Luoyang II

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

Up close

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

Hacked away

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