Home
- Cave List

Filter Condition

Checked:

Cave List

Constructed in the Northern Wei dynasty, and located on the middle section of the cliff, this is the earliest central-pillared cave at Mogao. It has a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Under the two ends of the beam of the gabled ceiling and the molded rafters on both slopes are wooden brackets, a structure of Traditional Chinese architecture. Between the rafters are images of celestial beings holding lotuses.The flat ceiling in the back is connected to the ground by the central pillar, which has niches in all four sides for various statues. The large niche in the east side contains a cross-legged Maitreya Bodhisattva, which was originally flanked by four attendants, and now there is only one on the south side and two on the north side. On both sides of the nimbus on the west wall in the niche are attendant bodhisattvas respectively above Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. On the ceiling of the niche are apsaras. The lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses. The niche beam shaped like a dragon is supported by two pillars wrapped in painted silk. Most molded figurines on the two sides or above the niche have been damaged, only a few are preserved. The other three sides each have two niches, one above the other. The upper niches shaped like the Chinese traditional gateway on the south and north sides each contain a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva, while the lower arch niches contain a dhyana Buddha. The upper niche shaped in the form of two spreading trees and the lower arch niche in the west side each contain a dhyana Buddha flanked by two attendant bodhisattvas out of the niche. There are molded figurines on the two sides and above the upper niche, which are blackened by sootiness. On the four sides of the central pillar below the niches are images of yakshas.A niche with the Chinese styled gateway is dug out of the side walls under the gabled ceiling and contains a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva. And four arch niches are made in each of the side walls in the back, respectively contains a preaching Buddha or a dhyana Buddha. Among them the heads of the Buddha statues in the south wall are all partly damaged, while two in the north wall are well preserved.The top section of the four walls are used for heavenly musicians, and below them are thousand Buddha motifs, in which each Buddha has an inscription beside indicating his title. There are totally 1235 Buddhas. The west sides of both side walls each contain a preaching scene, and in the center of the west wall is a preaching scene of a white-robed Buddha.The middle registers of the south and north walls under the niche in the front are covered with Jataka tales and Buddha's life stories. On the south wall is an illustration of Mara's Attack, and to its west are scenes of the Sattva Jataka. On the north side is the karma story of Nanda, and to its west is the Sibi Jataka.There is a successive decorative border consisting of algebra motifs such as checkboards and lozenges and plants like transformed lotuses and twisted honeysuckles on the four walls which separate the upper thousand Buddha motifs, preaching scenes and story paintings from the lower images of the yakshas.There is a window above the entrance. On both sides of the entrance and the window are thousand Buddha motifs. A part of a Sui Dynasty preaching scene is preserved on the north wall of the corridor.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 254

  • DYNASTY::Northern Wei Dynasty(A.D.368-534)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Northern Wei dynasty, and located on the middle section of the cliff, this is the earliest central-pillared cave at Mogao. It has a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Under the two ends of the beam of the gabled ceiling and the molded rafters on both slopes are wooden brackets, a structure of Traditional Chinese architecture. Between the rafters are images of celestial beings holding lotuses.The flat ceiling in the back is connected to the ground by the central pillar, which has niches in all four sides for various statues. The large niche in the east side contains a cross-legged Maitreya Bodhisattva, which was originally flanked by four attendants, and now there is only one on the south side and two on the north side. On both sides of the nimbus on the west wall in the niche are attendant bodhisattvas respectively above Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. On the ceiling of the niche are apsaras. The lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses. The niche beam shaped like a dragon is supported by two pillars wrapped in painted silk. Most molded figurines on the two sides or above the niche have been damaged, only a few are preserved. The other three sides each have two niches, one above the other. The upper niches shaped like the Chinese traditional gateway on the south and north sides each contain a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva, while the lower arch niches contain a dhyana Buddha. The upper niche shaped in the form of two spreading trees and the lower arch niche in the west side each contain a dhyana Buddha flanked by two attendant bodhisattvas out of the niche. There are molded figurines on the two sides and above the upper niche, which are blackened by sootiness. On the four sides of the central pillar below the niches are images of yakshas.A niche with the Chinese styled gateway is dug out of the side walls under the gabled ceiling and contains a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva. And four arch niches are made in each of the side walls in the back, respectively contains a preaching Buddha or a dhyana Buddha. Among them the heads of the Buddha statues in the south wall are all partly damaged, while two in the north wall are well preserved.The top section of the four walls are used for heavenly musicians, and below them are thousand Buddha motifs, in which each Buddha has an inscription beside indicating his title. There are totally 1235 Buddhas. The west sides of both side walls each contain a preaching scene, and in the center of the west wall is a preaching scene of a white-robed Buddha.The middle registers of the south and north walls under the niche in the front are covered with Jataka tales and Buddha's life stories. On the south wall is an illustration of Mara's Attack, and to its west are scenes of the Sattva Jataka. On the north side is the karma story of Nanda, and to its west is the Sibi Jataka.There is a successive decorative border consisting of algebra motifs such as checkboards and lozenges and plants like transformed lotuses and twisted honeysuckles on the four walls which separate the upper thousand Buddha motifs, preaching scenes and story paintings from the lower images of the yakshas.There is a window above the entrance. On both sides of the entrance and the window are thousand Buddha motifs. A part of a Sui Dynasty preaching scene is preserved on the north wall of the corridor....
This cave was constructed in the period when the Hexi region was united by the Northern Wei. Originally it was a cave with a central pillar, a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Due to the collapse of the east wall, only a tiny part of the gable ceiling is preserved today. The cave is square in plan with a Han Chinese styled gabled ceiling in the front. On the west slope are celestial beings holding lotuses. The beam is decorated with painted laternendecke motifs. On the flat ceiling are also painted laternendecke motifs, though only two motifs in the southeast corner have survived. One of them depicts a few naked children swimming in a lotus pond. In the outer corner are four asparas. It was surrounded by a decorative border of honeysuckles.The central pillar in the back connects the ground with the ceiling. It has a niche on each of its four sides. The arch niche in the east side contains a statue of Maitreya sitting with legs pendent (whose eyes, nose and hands have been damaged) and wearing a kasaya with the right shoulder exposed. The folds were made by sticking on strips of mud and inscribing  natural and smooth lines. The exterior of the niche is divided into an upper level and a lower level, which are respectively covered with ten attendant bodhisattvas. On the top of the niche are four apsaras and Buddha's halos. The niche lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses and a dragon head on each end. There was a heavenly king alongside each side of the niche. Now there is only one left.  This is the only painted statue of lokapala of the Northern Dynasties at Mogao. Above the niche are molded statues stuck to the surface, and below, along the edge of the niche are donors of the Northern Wei (obscured). At the bottom of the base are donors of the Song dynasty (obscured). There other three sides each have a upper niche and a lower niche. The two upper niches on the south and north sides are shaped like the Han Chinese city gates with a bodhisattva statue inside, while the other niches contain a dhyana Buddha statue flanked by two bodhisattva statues out of the niches.On the north and south walls below the gabled ceiling are large-sized preaching scenes, most of which are damaged. In the center of the back part of the sidewalls is a small preaching scene. The extant murals on the west, south and north walls in the back of the chamber are divided into three registers from top down respectively for the heavenly musicians, thousand Buddha motifs, and yakshas. Between the images of the yakshas and the thousand Buddha motifs is a horizontal band of narrative stories which runs through the three walls. On the south wall is the narrative about a Samanera (novice monk) committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts and about the karma stories of an inferior dog. On the west wall is the nine-colored deer jataka, and on the north part of the west wall and the north wall are paintings about the karma of Lady Sumati. These story murals painted on a redish brown ground, focus on the figures and animals, while the landscape, houses, horses and chariots are just used to suggest the background of the story.  This is exactly the extension of the traditional Han and Jin painting styles in Buddhist murals.The narrative story paintings in this cave are rendered in a comptetely new style and composition compared to the earlier works form the inception of the Mogao Grottoes.  They are the masterpieces of the narrative story paintings at Mogao, which exerted far-reaching influence on the development of the Buddhist art at Mogao.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 257

