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The Tang Dynasty was renowned for its sophisticated society and culture. This is best captured by the Longmen Grottoes.

Longmen Grottoes you gotta go here

The Tang Dynasty was renowned for its sophisticated society and culture. This is best captured by the Longmen Grottoes. Below is a synopsis of how the Grottoes came to be:

AD493 - Work on the Grottoes started under Northern Wei Dynasty Emperor Xiaowen when he decided to move his capital to Luoyang.

493 to 534 – This was the second phase of development of the Grottoes. They were carved, and a series of caves were carved, the first one being the Guyangdong (also known as Shiku Temple)

524 to 626 – Very little work was done during this period. The few caves that were carved during this time were small in size. The little work that was done during this time is attributed to the civil strife during the Sui Dynasty in 581 to 618 and the early reign of Tang Dynasty in 618 to 907

626 – The third phase of construction began and it was at this time that a lot was accomplished. During the reign of emperors Gaozang and Wuzetin, the group of giant statues in Fengxiansi Cave were carved. These two emperors lived in Luoyang permanently.

755 to 1127 – This was the final phase of the works at the Longmen Grottoes. A decline in carving of the grottoes was preceded by the capture of the city of Luoyang which led to decline of the Tang and northern Song Dynasty that had been passionate in developing the grottoes. The final nail on the coffin was put when the Jin and Yuan dynasties declared war.

The Longmen Grottoes lie about 12 kilometers south of the historical city of Luoyang. The Yushui River is flanked by two hills that both combine to make an enchantingly beautiful landscape that also happens to be of strategic importance. The East and West Hills form very steep structures at the point where they converge with the river valley. This is where the 2345 grottoes were carved on both sides of the river. In the same area, you will find 2500 stelae and inscriptions as well as 60 Buddhist pagodas.

If you are looking for a place to hike as you enjoy the ancient Tang Dynasty cultural heritage, then no other place in China can match the Longmen Grottoes.

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