Dunhuang: The oasis city on the Silk Road and Mogao Caves
Join Travelogue presenter Tianran He on a journey to one of the most important oasis cities on the Silk Road: Dunhuang. There, he feels the weight of history at the world-famous Mogao Caves, an immense complex of grottoes threatened with being swallowed up by the dunes, and experiences Dunhuang’s unique desert cuisine and way of life.
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Mogao Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Dunhuang
From Jiayuguan, Max and I skated to the train station to go straight to Dunhuang, a frontier town at the western end of the Hexi Corridor. From this area, facing west, the Silk Road split into the Northern and Southern Silk Roads. Back in the day, Dunhuang can be considered the western most part of the Silk Road that was occupied by the Chinese. (It was also frequently conquered and occupied by other groups.) This is also the final stop of our road trip, but there are many landmarks in and around Dunhuang so our adventure continues for another few days. The first landmark that we visit is the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We rode the shuttle bus in and came out using the Backfire Ranger X1 electric skateboards. All episodes:
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What is this road trip about?
Daniel Kwan and Max Huang from Shanghai flew to Gansu Province to explore Ancient China's portion of the Silk Road using two Backfire Ranger X1 electric skateboards. This 2-week road trip was sponsored by Backfire Skateboards.
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Yi action camera:
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Some of the links in this video or its description may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I might receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows me to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support! This road trip was sponsored by Backfire Skateboards.
Mogao Caves (UNESCO/NHK)
Situated at a strategic point along the Silk Route, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the 492 cells and cave sanctuaries in Mogao are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art.
Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai
Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddist art on China’s Silk Road
May Lee shows us the full-sized replicas of China’s Cave Temples of Dunhuang at a traveling art exhibit in Los Angeles.
The ancient Mogao Caves
In the desert, along the Silk Road, these caves house Buddhist art. They were built over a period of 1,000 years in Dunhuang, northwestern Gansu Province, but was abandoned 400 years ago. Rediscovered in 1900, the art of the Mogao Grottoes has been studied and enjoyed ever since. Join us as we uncover the secrets of the Mogao Caves.
On the Silk Road: Exploring Mogao Grottoes in China's Dunhuang
On the Silk Road: Ancient desert outpost becomes global crossroads. Xinhua is #live at Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang, where China’s greatest cache of Buddhist wall paintings and sculptures reveal ancient secrets of trade and cultural exchanges between East and West.
MAGAO CAVES - ANCIENT BUDDHIST CAVES NEAR DUNHUANG, CHINA
Once a place of meditation these ancient manmade caves in the desert were built by Buddhist monks. They contain impressive art and are now a popular tourist destingation.
敦煌 Dunhuang 莫高窟壁画 Mogao Caves 中國
The city of Dunhuang, in north-west China, is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of two major trade routes within the Silk Road network. Lying in an oasis at the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, Dunhuang was one of the first trading cities encountered by merchants arriving in China from the west. It was also an ancient site of Buddhist religious activity, and was a popular destination for pilgrims, as well as acting as a garrison town protecting the region. The remarkable Mogao Caves, a collection of nearly 500 caves in the cliffs to the south of the city, contain the largest depositary of historic documents along the Silk Roads and bear witness to the cultural, religious, social and commercial activity that took place in Dunhuang across the first millennium. The city changed hands many times over its long history, but remained a vibrant hub of exchange until the 11th century, after which its role in Silk Road trade began to decline.
The Silk Road routes from China to the west passed to the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert, and Dunhuang lay on the junction where these two routes came together. Additionally, the city lies near the western edge of the Gobi Desert, and north of the Mingsha Sand Dunes (whose name means ‘gurgling sand’, a reference to the noise of the wind over the dunes), making Dunhuang a vital resting point for merchants and pilgrims travelling through the region from all directions. As such, Dunhuang played a key role in the passage of Silk Road trade to and from China, and over the course of the first millennium AD, was one of the most important cities to grow up on these routes. Dunhuang initially acted as a garrison town protecting the region and its trade routes, and a commandery was established there in the 2nd century BC by the Chinese Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). A number of ancient passes, such as the Yü Guan or "Jade Gate" and the Yang Guan, or "Southern Gate", illustrate the strategic importance of the city and its position on what amounted to a medieval highway across the deserts.