  • DYNASTY::Northern Wei Dynasty(A.D.368-534)
  • Summary:This cave was constructed in the period when the Hexi region was united by the Northern Wei. Originally it was a cave with a central pillar, a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Due to the collapse of the east wall, only a tiny part of the gable ceiling is preserved today. The cave is square in plan with a Han Chinese styled gabled ceiling in the front. On the west slope are celestial beings holding lotuses. The beam is decorated with painted laternendecke motifs. On the flat ceiling are also painted laternendecke motifs, though only two motifs in the southeast corner have survived. One of them depicts a few naked children swimming in a lotus pond. In the outer corner are four asparas. It was surrounded by a decorative border of honeysuckles.The central pillar in the back connects the ground with the ceiling. It has a niche on each of its four sides. The arch niche in the east side contains a statue of Maitreya sitting with legs pendent (whose eyes, nose and hands have been damaged) and wearing a kasaya with the right shoulder exposed. The folds were made by sticking on strips of mud and inscribing natural and smooth lines. The exterior of the niche is divided into an upper level and a lower level, which are respectively covered with ten attendant bodhisattvas. On the top of the niche are four apsaras and Buddha's halos. The niche lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses and a dragon head on each end. There was a heavenly king alongside each side of the niche. Now there is only one left. This is the only painted statue of lokapala of the Northern Dynasties at Mogao. Above the niche are molded statues stuck to the surface, and below, along the edge of the niche are donors of the Northern Wei (obscured). At the bottom of the base are donors of the Song dynasty (obscured). There other three sides each have a upper niche and a lower niche. The two upper niches on the south and north sides are shaped like the Han Chinese city gates with a bodhisattva statue inside, while the other niches contain a dhyana Buddha statue flanked by two bodhisattva statues out of the niches.On the north and south walls below the gabled ceiling are large-sized preaching scenes, most of which are damaged. In the center of the back part of the sidewalls is a small preaching scene. The extant murals on the west, south and north walls in the back of the chamber are divided into three registers from top down respectively for the heavenly musicians, thousand Buddha motifs, and yakshas. Between the images of the yakshas and the thousand Buddha motifs is a horizontal band of narrative stories which runs through the three walls. On the south wall is the narrative about a Samanera (novice monk) committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts and about the karma stories of an inferior dog. On the west wall is the nine-colored deer jataka, and on the north part of the west wall and the north wall are paintings about the karma of Lady Sumati. These story murals painted on a redish brown ground, focus on the figures and animals, while the landscape, houses, horses and chariots are just used to suggest the background of the story. This is exactly the extension of the traditional Han and Jin painting styles in Buddhist murals.The narrative story paintings in this cave are rendered in a comptetely new style and composition compared to the earlier works form the inception of the Mogao Grottoes. They are the masterpieces of the narrative story paintings at Mogao, which exerted far-reaching influence on the development of the Buddhist art at Mogao....
Constructed in the late Northern Wei and the early Western Wei, this single-chambered cave is square in plan with a truncated pyrmidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a combination motif of an inverted lotus, flames, honeysuckles and lotuses. The four slopes are devoted to the paintings of "the heaven and earth with various images." The upper part depicts a world where Buddhism coexists with Taoism. In the center of the west slope is four-armed four-eyed Asura guarded by two dragons standing in the sea and holding the sun and the moon in his hands. Behind him are Mt.Sumeru and the Tusita Heaven. On both sides of Mt. Sumeru are gods of the Thunder, the Lightning, Wind and Rain who created a scene of thunder and lighting, in addition to the Scarlet Bird, Wuhuo, Garuda and apsaras. In the upper center of the east slope is a Mani Pearl held high by two guardian warriors and flanked by apsaras. The Scarlet Bird and the peacock fly towards each other. The image of King Father of the East on the upper part of the north slope is partly damaged, but his four-dragon-drawn chariot is still visible. The Queen Mother of the West on the south slope wears a high chignon and loose-bodied robe. She sits on a three-phoenix-drawn chariot sheltered by a parasol. A large arch niche in the west wall contains a central Buddha and two bodhisattvas. The heads have been renovated. The central Buddha sits with legs pendent, wears Sankaksika, cross-collared Chinese robe and an outer red Kasaya, open in the front, which has a knot at the chest. The left hand was renovated in later times. On the west end of the side walls, two bodhisattvas stand symmetrically on a lotus throne with necklaces. They slantly wear a long skirt. The four walls are divided into three registers. The top registers of the four walls form a circle of heavenly musicians. On the middle register inside and out side of the west niche are apsaras, attendent bodhisattvas, Vasistha and Mrgasirsa; The two side walls each have a preaching scene in the center with rows of donor figures surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. On the lower register are guardian warriors. The front chamber of this cave collapsed completely and the east and north slopes of the ceilings are also partly damaged. The remaining parts are basically intact.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 249

