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Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes is located in the south of luoyang city, henan province,there are  more than 100,000 statues,2100 niches , 40 pagodas ,3600 tablets and steles are densely dotted along the  Mount Xiang and Mount Longmen on the both banks of the Yi river flowing between them for about 1kilometres from north to south.Longmen Grottoes, Yun‘gang Grottoes and Mogao Caves are regarded as the three most famous treasure houses of stone inscriptions of china.Many historical materials about Buddhism,art, music, calligraphy, medicine, costume and architecture are kept  in Longmen Grotyoes.It represents the peakedness of chinese stone carving art.

Longmen Grottoes were started around the year 493 ,when Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) moved the capital to luoyang and were continuously built during the 400 years until the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Most works were done in the Northern Wei Dynasty and the flourishing age of the Tang Dynasty (618-907)

 The main part of scenic spots of Longmen Grottoes are situated on the mount xiang,west bank of the Yi river. such as the Fengxian temple,the Lianhua temple,the Binyang cave,the Wanfo cave,the Moya cave.The Fengxian temple is the largest one.

Fengxian temple was built in the Tang Dynasty , with a width of 36 metres (about 118 feet) and a length of 41 metres (about 136 feet),there are nine major figures with  various facial appearance and temperament in the temple  were built in accordance with the Buddhist rite  by the skilled craftsmen.The biggest and most impressive  statue is that of Vairocana Buddha sitting cross-legged on the eight-square lotus throne. It is 17.14 metres (about 56.23 feet) in total height with the head 4 metres (about 13 feet) in height and the ears 1.9 metres (about 6.2 feet) in length. Vairocana means illuminating all things in the sutra. The Buddha has a well-filled figure, a sacred and kindly expression and an elegant smile. According to the record on the epigraph, the Empress Wu Zetian has taken part in the ceremony of “Introducing the Light” (a Buddhist blessing that the Buddha opens the spiritual light of himself and shares it with others).

At the sides of Vairocana there are two statues of Vairocana Buddha’s disciples, Kasyapa and Ananda, wearing prudent and devout expressions. The figures of Bodhisattvas and Devas can also be found in the temple. Some have dignified and genial expressions, while others are majestic and fiery. The various appearances and delicate designs are the representations of Empire Tang’s powerful material and spiritual strength as well as the high crystallization  of people’s wisdoms.

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