Longmen Caves

Luoyang, Henan Province, China

Featured Caves (north to south):

  • Qianshi
  • Binyang
  • Ten Thousand Buddhas
  • Huijian
  • Lotus Flower
  • Fengxian Si
  • Kanjing Si (East Bank)

  • The Longmen ("Dragon's Gate") cave-chapels occupy the west bank of the Yi river, just south of the ancient Northern Wei capital of Luoyang. The first chapels were carved out by the Northern Wei, great patrons of Buddhism, in the early sixth century. Another phase of building occurred during the Tang dynasty, especially in the late seventh century, when Wu Zetian moved her capital east to Luoyang from Chang'an. In all there are about 2,000 caves and over 100,000 statues, in various states of preservation, along this half-mile section of the riverbank. To facilitate the explanation of these caves, I've included a link to a Reference Table of Buddhist Deities on all of the following pages.

    The photo above was taken from the opposite (east) bank of the river, looking across to the great Fengxian Si. The image is heavily computer-enhanced, to remove the pervasive haze that blankets this part of China (original photo).