  • DYNASTY::Western Wei Dynasty(A.D.535-556)
  • Summary:Constructed in the late Northern Wei and the early Western Wei, this single-chambered cave is square in plan with a truncated pyrmidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a combination motif of an inverted lotus, flames, honeysuckles and lotuses. The four slopes are devoted to the paintings of "the heaven and earth with various images." The upper part depicts a world where Buddhism coexists with Taoism. In the center of the west slope is four-armed four-eyed Asura guarded by two dragons standing in the sea and holding the sun and the moon in his hands. Behind him are Mt.Sumeru and the Tusita Heaven. On both sides of Mt. Sumeru are gods of the Thunder, the Lightning, Wind and Rain who created a scene of thunder and lighting, in addition to the Scarlet Bird, Wuhuo, Garuda and apsaras. In the upper center of the east slope is a Mani Pearl held high by two guardian warriors and flanked by apsaras. The Scarlet Bird and the peacock fly towards each other. The image of King Father of the East on the upper part of the north slope is partly damaged, but his four-dragon-drawn chariot is still visible. The Queen Mother of the West on the south slope wears a high chignon and loose-bodied robe. She sits on a three-phoenix-drawn chariot sheltered by a parasol. A large arch niche in the west wall contains a central Buddha and two bodhisattvas. The heads have been renovated. The central Buddha sits with legs pendent, wears Sankaksika, cross-collared Chinese robe and an outer red Kasaya, open in the front, which has a knot at the chest. The left hand was renovated in later times. On the west end of the side walls, two bodhisattvas stand symmetrically on a lotus throne with necklaces. They slantly wear a long skirt. The four walls are divided into three registers. The top registers of the four walls form a circle of heavenly musicians. On the middle register inside and out side of the west niche are apsaras, attendent bodhisattvas, Vasistha and Mrgasirsa; The two side walls each have a preaching scene in the center with rows of donor figures surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. On the lower register are guardian warriors. The front chamber of this cave collapsed completely and the east and north slopes of the ceilings are also partly damaged. The remaining parts are basically intact....
This cave was constructed during the Datong era in the Western Wei (according to the inscriptions on the north wall which has the dates of the fourth year and fifth year of the Datong era of the Western Wei, (538-548) and it is the dated earliest cave among the Dunhuang caves.The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. A square altar was made in the center in the Yuan dynasty, and there are four symmetircal cells on each side walls. Inside or at the entrance of some cells are the remnants of the pagoda of the Yuan dynasty. The ceiling center highlights a parasol design, while the four slopes are covered with the images from Chinese mythology such as the traditional Chinese gods, and protectors of Buddhist laws, Mani Pearl, Guardian warriors, apsaras, god of Thunder, auspicious beasts, Fuxi and Nüwa, and etc. The bottom circle of the four slopes contains thirty-six monks in meditation in huts or in the mountain forests where all kinds of animals and hunting scenes are painted. There is a big niche in the west wall which has two small side cells. The west niche contains a seated Buddha with legs pendent and preaching. The side cells in the niche each have a meditation monk  with a cowl. The upper part of the space out of the niche is occupied with various images of all kinds of devas and heretic figures, such as the gods of the Sun and the Moon, the gods of the stars, Visnu, Mahesvara, Kumara, Vinayaka,  and worshipping bodhisattvas, below them are four heavenly kings and Vasistha. The brim of the niche at the bottom is decorated with the honeysuckle motifs. The North wall consists of the upper, middle and lower parts. The upper part is devoted to eleven musician apsaras holding different music instruments. The middle part is covered with the narrative story of five hundred robbers, which ends with the scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna sitting side by side. The lower part contains four cells. The spaces between the cells on the side walls depict karma stories about Bhadrika and his sister, the salvation of a bad ox, a young samanera committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts, and a Brahman sacrificing his body so as to hear the preaching. These all are neither represented in a long strip with successive scenes or in a single picture. Below the story paintings are guardian warriors. The north wall consists of the upper and lower sections. The upper section are occupied by seven preaching scenes, each containing a votive text and donor figures at the bottom. The second and the seventh counting from the west each has an inscription in which the date can be identified. The lower section also contain four cells, just like those in the south wall. Three seated Buddha are painted on the space above the entrance in the east wall. On both the south and north sides of the entrance is a preaching scene in large size. The top layer of the ceiling of the corridor show traces of the bodhisattva in diamond position painted in the Middle Tang dynasty. The south wall has a illustration of Amoghapasa and the north has an illustration of Cintamani-cakra, both date to the Middle Tang period. The front chamber is a rectangle in plan, and the ceiling is a slope with traces of the Song dynasty murals. The west wall in the front chamber has a small cell above the entrance (numbered as cave 286). The south side of the entrance has some traces of the Song dyansty donor figures and below them the Middle Tang paintings can be seen. The north of the entrance with the picture of the Song dynasty male donor figures is numbered as cave 287 .

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 285

  • DYNASTY::Western Wei Dynasty(A.D.535-556)
  • Summary:This cave was constructed during the Datong era in the Western Wei (according to the inscriptions on the north wall which has the dates of the fourth year and fifth year of the Datong era of the Western Wei, (538-548) and it is the dated earliest cave among the Dunhuang caves.The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. A square altar was made in the center in the Yuan dynasty, and there are four symmetircal cells on each side walls. Inside or at the entrance of some cells are the remnants of the pagoda of the Yuan dynasty. The ceiling center highlights a parasol design, while the four slopes are covered with the images from Chinese mythology such as the traditional Chinese gods, and protectors of Buddhist laws, Mani Pearl, Guardian warriors, apsaras, god of Thunder, auspicious beasts, Fuxi and Nüwa, and etc. The bottom circle of the four slopes contains thirty-six monks in meditation in huts or in the mountain forests where all kinds of animals and hunting scenes are painted. There is a big niche in the west wall which has two small side cells. The west niche contains a seated Buddha with legs pendent and preaching. The side cells in the niche each have a meditation monk with a cowl. The upper part of the space out of the niche is occupied with various images of all kinds of devas and heretic figures, such as the gods of the Sun and the Moon, the gods of the stars, Visnu, Mahesvara, Kumara, Vinayaka, and worshipping bodhisattvas, below them are four heavenly kings and Vasistha. The brim of the niche at the bottom is decorated with the honeysuckle motifs. The North wall consists of the upper, middle and lower parts. The upper part is devoted to eleven musician apsaras holding different music instruments. The middle part is covered with the narrative story of five hundred robbers, which ends with the scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna sitting side by side. The lower part contains four cells. The spaces between the cells on the side walls depict karma stories about Bhadrika and his sister, the salvation of a bad ox, a young samanera committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts, and a Brahman sacrificing his body so as to hear the preaching. These all are neither represented in a long strip with successive scenes or in a single picture. Below the story paintings are guardian warriors. The north wall consists of the upper and lower sections. The upper section are occupied by seven preaching scenes, each containing a votive text and donor figures at the bottom. The second and the seventh counting from the west each has an inscription in which the date can be identified. The lower section also contain four cells, just like those in the south wall. Three seated Buddha are painted on the space above the entrance in the east wall. On both the south and north sides of the entrance is a preaching scene in large size. The top layer of the ceiling of the corridor show traces of the bodhisattva in diamond position painted in the Middle Tang dynasty. The south wall has a illustration of Amoghapasa and the north has an illustration of Cintamani-cakra, both date to the Middle Tang period. The front chamber is a rectangle in plan, and the ceiling is a slope with traces of the Song dynasty murals. The west wall in the front chamber has a small cell above the entrance (numbered as cave 286). The south side of the entrance has some traces of the Song dyansty donor figures and below them the Middle Tang paintings can be seen. The north of the entrance with the picture of the Song dynasty male donor figures is numbered as cave 287 ....
Constructed in the Northern Zhou dynasty, this cave consists of a main chamber, a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the center of the ceiling is a painted motif of laternendecke with lotuses and draperies extending to the four slopes. In the center of the west slope are a Lotus and a Mani Pearl flanked by six musicians and apsaras on either side. Below them is the niche beam decorated with motifs of flame, lotus and incarnated boys. The scenes on the south and east slopes form a complete Sattva Jataka. The scenes on the south slope mainly include the episodes of Prince Sattva leaving the palace, hunting, and taking a break. And those on the east slope include episodes of feeding the tiger and building a pagoda. Below are celestial musicians, six apsaras, and draperies. The north slope is devoted to the Samaka Jataka, which consists of the episodes of worshipping the blind parents (on the west side) and King of Kashi's hunting (east side). Below them are six celetial musicians and apsaras. The figures in the story paintings wore Chinese style attire, and the painting style inherited the tradition of the Central Plains. An arch niche is dug out of the west wall housing a statue of seated Buddha with legs pendent. Behind the statue on the wall is a nimbus consisting of a circle of manifested Buddha images, and a Buddha inside flames. Each of the upper side behind the Buddha are two apsaras holding music instruments and the lower side with two precious pearls. On the niche lintel in bas-relief are colorful flames and incarnated boys. The niche pillars are decorated with lotuses with a dragon's head on the top. On both north and south sides out of the niche are two bodhisattvas and two statues of bodhisattvas, only the lotus thrones are preserved today. Below the niche are lotus patterns.The south wall in the main chamber contains a preaching scene in the center surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs, below which are yakshas (only two preserved). There is a bhiksu, seventeen male donor figures and a yakshas in the lower part on the west side, and twelve female donor figures on the east side. Some paintings on this wall were damaged due to a hole cut through the wall in the Qing dynasty. The murals on the north wall are symmetrical to those on the south wall: a preaching scene (half of it was damaged by the hole cut through the wall) amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The west lower part contains three bhiksus, fourteen male donor figures and a yaksha, while the opposite side contains eighteen bhiksus and eight donors. The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into upper and middle and lower sections. The upper section on is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, the middle section on the south side contains three female donors, chariots drawn by oxen and two attendants, while the middle one on the north side contains two bhiksus, and six male donors. Below them are three bhiksus and three male donors.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 301

