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The Caves of Mogao in China are the classic example of proper management of space. They are divided into cells and temples and are built on five levels of production. The artistic work done here is incredibly beautiful. The caves also feature over 2000 sculptures that have been carved out of rock walls. The caves comprises of 45000 square meters of murals, and other Chinese painting masterpieces.

Mogao Caves you gotta go here

The Caves of Mogao in China are the classic example of proper management of space. They are divided into cells and temples and are built on five levels of production. The artistic work done here is incredibly beautiful. The caves also feature over 2000 sculptures that have been carved out of rock walls. The caves comprises of 45000 square meters of murals, and other Chinese painting masterpieces.

The caves are located in the northwest deserts of Gansu province. The eastern end of the cave system is the Mount Mingsha. With over 492 natural cells and rock sanctuaries that extend over a length of 1600 meters, you do not have to look for a reason why they are called the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas (Qianfodong). The caves history is inseparable with that of the first Chinese expeditions into the Mongolian Steppes.

In the year 139 -126 BC, Zhang Qian made an attempt to take over Ancient Bactrian (present Day Mongolia). As fate would have it, the attempt was almost a complete failure and to ward off the attacking Mongols, long sections of walls were built in the northern frontier. In the year 117BC, the Chinese established the Dunhuang military post and later, this number was doubled. The Hexi Pass and Oasis Route was part of the greater Silk Route that connected China with the Mediterranean Nations and thus the conflict between the Chinese and the Mongols.

The military Dunhuang remained for long periods without the interactions with the Middle Empire and thus became a metropolis where people from the Asia would interact. Many religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Nestorianism were introduced in the area. Buddhism was recognized as a religion in AD 444 although it had been introduced in AD 366 by the Buddhist monks that worked in the caves.

Most of the caves were constructed in the 5th to 14th centuries after which the region began to decline. The caves and frescoes illustrate the doctrinal themes of 7th century of Tang dynasty. Of course there are the Tantric Themes that were introduced in Dunhuang by the Tibetans from AD790 to AD 851. The Tantric themes will multiply Gansu was conquered by Tanguts, especially due to the proliferation of lama sets under Western Xia.

The invasion by Tanguts corresponds with the discovery of the 45,000 manuscripts in 1900 by a Taoist monk – Wang Yuan Lu.

This is the kind of place you drone yourself in ancient art and history and come out a more enlightened person. On your tour of China, this is one of the places that you should not miss out.

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