Mogao Caves are the nation key cultural relic preservation organ, isnamed Thousand Buddhas Cave, is situated west the Gansu Corridor endDunhuang, is world famous by the fine mural and the cast. Itsbeginning constructs at 16 countries' former Qin times, has beenthrough repeatedly 16 countries, the Northern Dynasty, Sui, Tang, fivegenerations, Tangut , the Yuan and so on all previous dynastiesconstructing, forms the huge scale, existing cavern 735, the mural45,000 square meter, argillaceous painted sculpture 2,415, are in theworld the extant scale is biggest, the content richest Buddhism artplace. Since the modern times had discovered the Buddhist scriptureshole, in had 50,000 ancient times cultural relics, and grew speciallyto study the Buddhist scriptures hole ancient book and Dunhuang artdiscipline - Dunhuang studies. But since Mogao Caves receive many people in the modern times for thedamage, the cultural relic massively drain, its integrity wasseriously destroyed. In 1961, Mogao Caves are announced by thePeople's Republic of China State Council one of for first batch ofnational key cultural relic preservation organs. In 1987, Mogao Cavesare listed as the world culture inheritance.
Mogao Caves are located southeast the Chinese Gansu Province Dunhuang east 25 kilometer place Mt. Mingsha on the foothill cliff, first near dawdle Quan River, face east, north and south length 1680 meters, height 50 meters.Cavern distribution height scattered about, row after row, about most has five.Its beginning constructs at 16 country times, "the Li Obliging Repairs Mogao Caves Niche for a statue of Buddha Tablet" according to Tang the record.
Former Qin establishes a reign title for two years (366 years), the Buddhist priest happy goes via this mountain, sees the golden light sparkle suddenly, if presently ten thousand Buddha, therefore then opened cutting on the dike the first cavern.Hereafter the law good Zen master and so on continues in this to construct the hole to repair the imperial sacrifices, is called the desert high hole, Italy is the desert high place.Because later generation desert and not general, then renames as Mogao Caves.When Northern Wei Dynasty, Western Wei Dynasty and Northern Zhou Dynasty, the ruler respects and believes in Buddhism, the rock cave construction has the nobility support, the development is quick.The Sui and Tang dynasties time, along with Silk Road prosperity, Mogao Caves is prosperous, when Wu Zetian has cavern thousand.After the Anlushan Rebellion, Dunhuang successively and turns over to the troops fighting in a good cause by Turfan to seize, but the statuary activity too greatly has not been affected.The Northern Song Dynasty, the tangut and the Yuan Dynasty, Mogao Caves gradually hasten the decline, only repaired the previous dynasty hole room primarily, newly built extremely few.After Yuan Dynasty, along with Silk Road abandoning, Mogao Caves also stopped constructing and is neglected gradually in common people's field of vision.After clear Kanghsi 40 years (in 1701), here only then again manner attention.The modern times, people usual name it “Thousand Buddhas Cave.
The Mogao Caves extant Northern Wei Dynasty to Yuan cavern 735, divides into the north and south two areas.South the area is Mogao Caves' main body, is engaged in the religious activities for the clergy the place, some 487 caverns, have the mural or make an idol.North the area has 248 caverns, in which only then 5 existence murals or makes an idol,But after other all is the clergy leads a pious life the place which, the housing and the death buries, has life facilities and so on the adobe bed, stove kang, flue, niche, desk lamp.Two area total 492 cavern existence mural and makes an idol, has the mural 45,000 square meter, the argillaceous painted sculpture 2415, Tang Songmu constructs cliff eave 5, as well as several thousand lotus flower pillars, spread out on the floor the decorative brick and so on.