  • DYNASTY::Northern Zhou Dynasty(A.D.557-581)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Northern Zhou dynasty, this cave consists of a main chamber, a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the center of the ceiling is a painted motif of laternendecke with lotuses and draperies extending to the four slopes. In the center of the west slope are a Lotus and a Mani Pearl flanked by six musicians and apsaras on either side. Below them is the niche beam decorated with motifs of flame, lotus and incarnated boys. The scenes on the south and east slopes form a complete Sattva Jataka. The scenes on the south slope mainly include the episodes of Prince Sattva leaving the palace, hunting, and taking a break. And those on the east slope include episodes of feeding the tiger and building a pagoda. Below are celestial musicians, six apsaras, and draperies. The north slope is devoted to the Samaka Jataka, which consists of the episodes of worshipping the blind parents (on the west side) and King of Kashi's hunting (east side). Below them are six celetial musicians and apsaras. The figures in the story paintings wore Chinese style attire, and the painting style inherited the tradition of the Central Plains. An arch niche is dug out of the west wall housing a statue of seated Buddha with legs pendent. Behind the statue on the wall is a nimbus consisting of a circle of manifested Buddha images, and a Buddha inside flames. Each of the upper side behind the Buddha are two apsaras holding music instruments and the lower side with two precious pearls. On the niche lintel in bas-relief are colorful flames and incarnated boys. The niche pillars are decorated with lotuses with a dragon's head on the top. On both north and south sides out of the niche are two bodhisattvas and two statues of bodhisattvas, only the lotus thrones are preserved today. Below the niche are lotus patterns.The south wall in the main chamber contains a preaching scene in the center surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs, below which are yakshas (only two preserved). There is a bhiksu, seventeen male donor figures and a yakshas in the lower part on the west side, and twelve female donor figures on the east side. Some paintings on this wall were damaged due to a hole cut through the wall in the Qing dynasty. The murals on the north wall are symmetrical to those on the south wall: a preaching scene (half of it was damaged by the hole cut through the wall) amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The west lower part contains three bhiksus, fourteen male donor figures and a yaksha, while the opposite side contains eighteen bhiksus and eight donors. The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into upper and middle and lower sections. The upper section on is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, the middle section on the south side contains three female donors, chariots drawn by oxen and two attendants, while the middle one on the north side contains two bhiksus, and six male donors. Below them are three bhiksus and three male donors. ...
Located on the upper level of the Southern Area at Mogao, this cave was constructed in the Late Sui dynasty and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty. Its main chamber is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a pattern of lotuses and twisted vines, around it are draperies with triangular and pearled borders. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a double-recessed niche in the west wall, containing a seven-figure group: a central Buddha seated with legs pendent, two disciples (already lost) and four bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On the top of the niche are 12 flying apsaras in different positions.   On the wall behind the Buddha statue is a nimbus of flames and incarnated boys flanked by nine bodhisattvas on either side. Below them are images of Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. The outer niche has a lintel decorated with flames and lotuses, which is divided into the upper and lower level by pearled borders. The upper one contains a Mani Pearl with flames, and the lower one has a seated bodhisattva. On both sides are lotuses with twisted stems. On the The top of the ceiling are six apsaras, while on the two side parts are dragon-headed niche beam and lotus-decorated niche pillars. The south and north sides out of the niche are divided into three levels, one above another respectively for heavenly palaces, seven seated Buddhas, and male, female donors and attendants from top down. On the top of the four walls are apsaras leaning against the railings of heavenly palaces. The south wall is divided into three levels from top down respectively ; Upper with  ten musician apsaras and fifteen seated Buddhas, a central preaching scene of Avalokitesvara flanked by 18 dhyana Buddhas, and lower with 26 female donors in high-waist skirts of the Sui dynasty and nine donor figures of the Five Dynasties. The north wall is also divided into three levels: Upper with ten apsaras leaning against the railings of heavenly palaces and fifteen seated Buddhas on the upper, a central preacing scene in which the Buddha wears a crown with a manifested Buddha image, and eight dhyana Buddhas on either side, and lower with 47 donors of the Sui dynasty and 28 male donors of the Five Dynasties. The top part of the east wall contains 17 preaching scenes each wtih one Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas. Above the entrance is a picture of seven Buddhas, painted in the Sui dynasty. On each side of the entrance are eight dhyana Buddhas  above the entrance are oxen, horse-drawn chariots and several Five Dynasty male donors. There are 116 preaching scenes altogether in this cave, in each the central seated Buddha holds different mudras and has different bodhi trees and canopies. This cave has the largest number of preaching scenes at Mogao. On the top of the corridor is a picture of Ksitigabha and the Ten Kings painted in the Five Dynasties. There is an inscription with the words "Monk Daoming." The north and south sides are used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra, each containing female donors below (most of which are obscured). The murals in the front chamber all date back to the Five Dynasties. On the two sides of the entrance in the west wall are scenes of Vaishravana attending a preaching scene. On the upper part to the south of the entrance depicts an image of Amogha-pasa, on the middle, an illustration of Panikarasuttau, and on the north side, an illustration of the Amitabha sutra, most of which is preserved. On the north and south walls are traces of the disciples, bodhisattvas, and donors, most of them are obscured.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 390

