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March 20th, 2012

A winter visit to the Yungang Grottoes

By: WildChina | Categories: On the Road

Earlier this month, WildChina travel consultant Sherry Duo packed her bags and hopped on the train for a short weekend adventure in northern China.  Sherry is originally from Datong, a city of +3 million in Shanxi province, but has lived in Beijing for over a decade and only travels back home for special occasions, including, of course, Chinese New Year.

 

During her visit to Datong, the highlight of Sherry’s trip was her visit to the Yungang Grottoes which are just outside the city center and are on the south ride of Wu Zhou mountains. Included as one of the 936 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Yungang Grottoes are important as they are some of the sole remaining intact set of stone carvings in China. Today, visitors can see 53 grottoes and over 51,000 statues.

 

At the Yungang grottoes, the largest carving is over 17 meters high, while the smallest is only a few centimeters. Along with the Longmen grottoes and Mogao grottoes, the Yungang grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China.  For those interested in Buddhist history, these grottoes are a must see while visiting China. Buddhism was adopted in this area as a result of travel along the Northern Silk Road.

 

The stone sculptures are not the only notable aspect of the Yungang grottoes. The richly colored cave paintings have retained their colors for centuries.

 

Even though Sherry has visited the Yungang grottoes, she feels that the magic “never wears off.” It is a reminder of her history and culture and makes her feel proud of where she comes from.

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Interested in traveling to the Yungang grottoes? Get in touch with a WildChina travel consultant to learn more at info@wildchina.com.

 

 

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