Fast Facts

  • Location: Located about 16 km southwest of the city of Datong in Shanxi province, China.
  • Attraction Type: Temple Grottoes.
  • Significance: Showcases awesome examples of rock-cut architecture, the site represents an exceptional feat of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries.
  • Best time to Visit: April to September.
  • Visiting Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • How to Reach: Come at Datong Airport. Take a bus to reach Yungang Grottoes. Taxis are also available.
  • Nearest Airport: Datong Airport (DAT).

It is one of the three sites in China that have been famous for their stone sculptures. In fact, it is perhaps the best of the three (Longmen and Mogao are the other two) in terms of their tremendous size, ancient history and state of preservation. Yungang Grottoes are wonderful ancient Buddhist temple grottoes demonstrating an awesome example of rock-cut architecture.

Located about 16 km southwest of the city of Datong in Shanxi province, Yungang Grottoes, mainly constructed between 460-525 AD during the Northern Wei dynasty, represent exceptional feat of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th century. It has got a total number of 53 grottoes consisting of more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes. The fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from central and south Asia with Chinese cultural tradition is the noted highlight of the site. Yungang Grottoes have been quite successful in vividly illustrating the power and endurance of the Buddhist belief in China. It is a must-see destination for you if you are the one who loves to explore the architectural brilliance of the world.

Visiting Yungang Grottoes
The Yungang Grottoes were engraved into the mountain and stretched about a kilometer in length from east to west. It is an amazing experience to explore the 53 remaining grottoes and see around 51,000 statues. The most notable one of these is a 17 meters high statue. The traditional arts of the Qin and Han dynasties are the things to be appreciated here.

One can divide the caves of Yungang Grottoes into three phases, viz. Caves #16 to #20 where the Wei-rulers were depicted as living Buddha, Caves #1, #2, #3, & #5-#13 where varied Chinese concepts can be seen, and Caves #4, #14, #15, #20 & the rest which are relatively smaller caves.

Zone wise, one can divide the Yungang Grottoes into three zones, viz. East, West and Central.

East Zone: Grottoes #1 to #4 fall under this portion. Due to the pagoda or carved tower in the middle of each cave, these caves are also called the ‘tower’ caves. In the center of each cave, there is a square tower on which the stories of the Buddha have been carved. Caves #1 & #2 are the most preserved ones there. There is also an impressive four-storied wooden faí§ade temple with glazed top.

Central Zone: Grottoes #5 to #20 come under this category. The most splendid of them are the caves #16 to #20. See the wonderful 13.7 meters high sitting statue of Sakyamuni in grotto #20. Grottoes #9 to #13 are known for their beautiful paintings.

West Zone: Majority of the grottoes fall in this zone. West zone grottoes are smaller in size.

Entry Fee: CNY 60 Accommodation

While visiting Yungang Grottoes, you may stay at the city of Datong. There are plenty of options for accommodations available in Datong. Some of the hotels in Datong can be listed as below:

Haohai International Hotel
No. 46, Xinjian South Road
Datong, China 037008

Datong Hotel
No. 37, Yingbin West Road
Datong, China 037008

Hongan International Hotel
No. 28, Binxi Road
Datong, China 037008

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image