The North Grotto Temple

Last updated by Per Martin Hjort at 2013-11-5

The North Grotto Temple, which is surrounded by green mountains at the back and clear waters at the front, locates itself on the reddish brown rock cliff with a length of 12 meters and a height of 20 meters. The temple is comprised of 295 temple-caves on the cliff from Northern Wei Dynasty, Northern Zhou Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty and Qing Dynasty and 2125 sculptures. The temple caves are so concentrated that they assembles a honeycomb of 20 meters high and 120 meters long, which constitutes the grotto with the most abundant contents in Longdong region.

The grotto comprises of three stories and among the caves the Number 165 created by Xi Kangsheng is the biggest of all, which is a grand grotto with 7 Buddha as the content. The 7 Buddha is magnificently built and is with the flavor and charm of the Wei Dynasty. Accompanying the 7 Buddha, the statues of Mile Buddha, Riding Buddha, etc are all impressive masterpieces.

Besides, No. 240 grotto built in the Northern Zhou Dynasty presents simple and generous style. The grottos in the North Grotto Temple are mainly from the Tang Dynasty, the most representative of which is No. 32 grotto built in the year 692 AD. The sculptures in the grotto are with fine countenances, floating style and vivid postures. Moreover, there are more than 150 abstracts from the Sui, Tang, Song, Jin, Western Xia and Yuan Dynasties preserved in this grotto. They concisely record the ages when the grottos are built and provide valuable written materials for researching social life and social changes in all dynasties. In addition, they are fine pieces of calligraphy. The sculpture and carving art that has lasted for more than 1,000 years is the mirror reflecting the intellectuality of the ancient people and leaves for us great spiritual fortunes.

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One can take a taxi from the downtown to the North Grotto Temple and the round trip would cost 50 yuan. One can also go there by bike and a round trip would take 5 hours. The road condition is very good.

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