Water Curtain Cave

Water Curtain Cave, also known as Shuilian Dong, is situated in Luban Gorge in Wushan County to the west of Tianshui, Gansu Province. It is an appealing destination characterized by rich Buddhist scriptures and charming natural landscapes. Housing eight dagobas and mural paintings that cover an area of 2,000 square meters (2,400 square yards), the cave is a treasure house of Buddhism. Initially built in the Five Hus and Sixteen States (304 - 439), it was renovated several times during successive dynasties. Now Water Curtain Cave is the second largest cave complex in Tianshui, following Maiji Caves located at the southeast of the city.

Water Curtain Cave Complex is composed of five grottoes known individually as Xiansheng Pond, Lashao Temple, Thousand-Buddha Cave, Water Curtain Cave, and Sanqing Cave. The former four are especially famous.


Xiansheng Pond

The first attraction you will encounter is Xiansheng Pond, a natural cave with a pond in it. The pond tinkles all the year around. It is regarded as a holy place where immortals may appear. The inside is decorated with lifelike Buddhas and murals painted in the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557 - 581).


Lashao Temple

After walking west for a few minutes from Xiansheng Pond, you will reach a bus stop, where shuttle buses to the core scenic area are available.

Near the terminus is Lashao Temple. What impress visitors most are three sculptures presenting a majestic view on the cliffside. Two Bodhisattvas stand at each side while a tall Buddha is sitting in the middle. The huge Buddha is 40 m (131 feet) tall, acclaimed as the largest cliff alto-relievo in China. Over the sculptures are wind eaves where there are copper bells that chime in the breeze. It is the large Buddha sculpture that earns the reputation for Lashao Temple or even for the whole scenic spot.


Thousand-Buddha Cave

At the west of Lashao Temple is the Thousand-Buddha Cave or Qianfo Cave, which gets its name because of the nearly one thousand Buddhas stored in it. Those Buddhas are still bright and vivid since they are well protected from the sunlight. What attract visitors are over thirty niches, hundreds of Buddha sculptures, and large-scale painted murals.


Water Curtain Cave

On the east side of the Luban Gorge is Water Curtain Cave, the most famous attraction in the scenic area to the south of Lashao Temple and Thousand-Buddha Cave. It is a huge arch cave that measures 50 m (164 feet) long, 30 m (98 feet) high, and 20 m (66 feet) deep. In the rainy season, rains cascade down from the top edge of the cave like a water curtain, thus giving the cave its name. Within the cave, there are several Buddhist temples and pavilions. The water curtain, temples, murals, and Buddhas form a fascinating scene.

Apart from rich Buddhist murals and sculptures, bewitching natural landscapes in the scenic spot is another delight. Water Curtain Cave may be hailed as a fairyland that holds undulating hills, fragrant flowers, twittering birds and murmuring brooks.


How to get there

From Tianshui, visitors can take a bus to Wushan County from Nanhu Bus Station. Get off at Luomen Town. The fare is about CNY 30. After arrival, take a cab or mini bus to the scenic area. The cab may charge CNY 30 to 40 and the mini bus may charge CNY 5 per person. Or visitors can take a train from Tianshui to Wushan or Luomen. If they arrive at Wushan, they can take a mini bus to Zhonglou Mountain or Dangkou and get off at the scenic area.
Admission Fee CNY 30 for entrance ticket, and CNY 10 for the round-trip shuttle bus.
Opening Hours 8:00 - 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit Three hours
- Last updated on Mar. 26, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Water Curtain Cave
Asked by Richard from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 25, 2023 06:34Reply
Tianshui to water curtain cave area
We are looking to visit the Water Curtain cave area when staying in Tianshui in April 2023. Can I get an indication of the cost of a car and driver for the return trip please. I assume it will be for a day . Many thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Dave | Mar. 26, 2023 20:57

It's not easy to get a car and driver for the return trip only. You'd better hire a car for one day, by which way you can also visit some nearby sites. It costs about CNY300-400 for renting a car for one day.
Asked by sweetpea from UK | Mar. 13, 2019 10:56Reply
Nanhu Bus Station moved to Tianshui Main Bus station ?
I learned that the Nanhu bus has amalgamated / moved to The TS Main bus station.
Can someone please confirm that I will be able to travel from there to the Luomen bus station, in June ?
What are the frequency of the bus from the new TS Main bus station.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Sebastian from CANADA | Mar. 18, 2019 23:16

Yes, Nanhu Bus Station has moved to Tianshui General (Main) Bus Station, which is located at No.31, Taishan Road, Qinzhou District. However, the bus to Luomen departs at Maiji Bus Station, which only departs at 07:30 with the fare of CNY29/person. I didn't find any bus to Luomen from the General Bus Station.
Asked by s33eetpea from UK | Jan. 26, 2019 04:59Reply
Taxi from Tianshui to Water Curtain Cave
How much can I expect to pay for a private car for the day, to visit Water Curtain Cave + Daxiangshan.
I think it's about 115Km one way, about 2 hrs drive, from Tianshui.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Chase from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 28, 2019 00:57

Generally speaking, it takes around CNY200 to CNY300 for one day trip.
Asked by Malcolm from UKRAINE | Dec. 22, 2018 03:49Reply
how to get a train from Wushan to Zhangye
from Tianshui station to Wushan station, is there a lift luggage at Wushan st. ?
After visiting Water curtain cave etc
How do we get a train to travel to Zhangye please.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Liliana from FRANCE | Dec. 26, 2018 22:17

As I know, there is a lift luggage at Wushan Railway Station.
After touring around, you are advised to hire a private car to get to Wushan Railway Station. Then take the normal speed train to Zhangye.
Asked by Eugene from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 20, 2018 08:19Reply
Are there any hotels for foreigners in Wushan or Luomen ?
I can't find much online about hotels in those places. I would spend the night there than going back to Tianshui after seeing the caves. Please give me a recommendation or two ! Thanks.
Answers (2)
Answered by Natalie from RUSSIA | Mar. 20, 2018 21:38

Yes, of course there are! I once lived in a Luomen Hotel in 1 Fuyuan Rd, Luomen Town, no more than 500m northeast of the Luomen Railway Station. You can book it from Elong or just go there to book a room on site.
Answered by Eugene from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 21, 2018 07:44

Thanks Natalie !
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