The caves at Longmen, near Loyang in Henan province, were opened in 494 to mark the transfer of the Northern Wei capital to Loyang. When Buddhism became a popular religion, thousands of statues of Buddha were carved on the walls of caves. A few of those caves can be located near the city of Loyang, and are known as the Longmen caves or also the dragons gate. The sculptures there ranged in size and in one cave alone would be 10,000 statues of Buddha! The objective, however, was to gain religious merit for the ruler by reproducing and displaying the image of the Buddha; and at the same time to glorify and celebrate the ruler's power.The grottoes, which overwhelmingly depict Buddhist subjects, are densely dotted along the two mountains: Xiangshan (east) and Longmenshan (west). The Yi River flows northward between them. For this reason, the area used to be called Yique "The Gate of the Yi River". From north to south, the distance covered by grottoes is about one km. Along with the Mogao Caves and Yungang Grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China.
There are over 2100 niches, more than 100,000 statues, some 40 pagodas and 3600 tablets and steles in the caves of Guyang, Binyang and Lianhua.
During Chinese New Year big celebrations are taking place, red lamplights and lights are hung up along the river by many voluntarily worker.
(over 100 photos available some as 6X6 slides)
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A picture may say more then thousand words,- language is still the tool of thoughts.
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