Yulin Grotto

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:30 (5.1-10.31); 10:00 – 17:00 (11.1-4.30)

Tickets: ¥55

The Yulin Caves, also known as Yulin Temple, is a significant Buddhist cave temple complex situated approximately 160 kilometers east of Dunhuang, an oasis town in China. The name “Yulin” derives from the elm trees (known as “Yulin” in Chinese) that line the river flowing through the cliffs where the caves are carved. This historical site holds great cultural and architectural importance and has been recognized as part of the Chinese Section of the Silk Road, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Comprising 43 extant caves, the Yulin Caves boast a wealth of cultural treasures, including over 5,200 square meters of murals and more than 259 colored sculptures. These artistic creations offer invaluable insights into Buddhist iconography, religious beliefs, and artistic styles prevalent during the time of their creation.

The Yulin Caves are closely connected to the nearby Mogao Caves, sharing similarities in their construction history, grotto architecture, colored sculptures, and murals. Due to these shared characteristics, the Yulin Caves are often referred to as the “sister caves” of the Mogao Caves. Together, they represent a remarkable testament to the flourishing Buddhist culture and artistic achievements along the Silk Road during ancient times.

Visiting the Yulin Caves offers a fascinating journey through history, allowing visitors to appreciate the intricate beauty of Buddhist art and architecture while gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural exchanges that took place along the Silk Road.

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