The history of this ancient Silk Road city is reflected in the Mogao Caves, also known as the Qianfodong (the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas), an astonishing collection of 492 caves that were dug into the cliffs just south of the city. The first caves were founded in 366 AD by Buddhist monks, and distinguished Dunhuang as a centre for Buddhist learning, drawing large numbers of pilgrims to the city. Monks and pilgrims often travelled via the Silk Roads, and indeed a number of religions, including Buddhism, spread into areas around the trading routes in this way. There were some 15 Buddhist monasteries in the city by the 10th century, and the latest caves were carved sometime in the 13th or 14th century. The city also lay on the pilgrim route from Tibet to the sacred Mount Wutai. The caves were painted with Buddhist imagery, and their construction would have been an intensely religious process, involving prayers, incense and ritual fasting. The earliest wall paintings date back to the 5th century AD, with the older paintings showing scenes from the Buddha’s life, whilst those built after 600 AD depict scenes from Buddhist texts.
The World in the Year 1000: View from Dunhuang
Valerie Hansen, of Yale University, reconstructs the larger historical context of the Library Cave and Thousand Buddha caves at Mogao, and city of Dunhuang and surrounding region.
This lecture was presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Cave Temples of Dunhuang, Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road.
Mogao Cave DunHuang China
This is the biggest cave at Mogao with statue of Buddha inside height 35 m.
Digital tech reveals China’s fragile UNESCO caves
As the number of tourists increases, the narrow caves and the fragile frescos have been overworked.Tourism has become the biggest potential hazard for Mogao Caves. Every visitor brings change to the temperature, humidity even atmosphere in the cave, which could result in speeding up the aging of the frescos...
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Live: Explore the history of the millennium to know the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang 穿越千年赴敦煌之约
Join CGTN for the second episode of a special time voyage of Mogao Grottoes in northwest China's Gansu Province to see how the Dunhuang art has architecture, color sculptures and frescos in one. Learn how the Dunhuang Grottoes are indispensable to Buddhism and how Chinese and western cultures blend along the ancient Silk Road.
Guardians of Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China
Guardians of Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China, which are home to the world's most remarkable collection of Buddhist art along the Silk Road.
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Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China
We visiting the Mogao Caves or the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China. These buddhist caves had the most amazing sculptures and wall paintings and are hundreds of years old. We visited in 2012 during our China Trip. More details on our blog
Preserving the Mogao Cave Temples Site
Getty Conservation Institute and Dunhuang Academy have collaborated for more than 25 years to preserve this World Heritage Site.
Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, China 8E42E55E BBB0 4173 9434 DD6E809D4F48
The Mogao Caves (aka Mogao Grottoes, Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, or Caves of Dunhuang) are a system of Buddhist cave temples near the city of Dunhuang in Gansu province. They were a center of culture on the Silk Road from the 4th to the 14th centuries and contain a religious artworks spanning that entire period. There are about 600 surviving cave temples, of which 30 are open to the public.
Mogao caves, Dunhuang, China
slideshow of postcards
Mogao Caves Dunhuang China 中國敦煌莫高窟
The Mogao caves / Les grottes de Mogao (Xinjiang - China)
(EN) The Mogao Caves or Mogao Grottoes also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Chinese: 千佛洞; pinyin: qiān fó dòng), form a system of 492 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The caves may also be known as the Dunhuang Caves, however, this term is also used as a collective term to include other Buddhist cave sites in the Dunhuang area, such as the Western Thousand Buddha Caves, and the Yulin Caves farther away. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out in 366 CE as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China.
An important cache of documents was discovered in 1900 in the so-called Library Cave, which had been walled-up in the 11th century. The content of the library was dispersed around the world, and the largest collections are now found in Beijing, London, Paris and Berlin, and the International Dunhuang Project exists to coordinate and collect scholarly work on the Dunhuang manuscripts and other material. The caves themselves are now a popular tourist destination, with a number open for visiting.
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