The journey of Longmen Grottoes - Reviews of the facts, history, significance, tour arrangement, and how to get to Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan Province of China.
The Longmen Grottoes, as the name suggests, are related to Longmen. Bai Juyi once wrote a poem: "The suburbs of Luodu, the victory of the mountains and rivers, the dragon gate first Yan." The east and west mountains confront each other, and the Longmen through which Yi River flows through is a treasured geomantic land, which is related to Dayu. It is said that in ancient times, Yishui was flooded all the year round, so Dayu excavated Longmen Mountain to make Yishui flow through. Because Yishui was the first river to be treated in the Dayu's water control project, it was regarded as sacred water and sacrificed. "The so-called Yiren, on the side of the water" in The Book of Songs was originally not a love poem, but a sacrificial song to the goddess Yishui. Because this wandering goddess is sometimes in the "Mee of Water" and sometimes in the "Chang of Water", only by "retrospecting from it" and "tracing back from it" to find her can we pray for her blessing to the world. This feng shui treasure is also because of the Longmen Mountain excavated by Dayu. The Longmen Grottoes close to Yishui are excavated on this fengshui treasure land with mountains and waters behind.
Together with the Longmen Grottoes, the Yungang Grottoes, which are listed as the "Three Great Grottoes in China" and World Cultural Heritage, also have such an exquisite location. However, the Wuzhou Mountain where the Yungang Grottoes are located is an important transportation route from the Northern Wei Dynasty to the northwest, so it is more convenient for believers to worship. If the Yungang Grottoes excavated in the Northern Wei Dynasty showed only the glory of a dynasty of the Northern Wei Dynasty, then the Luoyang Grottoes excavated on Longmen Mountain and Xiangshan Mountain showed the grace of several dynasties from the Northern Wei Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. This grotto, which began when Emperor Xiaowen moved to Luoyang in the Northern Wei Dynasty, reached its peak in the Tang Dynasty, and ceased to be built at the end of the Qing Dynasty. More than 100,000 Buddha statues in it have led believers with devout Buddhist beliefs to walk into it for more than 1,400 years. Prosperous, or lonely, or soaring to the sky, or the end of the journey.
Buddhism that sprouted in India, perhaps even its founder would not have thought that the Buddhism he founded would take root and thrive in China. When the Indian monks crossed the Congling Mountains before the Christian era and entered Xinjiang, which was not yet part of China, the dignity of Buddhism built an art mansion there. With Buddhism advancing eastward, the White Horse Temple in Luoyang was built in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Since then, Buddhism has been on the land of China like a lantern, and it has been lit up for the first time, giving light to countless dynasties, including the Northern Wei Dynasty.
Because the Yungang Grottoes, which are played by the stunning Chinese music, are so amazing, I am full of expectations for the longest-built Longmen Grottoes in the world, but Tiangong is so unpretentious. In the cool and rainy weather in Datong, Luoyang turned into a scorching sun that would roast people into dried meat. Americans are not afraid of the sun, but I can't, "fully armed" penetrates the light and wind of time, walks into the Northern Wei Dynasty, walks into the Datang, and explores the journey they have brought to Longmen Grottoes.
The entrance of the Longmen Grottoes does not have the magnificent Foguang Avenue at the entrance of the Yungang Grottoes. This makes Longmen Grottoes less imposing than Yungang Grottoes at first glance, but the wide river of Yishui makes Longmen Grottoes more beautiful. Walking along the banks of the Yishui River, it is like a beautiful Yiren close by.
Like the Yungang Grottoes, which stretch from east to west for about one kilometer, the Grottoes on Longmen Mountain are also one kilometer long, but they run north-south, and you have to "jump up and down" to see the whole. If the Yungang Grottoes, which were excavated by the royal family and later taken over by Xianbei Guizhou, were "mixed", then the Luoyang Grottoes would be pure royal style because they were completely operated by the Northern Wei and Tang imperial families. If the Yungang Grottoes were only excavated in the Northern Wei Dynasty and not stained with the “impurities” of other dynasties, the Longmen Grottoes would not be so “pure” because of the imprints of countless dynasties. Among all the caves in Longmen, the Northern Wei Dynasty accounts for about 30%, the Tang Dynasty accounts for 60%, and other dynasties account for 10%.
The multi-level stride of the dynasty not only makes the niches of Longmen Grottoes nearly 10 times more than those of Yungang Grottoes, but also makes the number of Buddha statues almost twice as many as those of Yungang Grottoes. It also makes the types of art more abundant than those of Yungang Grottoes. Diversity. However, the scale of the niches in the Yungang Grottoes is much larger than that of the Luoyang Grottoes. The statues are full of rich foreign customs in terms of shape and charm. They are the first wonderful flower blooming on the land of China, which can be called Chinese Buddhist art. The pinnacle of work. This made the Yungang Grottoes, which were built 40 years earlier than the Luoyang Grottoes, shocked the world while also becoming a model for leading other grottoes.
