Yungang Caves

page 2


Yungang Caves
tips and insights

How to pronounce

Yungang:  yoo'ng-gahng


Once, thousands of Buddhist monks lived within the Yungang Caves complex.

About the carving


Peak period

Most of the significant caves were carved out in the 5th century. Then, the serious carving was suddenly ceased as the realm moved its imperial seat to a distant city.

Sandstone rock

The grottoes and statues were physically easy to carve out because sandstone rock is a relatively soft stone, a sculptor's dream.

Few of the statues
are free standing

Most statues were carved directly into the cave walls (the hollows created niches for the statues).

Nearest major city

The Yungang Caves lie 16 kilometers (10 miles) west of Datong in Shanxi province.

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