Introducing Longmen Caves
An invaluable Unesco World Heritage site, the ravaged grottoes at Longmen constitute one of China’s few surviving masterpieces of Buddhist rock carving. A sutra in stone, the epic achievement of the Longmen Caves (Dragon Gate Grottoes; Lóngmén Shíkū; admission Y80, English speaking guide Y100;
In the early 20th century, many statues were beheaded by unscrupulous collectors or simply extracted whole, many ending up abroad. Also removed were two murals that today hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Atkinson Museum in Kansas City. Some effigies are slowly returning and heads are being slowly restored to their severed necks, but other statues have had their faces crudely smashed off, deliberate defacement that dates to the dark days of the Cultural Revolution (the Ten Thousand Buddha Cave was particularly damaged during this period).
Longmen Caves destination guides
Explore a side of China you never knew existed on this eye-opening multi-activity adventure. Using rural roads that wind through tiny villages and past seemingly endless rice fields, you’ll get a full dose of this land’s truly incredible history, culture, and geography.