Under the guidance of Yungang Grottoes, the journey of Longmen Grottoes began in the Northern Wei Dynasty. With the change of times, the royal will of different dynasties in China has been constantly changing.
Due to the Sinicization policy adhered to by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the statues in the Longmen Grottoes have lost the ruggedness, majesty and vigor of the statues in the Yungang Grottoes, and replaced by the delicate, thin and gentleness of the Central Plains. In the Zhongdong Grottoes in Binyang, which is the most representative of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the costume of the Lord Buddha is not the favored right-shouldered robes in the Yungang Grottoes, but the robes with large sleeves after sinicization. However, the lotus cap carved on the top of the dome in the cave and the lotus cave also have the same light body as in the Yungang Grottoes, with a long skirt and a free posture, singing and dancing. This graceful dance and exquisite design inspired the designers of the Great Hall of the People, and the lotus roof inside is based on the design here. The lotus cave is also 2 cm high, and the sculptures are vivid and detailed, and the lifelike Buddha statues are exactly the same as those in the Yungang Grottoes.
If the Binyang Middle Cave and Lianhua Caves dug in the Northern Wei Dynasty were only small waves, they were dug out of natural limestone caves, and the Guyang Cave, which is also called the "Three Big Caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty" along with Binyang Middle Cave and Lianhua Cave, would be surging waves. . In the earliest cave excavated in the Longmen Grottoes, the main figure with smiling eyes and calm demeanor, Sakyamuni, has a thin face and a double-collar drooping robes, all showing the characteristics of the Central Plains. In addition to the main Buddha, hundreds of other large and small Buddhist niches in the cave are mostly based on the appearance of the nobles and high-ranking officials of Xianbei. Because they are not stingy with money, the sculptures are gorgeous and colorful, and they are varied. The most eye-catching thing is that there are nineteen pieces of Wei stele essence in the cave. These calligraphy treasures account for 95% of the world-famous "Twenty Dragon Gate".
In the time and space of singing and dancing and the smoke filled with gunpowder, the Northern Wei Dynasty, which advocated thinness and beauty, turned to the Tang Dynasty, which was full of beauty. With the opening of the climax of the statues, the group of sculptures in the niche of Lu Shena, the most intense and colorful in the Longmen Grottoes, stepped onto the stage. The magnificent and majestic Lucena is like Cave 20 of the Yungang Grottoes, so you will hold your breath when you enter the eye from a distance. If the statue of the Emperor Xianbei in Cave 20 of the Yungang Grottoes is a foreign country with a high nose and a deep purpose, then the Lucena Buddha carved in the shape of Wu Zetian when he was 25 years old is graceful, luxurious and beautiful. The Buddha of Lu Shena, who can only take a closer look after climbing more than a hundred steps, has wavy hair lines on his head, and his eyebrows are curved like a crescent moon. A pair of beautiful eyes stares down, revealing a peaceful and mysterious smile. This mysterious smile gives it the reputation of the "Oriental Mona Lisa", and its exquisite craftsmanship makes it known as the "most beautiful statue in the world."
The Longmen Grottoes, known as the world’s greatest treasure house of classical art, excavated by the two dynasties of the Northern Wei and Datang dynasties with strong manpower and material resources were supposed to be "fallen down with a smile", but there were four Buddhist extermination movements, plus Luoyang turned into hell as soon as war was encountered, and the Longmen Grottoes experienced waves of heartbreaking journeys. Four of the nine Buddha statues carved in the niches of Lu She are missing, and the hands of Lord F Lu She are also missing. Many Buddha statues either had no heads or disappeared entirely, or they were changed to Laojun statues when Cixi fled back to Beijing, and the beautiful "Emperor's Ceremony to Buddha" and "Empress's Ceremony to Buddha" and countless Buddha statues have long been lost. To a foreign country. The Longmen Grottoes, where artistic achievements have reached unparalleled heights, are now "wounded all over." Its appearance, like the Acropolis I saw up close, made me "want to talk and cry first." Fortunately, the compassionate smile of the Great Buddha of Lu She has warmed me and all sentient beings for more than a thousand years. It has blessed the Chinese civilization, even though it has gone through disasters, it will never stop. Bathed in the light and shadow of the Great Buddha of Luxe, I let the summer's brilliance enrich my dream for many years.
Recommend Longmen Grottoes tour company:
China Adventure Club: https://newchinatours.com/
Great Wall Adventure Club: https://greatwalladventureclub.com/
Great Wall Walk: https://greatwallwalk.com/