Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dunhuang Caves

Also known as the Mogao Grottoes, this series of 492 Buddhist temples was carved out of the hills around an oasis along the Silk Road in northwest China. The first caves were carved around 366, and construction continued on the site over a thousand years. Cave 96, called the Nine Storey Building (here from the Piece of Peace exhibition)houses the Northern Giant Buddha, at 35 meters the second largest stone Buddha on Earth (it was fourth largest before the two Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed in 2001). The statue depicts the Buddha Maitreya, who is foretold to appear at a future point after the teachings of the Buddha have been forgotten and mankind has degraded into lawlessness.

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