  • DYNASTY::Sui Dynasty(A.D.581-618)
  • Summary:Located on the upper level of the Southern Area at Mogao, this cave was constructed in the Late Sui dynasty and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty. Its main chamber is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a pattern of lotuses and twisted vines, around it are draperies with triangular and pearled borders. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a double-recessed niche in the west wall, containing a seven-figure group: a central Buddha seated with legs pendent, two disciples (already lost) and four bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On the top of the niche are 12 flying apsaras in different positions. On the wall behind the Buddha statue is a nimbus of flames and incarnated boys flanked by nine bodhisattvas on either side. Below them are images of Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. The outer niche has a lintel decorated with flames and lotuses, which is divided into the upper and lower level by pearled borders. The upper one contains a Mani Pearl with flames, and the lower one has a seated bodhisattva. On both sides are lotuses with twisted stems. On the The top of the ceiling are six apsaras, while on the two side parts are dragon-headed niche beam and lotus-decorated niche pillars. The south and north sides out of the niche are divided into three levels, one above another respectively for heavenly palaces, seven seated Buddhas, and male, female donors and attendants from top down. On the top of the four walls are apsaras leaning against the railings of heavenly palaces. The south wall is divided into three levels from top down respectively ; Upper with ten musician apsaras and fifteen seated Buddhas, a central preaching scene of Avalokitesvara flanked by 18 dhyana Buddhas, and lower with 26 female donors in high-waist skirts of the Sui dynasty and nine donor figures of the Five Dynasties. The north wall is also divided into three levels: Upper with ten apsaras leaning against the railings of heavenly palaces and fifteen seated Buddhas on the upper, a central preacing scene in which the Buddha wears a crown with a manifested Buddha image, and eight dhyana Buddhas on either side, and lower with 47 donors of the Sui dynasty and 28 male donors of the Five Dynasties. The top part of the east wall contains 17 preaching scenes each wtih one Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas. Above the entrance is a picture of seven Buddhas, painted in the Sui dynasty. On each side of the entrance are eight dhyana Buddhas above the entrance are oxen, horse-drawn chariots and several Five Dynasty male donors. There are 116 preaching scenes altogether in this cave, in each the central seated Buddha holds different mudras and has different bodhi trees and canopies. This cave has the largest number of preaching scenes at Mogao. On the top of the corridor is a picture of Ksitigabha and the Ten Kings painted in the Five Dynasties. There is an inscription with the words "Monk Daoming." The north and south sides are used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra, each containing female donors below (most of which are obscured). The murals in the front chamber all date back to the Five Dynasties. On the two sides of the entrance in the west wall are scenes of Vaishravana attending a preaching scene. On the upper part to the south of the entrance depicts an image of Amogha-pasa, on the middle, an illustration of Panikarasuttau, and on the north side, an illustration of the Amitabha sutra, most of which is preserved. On the north and south walls are traces of the disciples, bodhisattvas, and donors, most of them are obscured. ...
Constructed in the Sui dynasty and partly repainted in the Song and Western Xia dynasties, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in each of the south, west and north walls. This cave is also known as the Three-niche cave. The ceiling features laternendecke motifs and lotuses, the center is a three-rabbit motif. In the corners of the motifs are boy-like apsaras, and out of the corners are winged beasts. The outerframe of the square center is decorated with the patterns consisting of honeysuckles, lions and connected pearls. More outside are draperies extending to the four slopes where large-sized sutra illustration are depicted. Each scene is separated by the trees, flowers, temples, fountains, or lotus ponds and clouds. However, the density and discolor of these paintings on the four slopes make it very hard to decipher, therefore, opinions about the contents of the four slopes differ. There are mainly two opinions: 1. they are painted according to the Lotus Sutra, and 2. they are painted based on the Lotus Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra. This description accepts the first opinion. The west niche has a double-recessed entrance with a square bottom and an arch top, housing a seven-figure group: a seated Buddha, two disciples, four bodhisattvas. There upper of the two sides out of the niche is devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration, the image of Vimalakirti on the south and that of Manjusri on the north. Below them are five disciples and four bodhisattvas. On the lower part of the west wall are pictures of the offerings and bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. Both the south and north walls have a square shallow niche in the center housing the statues of a seated Buddha and two bodhisattvas. There are several marks of sovatthika (meaning auspicious) on the lower brim of the kasaya. Around the niche are thousand Buddha motifs. below the niche are bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. There is a preaching scene on the space above the entrance in the east wall, below the preaching scene is an inscription of the Song dynasty (already blurred). To the north of the inscription are two male donors of the Song dynasty, and to the south are one female donor (vague) and a bhiksuni (Buddhist nun). The upper part of the south side of the entrance is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs of the Sui dynasty, and the lower part with six male donors painted in the Song dynasty. Along the entrance is a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The north side of the entrance depicts the thousand Buddha motif of the Sui dynasty in the upper and four female donors and a bodhisattva of the Song dynasty below. Along the entrance is also a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The corridor was repainted in the Western Xia. A medallion pattern is in the center and the draperies are painted on two slopes. Each of the south and north walls have two bodhisattvas. The front chamber was repainted in the Western Xia. On the west slopes are traces of some medallion motifs, beneath which are the Sui dynasty paintings. There is a small niche dug out of the space above the entrance in the west wall, which contains paintings of bodhisattvas and flowers. Out of the niche is a temple image. There are two preaching scenes on the upper part of both the south and north sides of the entrance, and there are vague paintings of donor figures below the preaching scenes. On the north and south walls are part of the draperies and halos. There are donor figures of the Song dynasty beneath the top layer of the paintings.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 420

