Mogao Caves, or Mogao Grottoes, are famous for their murals and statues buried in the austere sand of desert. Settled in Dunhuang, an oasis surrounded by Gobi Desert, the Mogao Caves had a history of over two thousand years. The vast scale of Mogao Caves contained 735 grottoes, overall 450 thousand meter square of murals and over 2000 clay statues. In the territory of China, Mogao Grottoes are the most popular ancient Buddhist carved grottoes. Together with the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, this attraction site was recorded as a UNESCO world cultural heritage in 1987, the first groups of nominations in China approved by UNESCO. Mogao Caves are also one of the top four grottoes in China, where the other three were Longmen Grottoes, Yungang Grottoes and Maijishan Grottoes.
The history of Mogao Grottoes dates back to the 4th century. A divagated monk Le Zun witnessed a bizarre phenomena at the cliff of the oasis — the ordinary Mount Sanwei was emitting millions of light beams, just as there were thousands of Buddhas emerging from the sparking golden rays.
Le Zun interpreted this signal as a message from Buddha, and begun to work on the first cave at the cliff facing Mount Sanwei. Since then, the relay of grottoes-crafting when on until Yuan Dynasty for more than a millennium, and the caves on the cliff were as dense as honeycomb, the line of fellow sincere Buddhists always had to deal with the epiphany of unable to locate a desired cave.
Bloom of Mogao Caves – The drift of Mogao Caves was initiated by a journey to the west.
Othernames of Mogao Caves include Dunhuang Caves, Dunhuang Grottoes, and Caves of Thousand Buddhas