Silk Road Angel Tours

Dunhuang of China.

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   YULIN CAVES, also called WANFOXIA (The Gorge of Ten Thousand Buddhas), are located in a gorge 75 kilometers south to Anxi city. The earliest cave was built in this site probably during the Northern Wei Dynasty (439-534 AD). The 42 surviving caves, constructed on the two sharp cliffs facing each other, cover a period of more than 1500 years from the Northern Wei to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). Particularly worth noting is Cave 25, built during the Tibetan occupation (781-847 AD), which contains unique "Tibetan style" paintings and other interesting motifs. Caves 2 and 3 of the Western Xia period (1036-1226 AD) are invaluable for our understanding of the art and culture of the Tangut Western Xia Kingdom and its relationship with the Chinese Song Dynasty. EASTERN THOUSAND BUDDHAS CAVES, also located in Anxi county, consist of 23 caves. This group of caves focuses on Tantric Buddhist motifs, reflecting the strong influence of Tibetan religion and art during and after the Tangut control of this region. Although only 8 caves survive with paintings and sculptures (3 Western Xia caves, 3 Yuan Dynasty caves, and 2 Qing Dynasty caves), other caves contain remains of deceased monks and other objects which provide us with contextual evidence to understand how these caves were used.