Yulin Grottoes site is famed as the sister of Mogao Grottoes. It is 180 km far away from Dunhuang, with rock-cut caves filled with Buddhist wall paintings and sculptures cut into the walls of a canyon.
Yulin Grottoes were cut in the eastern and western vertical cliffs on both sides of Yulin River Gorge, so named for the elm forest on the banks. It is one of the well-known grottoes in China. In grotto form, expression contents and artistic style, it is similar to Mogao Grottoes, as a branch of Mogao Grottoes Art System and always an attraction to scholars both at home and abroad.
Though without document reference, it could be founded before Tang Dynasty by judgment from the grotto form and relevant inscriptions. According to the existing mural style and tourist inscription, cutting, painting, and sculpture, as well as large construction were conducted in all dynasties, including Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, Xixia, Yuan and Qing. Now, there are 43 grottoes with complete murals, 32 in the east cliff and 11 in the west cliff. 272 colored statues and over 5650 square meters of the mural are well preserved.
The sculptures, like most of those at Mogao, had been 'restored' during the 19th century Qin dynasty. A total of 41 caves (with 30 along the eastern cliff and 11 along the west), 5650 square meters of frescoes, 272 statues, 10826 Buddha, Bodhisattva's and gods' pictures remain intact. Constructed on the two sharp cliffs facing each other, cover more than 1500 years from the Northern Wei to the Qing Dynasty
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Opening Time: 09:00am to 17:30pm Monday - Sunday 1st May - 31st Oct
10:00am to 17:00pm Monday - Sunday 1st Nov - 30th April