The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei ... More
The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). These works, entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion, represent the high point of Chinese stone carving.
I paid about $12 us to get into this national park. It's unbelievable how many carvings are in the side of this sandstone hilside. The largest ones are see in the movie The Shaolin Temple with Jet Li. In the movie, they look quite close to the temple. In reality the temple is almost 100km away. This is a great half day attraction. One problem is the tour groups crowding the narrow cliffs. If you skip past the crowded parts near the entrance, you get past the bulk of these groups. There is still plenty to see on both sides of the river. Another problem was that there was no place to eat lunch here, but cold bottles of water were available. On the way back into town, make sure to stop by the Guanlin temple, where the tomb of Kwan Yu a.k.a. Guan Gong is. The temple is free, but it's good to leave some donations. The day before, I went on a bus tour to the Shaolin Temple and stopped at some other temples along the way. This was a non english speaking tour. It was still cool though. The Shaolin Temple was kind of a letdown, because it's kind of a tourist trap now. No monks there. There was a good Kung Fu demonstration but not by monks. Since 1949, Kung Fu was banned in China, so most of the masters are long gone to other countries. The Shaolin Temple is still worth seing once. On the way back from the Shaolin Temple, we stopped at the White Horse Temple. It was ok, but by then I was templed out. I spent 2 days in Luoyang and had a good time. Not many people speak English there.
Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount T'oham, the Seokguram Grotto contains a monumental statue of the
Buddha looking at the sea in the bhumisparsha mudra position. With the surrounding portrayals of gods, Bodhisattvas and disciples, ...