styles of different times in layout, figure design, delineation and coloring, as well as the integration of Chinese and Western arts.莫高窟虽然在漫长的岁月中受到大自然的侵袭和人为的破坏,但保存下来的壁画依然颜色鲜艳,线条清晰。通过不同历史朝代的壁画可以反映当时的佛教徒在世俗世界里的生活方式。所有留存下来的大量佛经,文物,都为学习古代中国政治,经济,文化,艺术,科学技术,军事,宗教等的材料,也成为了研究民族历史,中国与世界文化交流的重要宝贵材料。莫高窟彩绘泥塑的题材主要是佛教,也有人物形态,反映了不同时代的社会文化生活面貌。此外,它们还显示了不同时期的绘画风格的布局,人物设计,划分和着色,以及中西艺术融合的方式。

In 1900, a total of 4,500 valuable cultural relics dating from 256 AD to 1002 were found in the Buddhist Sutra Cave here, including silk paintings, embroidery and documents in rare languages such as ancient Tibetan and Sanskrit. This is regarded as one of the world's greatest Oriental cultural discoveries.1900年,举世闻名的中国甘肃敦煌莫高窟藏经洞被发现,里面有公元256年至1002年大约4500件珍贵文物,包括丝绸画,刺绣,和用古藏文.梵文书写的材料。它被视为东方最伟大的发现之一。
In 1987, UNESCO placed the Mogao Grottoes under the protection of the world cultural heritage list.      1987年,甘肃敦煌莫高窟被列入《世界遗产名录》。     >>>Mogao Grottoes   
In Dunhuang's 492 grottoes, almost every one of them has flying gods. Flying gods in early caves are stocky with a big mouth and big ears, which is evidently influenced by the flying gods in the Indic and Western Region. However, the artistic image since the Tang Dynasty (618—907) has completely had the Chinese style, which is without wings and feathers but with flyaway dress and colored ribbons.
According to local legend, in 366 AD a Buddhist monk, Le Zun , had a vision of a thousand Buddhas and inspired the excavation of the caves he envisioned. The number of temples eventually grew to more than a thousand. As Buddhist monks valued austerity in life, they sought retreat in remote caves to further their quest for enlightenment. 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.在敦煌492个洞窟内,几乎每一个里面都有飞天。早期的飞天形象都是长着大嘴巴,大耳朵的矮胖模样。这显然是受到了印度和西方佛的影响。然而,唐以后的艺术家就开始创作具有中国特色的飞天形象了,不长羽毛和翅膀,但是有飞扬飘舞的衣裳和彩带。公元366年,佛教僧侣,乐尊,见鸣沙山上金光万道,状有千佛,于是萌发开凿之心。最终寺庙的数量超过了一千座。作为经济拮据的佛教僧侣,它们想要把佛窟建在更深邃的洞里,以显示他们对佛教的敬仰。
The murals cover 450,000 square feet. The caves were walled off sometime after the 11th century after they had become a repository for venerable, damaged and used manuscripts and hallowed paraphernalia.壁画总共面积为450,000平方英尺。十一世纪,这里曾经一度关闭过,成为仓库,里面的手稿和神器被破坏和使用过。
Buddhist cave art originated in the second century B.C.E. in Maharashtra, India - an area of commercial importance for trade flows between north and south India. Between the inception at the older site at Ajanta and the completion of further ones at a nearby site at Ellora in the eighth century, some 63 caves were excavated and painted.佛教石窟艺术起源于二世纪,在印度的马哈拉施特拉邦,是对南北印度的商业贸易有着非常重要作用的地区。
With 492 painted grottoes, the Mogao Grottoes have more than eight times as many grottoes as those at India's primary two sites. That said, the Mogao Grottoes should not be understood as an isolated endeavor within China. They are merely the best example of an astonishingly widespread Buddhist cave movement in this nation.
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One day Mogao Grottoes private tour莫高窟一日包车游
Tour Code:DHT001
Sightseeing:Mogao Grottoes&Crescent moon spring
Detail itinerary:详细行程
Our guide will pick you up from hotel and drive 6 Km to the Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Moon Lake.The Singing Sand Mountains are famous for the sounds the wind makes when blowing over the dunes. Also, the sand is said to be rather noisy when tread upon. The dunes are also famous for their size, some reaching 100m or more, relatively stable despite the fact that the dunes beyond the mountains shift frequently. Also, the sands are said to regain form overnight if tread upon the day before.
After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to the Mogao Grottoes, is one of the biggest and most significent grottoes in China. The Mogao cave complex is comprised of 492 caves, containing 450,000 square feet of murals dating from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries - a period which corresponds to an immense growth in international commerce along the nearby Silk Road.
Quotation in USD per person
1)     Enterance fees liseted on the itinerary
2)     Experienced driver and English speaking tour guide
3)     Private car/van with air-conditioner
4)     Typical Chinese lunch
5)     Pick-up from and transfer back to your hotel
1)    计划内景点门票
2)      司机和英语导游
3)      带空调的车
4)      标准中式午餐
5)      酒店接送
Exclude: Hotel expense, Personal expense, Gratuities to guides and drivers
Remark: The above private tour is tailored for you and your friends exclusively. You and your friends will enjoy Private car, driver and tour guide. If it can not match with your idea, just feel free to contact us.
Related Link:   Dunhuang              >>>More Related Tour

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