In ancient times, Buddhism was introduced into China from India and grotto culture was also a part of that. Among the numerous grottoes in China, four are the most famous and popular with tourists from home and abroad. Here some brief informaiton about them has been listed below to give you a rough idea.
1. Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes, the most famous one among the four, also known as “the Thousand Buddha Caves”, is located 25 kilometers southeast of Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, China. It is about 1,600 years old and is a World Heritage Site. Featuring with the colorful frescos and statues, it is a must-see on the ancient Silk Road. The caves were carved out of the sandstone cliffs of the Echoing-sand Mountain (Mingsha Mountain). The vividly beautiful murals and statues are so valuable that Mogao Grottoes is reputed as the greatest treasure-house of Buddhist art in the world. Please click this link (http://www.guidewetravel.com/mogao-caves/) for more details about it.
You may also read our Gansu journals from below link to know more about how to plan a visit here. http://www.guidewetravel.com/category/journeys/gansu-journals/
2. Maijishan Grottoes
Maijishan Grottoes, also 1600 years old, is located 35 kilometers southeast of Tianshui city, Gansu Province, China. It is in the same province with Maogao Grottoes, therefore, it’s easy for you to see them both on one journey. What distinguishes it from others is that the mountain, Maijishan it sits is of typical Danxia Landform, which is also good to look at. The grottoes got its name from the mountain. The mountain was named Maiji for its shape of a pile of wheat. Please click this link (http://www.guidewetravel.com/maiji-mountain-grottoes/) for more details about it.
3. Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes, about 1500 years old, is located in Datong City, Shanxi Province, China. It is a World Heritage Site and the largest among the four. Most travelers visit it from Beijing by train and then go on to Pingyao Ancient Town. Some may also take the train there to Xi’an.
4. Longmen Grottoes
1500-year-old Longmen Grottoes is located in Luoyang City, Henan Province, China. It is a World Heritage Site and most of all, it houses the largest number of statues among the four. You may take the high speed train from Beijing to Longmen, Luoyang for a visit. It only takes about 4 hours. Then from there to Xi’an is also convenient by high speed train.