  • DYNASTY::Sui Dynasty(A.D.581-618)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Sui dynasty and partly repainted in the Song and Western Xia dynasties, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in each of the south, west and north walls. This cave is also known as the Three-niche cave. The ceiling features laternendecke motifs and lotuses, the center is a three-rabbit motif. In the corners of the motifs are boy-like apsaras, and out of the corners are winged beasts. The outerframe of the square center is decorated with the patterns consisting of honeysuckles, lions and connected pearls. More outside are draperies extending to the four slopes where large-sized sutra illustration are depicted. Each scene is separated by the trees, flowers, temples, fountains, or lotus ponds and clouds. However, the density and discolor of these paintings on the four slopes make it very hard to decipher, therefore, opinions about the contents of the four slopes differ. There are mainly two opinions: 1. they are painted according to the Lotus Sutra, and 2. they are painted based on the Lotus Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra. This description accepts the first opinion. The west niche has a double-recessed entrance with a square bottom and an arch top, housing a seven-figure group: a seated Buddha, two disciples, four bodhisattvas. There upper of the two sides out of the niche is devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration, the image of Vimalakirti on the south and that of Manjusri on the north. Below them are five disciples and four bodhisattvas. On the lower part of the west wall are pictures of the offerings and bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. Both the south and north walls have a square shallow niche in the center housing the statues of a seated Buddha and two bodhisattvas. There are several marks of sovatthika (meaning auspicious) on the lower brim of the kasaya. Around the niche are thousand Buddha motifs. below the niche are bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. There is a preaching scene on the space above the entrance in the east wall, below the preaching scene is an inscription of the Song dynasty (already blurred). To the north of the inscription are two male donors of the Song dynasty, and to the south are one female donor (vague) and a bhiksuni (Buddhist nun). The upper part of the south side of the entrance is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs of the Sui dynasty, and the lower part with six male donors painted in the Song dynasty. Along the entrance is a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The north side of the entrance depicts the thousand Buddha motif of the Sui dynasty in the upper and four female donors and a bodhisattva of the Song dynasty below. Along the entrance is also a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The corridor was repainted in the Western Xia. A medallion pattern is in the center and the draperies are painted on two slopes. Each of the south and north walls have two bodhisattvas. The front chamber was repainted in the Western Xia. On the west slopes are traces of some medallion motifs, beneath which are the Sui dynasty paintings. There is a small niche dug out of the space above the entrance in the west wall, which contains paintings of bodhisattvas and flowers. Out of the niche is a temple image. There are two preaching scenes on the upper part of both the south and north sides of the entrance, and there are vague paintings of donor figures below the preaching scenes. On the north and south walls are part of the draperies and halos. There are donor figures of the Song dynasty beneath the top layer of the paintings....
Constructed in the Sui dynasty and Renovated in the Five Dynasties, this cave consists of a main chamber, a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber has a gabled ceiling in the front and a central pillar connecting the ground with the flat ceiling in the back. On the two slopes of the gabled ceiling are jataka tales painted in two horizontal bands, and on the flat ceiling are pictures of the Sui dynasty preaching scenes and painted laternendecke motifs. The central pillar is shaped like Mt. Sumeru formed by a seven-stepped inverted pagoda on the upper and a two-stepped square base on the ground. There is a arch niche in each side of the central pillar. The east one contains the statues of a Buddha and two disciples (the one on the north side is lost) and two bodhisattva statues flanking the entrance (the one on the north side is preserved, though damaged partly). The niche has a painted lintel in bas-relief with a dragon-headed beam and pillars decorated with lotus motifs. The niche in the south side contains a statue of the Buddha and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On each side out of the niche is a statue of bodhisattva (the one on the west side is lost). The niche in the west side contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples renovated in the Qing dynasty. The niche in the north side also contains a three-figure group renovated in the Qing dynasty, and the two statues out of the niche are lost. Beneath the paintings on the north side of the central pillar below the niche can be seen some words "June 11 in the fourth year of Kaihuang era," which indicates when this cave was constructed (around 584 CE), hence the name "Cave of the fourth year of Kaihuang era." This inscription with exact date is not only a reliable evidence for dating the Sui dynasty caves, but also a criterion for studying the artistic styles of the caves of that period. A large niche with a double recesses dug out of the west wall contains a five-figure group: a central Buddha, two disciples, and two bodhisattvas (without head). Flanked the nimbus on the inner niche wall are two images of incarnated boys. The lower part out of the niche are eight bhiksunis of the Song dynasty, beneath which are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the ceiling of the niche are images of ten heavenly musicians. The upper part of the south wall depicts twelve heavenly musicians, railings and draperies from west to east, and the middle part is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, amid which is a preaching scene of the Medicine Buddha, and a double-recessed niche housing a central Buddha and two disciples (only the disciple on the west side is preserved) and two bodhisattvas on outer niche (only the one on the east is preserved). The niche lintel is decorated with honeysuckle motifs. On the back part is a preaching scene. On the junction of the south wall and the ground are nine bhiksus and male donors of the Song dynasty, beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the upper part of the north wall is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna which was damaged by a hole dug through the wall; on the part connecting the ground  are a row of the Song dynasty donor figures, beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. The top of the east wall are occupied by heavenly musicians, railings and draperties, and on the space above the entrance is a preaching scene flanked by the thousand Buddha motifs in addition to bhiksus and donors. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor is a scene of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of the Song dynasty, and on each of the side walls are four dhyana Buddhas of the Song dynasty. Most of the ceiling in the front chamber has collapsed. On each side of the entrance in the west wall is a scene of Vaishravana attending Nezha's assembly dating back to the Song dynasty. On the upper part of the entrance are respectively an illustration of the Cintamani-cakra and of the Amogha-pasa, and the middle parts are filled with scenes of four dragons paying respect to the Buddha.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 302

