The best part of Luoyang (other than the flowers we never saw)
is the Longmen Grottos.
These are very famous Buddha caves along a river, dating back over 1,000 years, and very cool.
First, we arrived from Shaolin temple and walked with a guide
down to the river.
And checked out the pretty flower sculptures, like this pole
And a ship with flower sails
Then the major and good-looking bridge, acting a as a gateway to the grottos
Interesting sign along the way - no frolicing in your car !
Temple across the river
Main tomb inside, with ruler and dragon protectors
A quick look at the small grottos, for almost a mile along the
river - the mountains are fairly soft and thus ideal carving area.
They were also hard enough to last a long time.
Smaller grottos, often missing their Buddhas - there are over
1,000 grottos and original Buddhas,
though most were stolen over the years (including by American military around WWII)
All missing here
And some bigger caves with statues inside
Walkways erected up on the hills to provide better access to higher-up caves
Inside were many Buddhas, sometimes up to 10,000 carved into the walls, often with bright colors
Note detailed carving on walls
And deep colors, over 500 years old
Some really worn by now
Lotus flowers often carved into ceilings
Middle guy missing heads, probably in a museum in the West somwhere
The largest Buddha and grotto was down at the end, shown here
at dusk with light coming on.
Note the people on the steps and how enormous the Buddhas are by comparison.
The statues carved out from sheer cliffs, over 50 feet high
Big Buddha head - this the size of a car
Side guardians, 20 feet tall !
Yinan in front
Steve with Buddha
Up close at night
As it gets darker, the lights appear brighter (to the camera)
Other night views of the grottos
Dusk all along the river showing the famous Buddhist grottos of Luoyang