Longmen Caves China carved by human hands for 634 years. They are located next to the ancient capital Luoyang. The city has a population of over 7 million and has several attractions. One is the caves with rock frescoes, which were started in 493. Longmen Caves are visible if you are sailing on the Yi River. They are part of China's world cultural heritage. Such rock complexes of similar size are still in three places.
The Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, the Yungang Caves in Datong and the Dazu Caves in Chongqing, which I have already published. The caves are located in the valley of the Yihe River between the fragrant mountain and Longmen mountain. The construction of the caves began in the Northern Wei dynasty and lasted about 400 years until the Tang dynasty. There are a total of 2345 niches, over 100,000 Buddha statues and more than 2,800 inscriptions.
The largest statue is the 17-meter Vairocana Buddha and the smallest micro-engraving figure of the Buddha is only 2 inches high. Hundreds of thousands of stonemasons have carved into the nearby rocks. Most of the statues are well preserved, or at least the ones I saw.
It is amazing how they are preserved or protected from the weather (rain and wind). The panoramic tour is well done, but be prepared to climb over 800 steps and as many more to descend to see the main part of the statues.
I must also write that on both sides of the Yihe River you can see everything down to the smallest statue. Quite a laborious job if you ask me. I saw a similar scale of figures carved into the rocks in the mystical stone city Petra.
There are carved stairs next to each statue in the rocks, but unfortunately they are not accessible to tourists for obvious reasons. There are small holes in which small statues of Buddha are carved.
Across the river is the Xiangshan Temple Buddhist Complex opposite the Longmen Caves, the Grottoes of the Dragon Gate, in Luoyang City with its characteristic curved, colorful pagoda roofs. The influence of Indian culture is felt here. If you buy a ticket you can visit everything in this attraction.
It is much cheaper than just exploring the Longmen Caves of China. The whole complex is a pedestrian zone, which is a great advantage for tourists. Everything is very well maintained, not to mention the cleanliness. In general, in China you need a lifetime to look at everything properly. We hope we have been helpful to you. In this city of Luoyang, I had the kindest welcome at the hotel where I was staying.
As usual the only foreigner. I guess they even gave me a more expensive room than the one I had booked. Every day they wrote to me on a note that I was a valuable guest, they left a plate with bananas, cherry tomatoes and yogurt in the room, which they then told me was normal for a very valuable (respected) guest. They offered extra free mineral water and in the end they even took me to the station in a company car. I'm not sure why I was so served.
Also, in this city I went to eat at a market next to a fenced neighborhood (closed ghetto), where they cooked very tasty and it was very cheap and I was very happy to eat among ordinary people.