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Mogao Grottoes Fast Facts

The Mogao Grottoes contain 492 caves each of which are clearly labeled with a sign above each cave opening. Five of the larger caves are reinforced with wooden structures.

The caves contain 45,000 square meters of frescos, 2,415 painted sculptures and over 50,000 Buddhist scriptures. The caves also contain valuable historical documents, textiles, and other relics never seen or heard of by archeologists. The condition of these items have been found to be in pristine condition due to the dry desert climate. Photography is not permitted inside the caves. Click here to see Steven Yang's Dunhuang painting series.

Tang Dynasty records indicate that the first cave was constructed around 366 A.D. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed the Mogao Grottoes on the World Heritage List in 1987.

Archeologists from Russia, France, and England have removed and looted artifacts from the caves between 1906 and 1919. There continue to be "secret" caves that are discovered sometimes accidentally and there is currently an effort to unify the artifacts and information in a project database called the International Dunhuang Project.

 

Steven Yang's photo gallery of Dunhuang and surrounding areas around Gansu Province.
Please click thumbnail to enlarge. Try using your scroll wheel to scroll through images!


Camel caravan at the base of the great Taklamakan Desert at Dunhuang, China Footprints instantly disappear on the giant Dunhuang sand dunes. Local Dunhuang girls enjoy the view from the top of the giant Dunhuang sand dunes. Sunset from the top of the giant Dunhuang sand dunes.  
Dunhuang girl dancing with balloon. Dunhuang girl dances with balloon. Little boy picks his nose at the West end of the Great Wall of China. Dunhuang shrine with curtain. Dunhuang shrine with monk.
Transportation hasn't changed much around here in Dunhuang. Dunhuang children. Dunhuang barren landscape. An oasis in the Taklamakan Desert - Dunhuang. Another beautiful giant shrine behind a curtain.
         
Facade of the Mogao Grottoes Second story of the Mogao Grottoes. Fur peddler doesn't like cameras. Street caravan with wedding decorations downtown Dunnhuang, China. Dry barren Dunhuang landscape from train window.
Pagoda at the Western end of the Great Wall of China with modern smokestacks in the background. Main Pagoda up close at fortress at Western end of the Great Wall. Dry barren Dunhuang landscape. Standing Buddha shrine with curtain and flowers.  
Flying Bhodisattva playing Lute.
Buddha shrine with cape and halo.
Another Buddha shrine with cape and halo.
Buddha sculpture bald with halo.
Flying nymph with flowing scarf.
         

 

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