云冈石窟

Yungang Grottoes - Yungang Caves - Yún gāng shíkū - Wuzhoushan Grottoes


Useful Information

photography
Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi. Public Domain.
photography
Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi. Public Domain.
photography
Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi. Public Domain.
Location: Near Datong City, Shaanxi Province.
(40.1105, 113.1259)
Open: APR to 15-OCT daily 8:30-17:30.
16-OCT to MAR daily 8:30-17.
[2021]
Fee: APR to 15-OCT Adults CNY 120, Children (6-18) CNY 60, Children (0-5) free, Student CNY 60, Seniors (60+) free, Disabled free, Chinese Military free.
16-OCT to MAR Adults CNY 80, Children (6-18) CNY 40, Children (0-5) free, Student CNY 40, Seniors (60+) free, Disabled free, Chinese Military free.
Guide fee CNY 150, Chinese Audio Guide CNY 10, English Audioguide CNY 40.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church, Buddhist cave temples in sandstone
Light: n/a
Dimension: 252 caves and 51,000 statues
Guided tours: self guided, guides may be booked Chinese English 日本語 - Japanese
Photography: partly allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: James O. Caswell (1988): Written and Unwritten: A New History of the Buddhist Caves at Yungang Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press Vancouver: 225.
Address: Yungang Grottoes, Datong, Shanxi, 037007, Tel: +86-352-3029629, Tel: +86-352-3029632, Fax: +86-352-3206818.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

5th and 6th century caves constructed.
1952 opened to the public.
1961 listed by the State Council among the first group of State Priority Protected Sites.
2001 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
2007 first group of 5A level Chinese Tourist Areas.

Description

photography
Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi. Public Domain.
photography
Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi. Public Domain.

Yungang Grottoes are Buddhist cave temples from the 5th and 6th centuries. Most famous are the Five Caves created by Tan Yao, called a classical masterpiece of Chinese Buddhist art. All five caves have a strict unity of layout and design. They are known as caves No 16 through No 20.

The site is located in the valley of the Shi Li river at the base of the Wuzhou Shan mountains. The caves were excavated in the south face of a sandstone cliff which is 790 m long and between 9 m and 18 m high. In total there are 252 caves and niches and 51,000 statues within a carved area of 18,000 m². 53 caves are considered major caves, which means they have some size and a number of sculptures. Many caves are painted in different colours. There are no paintings, the sculptures are colorized.

The largest cave is No. 6, which is 20 m high, with a 15 m high pagoda-like column decorated with Buddha statues and designs. On the four sides of the column, and on the east, south and west walls of the cave, 33 embossed panels depict the story of Saykamuni.

There is a museum named The Yungang Exhibition Centre which gives a full introduction on how the Yungang Grottoes were created. The Yungang Culture and Art Performance Centre and Puppet Shadow House offer cultural programs. Especially on festivals like Yungang Culture and Art Festival, Culture Heritage Day, China Tourism Day, Mayday, the National Day and other lunar Chinese festivals.