The Longmen Grottoes are located in the south of Luoyang City. They are between Mount Xiang and Mount Longmen and face Yi River. Longmen Grottoes, Yungang Caves and Mogao Caves are regarded as the three most famous treasure houses of stone inscriptions in China.
The grottoes were started around the year 493 when Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) moved the capital to Luoyang and were continuously built during the 400 years until the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). The scenery measures 1,000 metres (about 1,094 yards) from north to south where there are over 2,300 holes and niches, 2,800 steles, 40 dagobas, 1,300 caves and 100,000 statues. Most of them are the works of the Northern Wei Dynasty and the flourishing age of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Lots of historical materials concerning art, music, religion, calligraphy, medicine, costume and architecture are kept here.
Twenty Inscriptions of Longmen Grottoes
The most impressive figure is the statue of Vairocana Buddha sitting cross-legged on the eight-square lotus throne. It is 17.14 metres (about 56.23 feet) in total height with the head four metres (about 13 feet) in height and the ears 1.9 metres (about 6.2 feet) in length. Vairocana means illuminating all things in the sutra. The Buddha has a well-filled figure, a sacred and kindly expression and an elegant smile. According to the record on the epigraph, the Empress Wu Zetian together with her subjects took part in the ceremony of Introducing the Light (a Buddhist blessing that the Buddha opens the spiritual light of himself and shares it with others).
In addition, there are lifelike reliefs of pretty and charming singers and dancers on the wall. The singers are accompanied by various kinds of instruments and the dancers dance lightly and gracefully to the music. The whole model in the cave has created a lively and cheerful atmosphere. On the southern wall outside the cave is carved a statue of Kwan-yin of 85 centimetres (about 33 inches) in height, holding a pure bottle in the left hand and deer's tails (as a symbol of brushing off the dust in spirit) in the right hand. This figure is well designed and is regarded as an example of Bodhisattva statues of Tang Dynasty in Longmen.
Lotus Cave (Lianhua Cave)
In addition, there is Prescription Cave that has about 140 prescriptions engraved on the walls, showing the achievements of medicine in ancient China. Some of the prescriptions are still used today. Other caves and temples like Xiangshan Temple, Huangfugong Cave, and Qianxi Temple can also be found in Longmen Grottoes.
Take K53, K60, K67, K71, K81 or K99, and get off at Longmen Grottoes Station.
From Luoyang Railway Station:
By Bus: take bus no. K81 and get off at the last station.
By Taxi: it costs around CNY 35 to 40.
From Longmen Railway Station:
By Bus: take bus no. K71 and get off at Longmen Grottoes Station.
By Taxi: it costs around CNY 15.
The most convenient way is to take high speed trains from Xian North Railway Station to Longmen Railway Station. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Then take bus no. K71 or catch a taxi to reach Longmen Grottoes. If you take train from Xian Railway Station, then you arrive at Luoyang Railway Station. Bus no. K81 can take you there.
|Admission Fee:|| |
CNY 100 (including grottoes on East and West Hills, Xiangshan Temple and Bai Garden)
|Opening Hours:||February 1 to March 31: 08:00 - 18:00 |
April 1 to October 7: 08:00 - 18:30
October 8 to 31: 08:00 - 18:00
November 1 to January 31: 08:00 - 17:00.
1. Ticket sale ends an hour before the closing time.
2. During the May Day Holiday and National Day Holiday (Oct. 1 to 7), and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Luoyang Peony Culture Festival from Apr. 5 to May 5, the opening hours are 07:30 to 19:00.
Recommended Tours including the visit of Longmen Grottoes:
Spotlights of Luoyang: 3 days to visit Shaolin Temple & White Horse Temple, etc
One- Day Express Train to Luoyang: Express train tour to visit Shaolin Temple and Longmen Caves
Ancient Capitals Xian & Luoyang: 5-day tour to visit the popular attractions of these two ancient cities