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The rock-cut architecture of Mogao Caves in China

The Mogao Caves is called Mogao Grottoes which is the Cave of the Thousand Buddhas of 492 temples 25km south-east of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Route, in Gansu Province ofChina. The caves also known as the Caves of Dunhuang be known, but the term is also used to treat other Buddhist cavesites in the Dunhuang area, such as the Western Thousand Buddha Caves and Grottoes Yulin further. The caves are some of the finest examples of Buddhist art over a period of 1000 years. The first caves were dug out 366CE as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes, along with Longmen Grottoes andYungang Grottoes are one of the three famous ancient sites of China Buddhist sculptures. A large cache of documents was discovered in 1900, called “Library Cave“, which had been bricked in 11 Century. The contents of the library was distributed throughout the world and the largest collection now in Beijing, Paris, London and Berlin. International Dunhuang Project is to coordinate and collect papers on Dunhuang manuscripts and other materials. The caves themselves are now a popular tourist destination with a series of open for your visit.

The caves are examples of rock-cut architecture, but in contrast to Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, the local rock is a conglomerate of smooth gravel is not suitable, either in sculpture or elaborate architectural details. Many of the early Buddhist caves seen in the rock previously developed chaitya species in places like caves of Ajanta in India with a central column with square cross section, with sculptures in the niches, the round stupa which can bypass the faithful and blessing. Others are influenced by traditional Chinese architecture and Buddhist temple caves. These caves can be a truncated pyramidal roof sometimes painted to look like a tent or have imitated a flat roof or pitched roof, the traditional building. Some of the caves for meditation cave map used are adaptations of Indian vihara (monastery) and adjoining rooms contain large enough for a person to sit in. Many of the caves originally had wooden porches or in front of temples, built on the cliffs but most of them are damaged or otherwise lost, left with only five, are the first obtained from those two rare examples of the Song Dynasty wooden architecture.

Mogao-Caves1The completely painted caves paint all the walls and ceilings with geometric or plants fill the spaces notfigurative images that are mainly made by Buddha. Sculpture is painted in bright colors. The wall paintings in the caves date back over a period of more than a thousand years, from the 5th to 14 Century and many were painted over at a later date in time. The murals are large with an area of 490,000 square feet (45,000 m²). They are appreciated by the scope and diversity of content as well as his art.Topics Buddhists are the most common but some portraits of traditional mythological themes and patterns. These murals document the development of the kinds of Buddhist art in China for almost a thousand years. The art of murals, reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty and the quality of work was reduced after the tenth century. The first pictures show a strong influence in the Indian and Central Asian painting techniques, composition and style of painting, as well as costumes worn by the characters began, but with a different style Dunhuang emerge during the Northern Wei Dynasty. The motives of the Asian and Indian Chinese, means in a single cave and Chinese elements during the Western Wei can be found to be increased.
A common motif in many caves are fully seated areas by rows of small figures of Buddha, after he and other “Thousand Buddha Caves” called covered. These little Buddha extracted using the templates so that the numbers are replicated identical. Flying Apsaras or celestial beings can be represented in the ceiling or on the fo, and the figures of the donor can be displayed along the bottom of the walls. The paintings often show Jataka tales, stories from the life of Buddha or Avadana are parables of the doctrine of karma. Bodhisattvas started during the Northern Zhou period Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), the male was originally displayed, but later acquires the most popular female characteristics. Most show caves Sravakayana influenced Theravada (or Hinayana) and Mahayana, although Mahayana Buddhism became the dominant form during the Sui Dyansty. An innovation of the Sui-Tang period is the visual representation of the sutra – grew complete and detailed narrative paintings Mahayana Buddhist teaching. One of the central features of Tang Mogao Art is the representation of the Pure Land paradise, what the growing popularity of this school of Mahayana Buddhism, the iconography of Tantric Buddhism, Avalokitesvara than eleven thousand points or arms, also began in the Tang, in the murals in the Tang Mogao became popular during the occupation of Tibet from Dunhuang and later periods, especially during the Yuan Dynasty.