  • DYNASTY::Sui Dynasty(A.D.581-618)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Sui dynasty and Renovated in the Five Dynasties, this cave consists of a main chamber, a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber has a gabled ceiling in the front and a central pillar connecting the ground with the flat ceiling in the back. On the two slopes of the gabled ceiling are jataka tales painted in two horizontal bands, and on the flat ceiling are pictures of the Sui dynasty preaching scenes and painted laternendecke motifs. The central pillar is shaped like Mt. Sumeru formed by a seven-stepped inverted pagoda on the upper and a two-stepped square base on the ground. There is a arch niche in each side of the central pillar. The east one contains the statues of a Buddha and two disciples (the one on the north side is lost) and two bodhisattva statues flanking the entrance (the one on the north side is preserved, though damaged partly). The niche has a painted lintel in bas-relief with a dragon-headed beam and pillars decorated with lotus motifs. The niche in the south side contains a statue of the Buddha and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On each side out of the niche is a statue of bodhisattva (the one on the west side is lost). The niche in the west side contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples renovated in the Qing dynasty. The niche in the north side also contains a three-figure group renovated in the Qing dynasty, and the two statues out of the niche are lost. Beneath the paintings on the north side of the central pillar below the niche can be seen some words "June 11 in the fourth year of Kaihuang era," which indicates when this cave was constructed (around 584 CE), hence the name "Cave of the fourth year of Kaihuang era." This inscription with exact date is not only a reliable evidence for dating the Sui dynasty caves, but also a criterion for studying the artistic styles of the caves of that period. A large niche with a double recesses dug out of the west wall contains a five-figure group: a central Buddha, two disciples, and two bodhisattvas (without head). Flanked the nimbus on the inner niche wall are two images of incarnated boys. The lower part out of the niche are eight bhiksunis of the Song dynasty, beneath which are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the ceiling of the niche are images of ten heavenly musicians. The upper part of the south wall depicts twelve heavenly musicians, railings and draperies from west to east, and the middle part is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, amid which is a preaching scene of the Medicine Buddha, and a double-recessed niche housing a central Buddha and two disciples (only the disciple on the west side is preserved) and two bodhisattvas on outer niche (only the one on the east is preserved). The niche lintel is decorated with honeysuckle motifs. On the back part is a preaching scene. On the junction of the south wall and the ground are nine bhiksus and male donors of the Song dynasty, beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the upper part of the north wall is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna which was damaged by a hole dug through the wall; on the part connecting the ground are a row of the Song dynasty donor figures, beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. The top of the east wall are occupied by heavenly musicians, railings and draperties, and on the space above the entrance is a preaching scene flanked by the thousand Buddha motifs in addition to bhiksus and donors. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor is a scene of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of the Song dynasty, and on each of the side walls are four dhyana Buddhas of the Song dynasty. Most of the ceiling in the front chamber has collapsed. On each side of the entrance in the west wall is a scene of Vaishravana attending Nezha's assembly dating back to the Song dynasty. On the upper part of the entrance are respectively an illustration of the Cintamani-cakra and of the Amogha-pasa, and the middle parts are filled with scenes of four dragons paying respect to the Buddha. ...
Constructed in the Early Sui and Five Dynasties, renovated in the Qing dynasty, this cave consits of the front chamber, corridor and main chamber.  The main chamber is square in plan. It has a central pillar and a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back which is connected with the central pillar in the shape of Mt. Sumeru.  The east slope of the gabled ceiling shows the Chapter of the Universal Gate of Avalokitesvara in the Lotus sutra (scenes of salvations of Avalokitesvara) in two horizontal bands, one above the other, and the west slope is used to render Thirty-three Manifestastions of Avalokitesvara recorded in the same chapter of the Lotus sutra in the same compostion.The center of the flat ceiling features a square in which round draperies are painted around the top of the central pillar. The four corners each have a dhyana Buddha (the one in the northeast is lost), and the center motif is surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs.   The central pillar is shaped like Mt. Sumeru: it consists of the upper part of an inverted round seven-storeyed pagoda and a two stepped square throne on the ground. The upper six storeys are decorated with the small molded Buddhas and lowest storey contains a lotus with four dragons around the lotus stem. A niche is dug out in each of the four sides of the throne.    The arch niche in the east side contains the statues of one Buddha and two disciples made in the Qing dynasty. On each side out of the niche is a bodhisattva statue renovated in the Qing dynasty. below the niche are images of bhiksus, bhiksunis, male and female donors. The arch niche in the south side contains a Buddha statue and a disciple, made in the Qing dynasty.  On the wall inside the niche are two incarnated children, and on each side out of the niche is a statue of a bodhisattva, renovated in the Qing dynasty. Below the niche are male and female donor figure and yakshas, painted in the Sui dynasty. The arch niche in the north side contains statues of one Buddha and one disciple, and on each side out of the niche are a bodhisattva statue (only the one on the south side survived), all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The dragon heads on the niche beams in four side of the central pillar obviously follow the style of the Northern Dynasties, which exhibit the influence from the eaves and roof decoration in Han Chinese architecture.  The west wall in the main chamber contains ten celestial musicans, railings and draperies in the upper level, and a walking Buddha surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs in the middle level and male  donor figures in the lower level above the landscape and figure paintings. The north wall contains  ten celestial musicians, railings and draperies in the upper level, a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs, and attendants, bhiksus and male donors in the lower level. The space above the entrance in the east wall contains ten celestial musicians, railings, and draperies. The north and south sides of the entrance wall are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, below which are donor figures, chariots, horses and grooms. At the junction of the lower parts of the four walls with the ground are all painted landscapes. On the ceiling of the corridor is a preaching scene painted in the Five Dynasties. The south wall of the corridor is covered with a Cintamani-cakra illustration together with six bhiksus and male donors in the lower section, while the north wall is covered with a Amogha-pasa illustration with images of bhiksus and donors in the lower part, all obscured.  Thefour slopes of the ceiling in the front chamber contains seven Dhyana Buddhas painted in the Five Dynasties. The space above the entrance in the west wall contains an inscription flanked by a bodhisattva on either side. On the north side of the entrance is an attendant bodhisattva and a yaksha, on the north side, a preaching scene of the Maiatreya sutra and a row of donors in the lower part (alreadly obscured). On each of the south and north walls in the front chamber is an image of a heavenly king, and the one on the north wall was partly damaged in the Qing dynasty when a hole was cut through the wall.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 303

