Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan
(November 2, 2011)

(1) This is the long men, the "Dragon Gate," which is a narrowing between two hills on the Yi River a few miles south of Luoyang, and the site of the Longmen Grottoes.

The Grottoes are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a AAAAA-Rated Chinese Tourism Site. The place was spectacular, with carvings created over centuries, starting over 1500 years ago. I'll just show you highlights, as I shot hundreds of pictures there.

(2) Here's an impression of the grottoes, as shot from across the river.

(3) A closer view of numerous grottoes.

(4) This is the first major grotto we saw.

(5) Another large Buddha figure.

(6) Did the habit of tossing a "peace sign" in a photo originate here? (Some of the caves still show traces of the original color; they used to all be brightly painted.)

(7) See the many small Buddhas on the side of the doorway? Wikipedia says there are over 100,000 figures on the site; this helps explain it.

(8) Here's a close-up of the inside of that cave; note the lotus overhead, and the numerous small figures on the back wall.

(9) Another cave with a lotus overhead.

(10) Some small Buddhas just filling space on a wall.

(11) This group is the centerpiece of the whole site. The central figure is Vairocana (my personal Buddha), and he is shown on most of the hype for this site; he's practically the Luoyang city symbol.

(12) A close-up of Vairocana.

(13) A closer-up of Vairocana. I said my devotions in front of him today.

(14) Presumably Ananda, a young monk attendant to Vairocana's left as we face him.

(15) I'm guessing this giant is one of the Four Heavenly Kings; he stands to Vairocana's right.

(16) The assemblage as seen from the "Buddha Viewing Platform" across the river.

(17) This is said to be the "oldest and richest cave" on the site.

(18) Creepy.

(19) A modern figure of Xuanzang, who went to India to collect sutras.

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Last Updated August 9, 2019

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