  • DYNASTY::Sui Dynasty(A.D.581-618)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Early Sui and Five Dynasties, renovated in the Qing dynasty, this cave consits of the front chamber, corridor and main chamber. The main chamber is square in plan. It has a central pillar and a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back which is connected with the central pillar in the shape of Mt. Sumeru. The east slope of the gabled ceiling shows the Chapter of the Universal Gate of Avalokitesvara in the Lotus sutra (scenes of salvations of Avalokitesvara) in two horizontal bands, one above the other, and the west slope is used to render Thirty-three Manifestastions of Avalokitesvara recorded in the same chapter of the Lotus sutra in the same compostion.The center of the flat ceiling features a square in which round draperies are painted around the top of the central pillar. The four corners each have a dhyana Buddha (the one in the northeast is lost), and the center motif is surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The central pillar is shaped like Mt. Sumeru: it consists of the upper part of an inverted round seven-storeyed pagoda and a two stepped square throne on the ground. The upper six storeys are decorated with the small molded Buddhas and lowest storey contains a lotus with four dragons around the lotus stem. A niche is dug out in each of the four sides of the throne. The arch niche in the east side contains the statues of one Buddha and two disciples made in the Qing dynasty. On each side out of the niche is a bodhisattva statue renovated in the Qing dynasty. below the niche are images of bhiksus, bhiksunis, male and female donors. The arch niche in the south side contains a Buddha statue and a disciple, made in the Qing dynasty. On the wall inside the niche are two incarnated children, and on each side out of the niche is a statue of a bodhisattva, renovated in the Qing dynasty. Below the niche are male and female donor figure and yakshas, painted in the Sui dynasty. The arch niche in the north side contains statues of one Buddha and one disciple, and on each side out of the niche are a bodhisattva statue (only the one on the south side survived), all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The dragon heads on the niche beams in four side of the central pillar obviously follow the style of the Northern Dynasties, which exhibit the influence from the eaves and roof decoration in Han Chinese architecture. The west wall in the main chamber contains ten celestial musicans, railings and draperies in the upper level, and a walking Buddha surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs in the middle level and male donor figures in the lower level above the landscape and figure paintings. The north wall contains ten celestial musicians, railings and draperies in the upper level, a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs, and attendants, bhiksus and male donors in the lower level. The space above the entrance in the east wall contains ten celestial musicians, railings, and draperies. The north and south sides of the entrance wall are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, below which are donor figures, chariots, horses and grooms. At the junction of the lower parts of the four walls with the ground are all painted landscapes. On the ceiling of the corridor is a preaching scene painted in the Five Dynasties. The south wall of the corridor is covered with a Cintamani-cakra illustration together with six bhiksus and male donors in the lower section, while the north wall is covered with a Amogha-pasa illustration with images of bhiksus and donors in the lower part, all obscured. Thefour slopes of the ceiling in the front chamber contains seven Dhyana Buddhas painted in the Five Dynasties. The space above the entrance in the west wall contains an inscription flanked by a bodhisattva on either side. On the north side of the entrance is an attendant bodhisattva and a yaksha, on the north side, a preaching scene of the Maiatreya sutra and a row of donors in the lower part (alreadly obscured). On each of the south and north walls in the front chamber is an image of a heavenly king, and the one on the north wall was partly damaged in the Qing dynasty when a hole was cut through the wall. ...
Located on the middle section of the Southern area of Mogao, constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave of medium size with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling cener highlight a pattern of two coiled dragon and lotuses with draperies extending to the four slopes. There are asparas flying around the central design (sootiness), and the thousand Buddha motif on the four slopes  are black due to sootiness.There west niche with a double-recessed entrance contains a seven-figure group of statues: a seated Buddha, two disciples, and four bodhisatvas (one lost). The walls in the inner niche are decorated with an aureole of flame motifs, halos, and on both sides are a disciple and an apsara. The top of the outer niche is a niche beam decorated with flames and lotuses, and there is an apsara on either side. The west wall in the niche contain a niche pillar and a pensive bodhisattva, while the north and south walls  respectively show a bodhisattva. There are six apsaras on the niche beam, who are flying toward the central offerings. The north and south sides out of the niche are devoted to the Conception and the Great Departure respectively, both containing two bodhisattvas in the lower part. Beneath the niche are the offerings flanked by five bodhisattvas on either side.Each of the south and north walls are covered with a central preaching scene amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The south wall also depicts a row of female donors of the Early Tang (blurred) and the opposite north, a row of female donors of the Late Tang (blurred).The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into the upper and lower sections. The upper is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs and there was a painting of seven Buddhas of the Early Tang in the lower part (destroyed when the corridor was renovated in the Late Tang). The corridor has a tent-like  ceiling, which was rebuilt in the Late Tang. In the center is an illustration of the Medicine Buddha. The north and south sides of the entrance consist of three parts: on the upper parts are thousand Buddha motifs, on the middle ones are preaching scenes, and the lower parts are destroyed. In the front chamber, the space above the entrance in the west wall is filled with the Maitreya sutra illustration, which is flanked by the picture of the Vidudabha (king of the south,blurred) on the south side of the entrance and that of the Vaisravana (king of the north, blurred)on the north, all painted in the Late Tang period.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 057

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:Located on the middle section of the Southern area of Mogao, constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave of medium size with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling cener highlight a pattern of two coiled dragon and lotuses with draperies extending to the four slopes. There are asparas flying around the central design (sootiness), and the thousand Buddha motif on the four slopes are black due to sootiness.There west niche with a double-recessed entrance contains a seven-figure group of statues: a seated Buddha, two disciples, and four bodhisatvas (one lost). The walls in the inner niche are decorated with an aureole of flame motifs, halos, and on both sides are a disciple and an apsara. The top of the outer niche is a niche beam decorated with flames and lotuses, and there is an apsara on either side. The west wall in the niche contain a niche pillar and a pensive bodhisattva, while the north and south walls respectively show a bodhisattva. There are six apsaras on the niche beam, who are flying toward the central offerings. The north and south sides out of the niche are devoted to the Conception and the Great Departure respectively, both containing two bodhisattvas in the lower part. Beneath the niche are the offerings flanked by five bodhisattvas on either side.Each of the south and north walls are covered with a central preaching scene amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The south wall also depicts a row of female donors of the Early Tang (blurred) and the opposite north, a row of female donors of the Late Tang (blurred).The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into the upper and lower sections. The upper is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs and there was a painting of seven Buddhas of the Early Tang in the lower part (destroyed when the corridor was renovated in the Late Tang). The corridor has a tent-like ceiling, which was rebuilt in the Late Tang. In the center is an illustration of the Medicine Buddha. The north and south sides of the entrance consist of three parts: on the upper parts are thousand Buddha motifs, on the middle ones are preaching scenes, and the lower parts are destroyed. In the front chamber, the space above the entrance in the west wall is filled with the Maitreya sutra illustration, which is flanked by the picture of the Vidudabha (king of the south,blurred) on the south side of the entrance and that of the Vaisravana (king of the north, blurred)on the north, all painted in the Late Tang period....
The date of construction is not clear and it is supposed that this cave was  constructed in the Early Tang period. This cave consists of the front chamber with a gabled ceiling, which partly survives, and the main chamber which is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The themes of the murals are mainly Buddhist historical stories.  The painted statues were renovated in the Five Dynasties, Western Xia and the Qing dynasty. The ceiling center depicts a large medallion surrounded by the draperies which extend to the four slopes, and the four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a niche with a flat ceiing in the west wall, which contains a five-stucco grouping, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The central figure in the niche is The Buddha seated with legs pendent, flanked by two disciples, two bodhisattvas who stand on a lotus throne. On the ceiling of the niche is a parasol with Bodhi trees and two apsaras. The wall is covered with the mountains in bas relief (renovated in the Qing dynasty) which is connected with the landscape in the murals on the south and north sides out of the niche. Above the niche are Buddhas and clouds. A Buddha seated in meditation was painted below the niche in the Western Xia. Underliying this layer are remains of murals of the Early Tang and the Five dynasties.The upper section of the south wall  is decorated with the Thousand-Buddha motif, and the middle section  is covered with three stories of Buddhist history from the west side to the east side, 1. Two Stone Buddha's floating on the River in the Western Jin Dynasty, 2. a Golden Image Appearing from the River in Yangzhou in  the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and 3. Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty Welcoming Master Tanyan. The lower section has images of  seven Bodhisattvas. The upper part of the north wall is covered with the Thousand Buddha motif, and on the middle part are five stories of Buddhist history from west to east: 1. Emperor Wu of the Western Han obtaining two golden images from the Huns and sending Zhang Qian on a diplomatic mission to explore the western region; 2. The pond where Sakyamuni washed his kasaya and the stone he dried his Kasaya; 3. Fo Tucheng's miraculous events; 4. King Asoka worshiping the heritics'pagoda; and 5. Kang Senghui's magic power. The lower part has images of seven bodhisattvas. The space above the entrance wall is filled with a Thousand-Buddha motif above eleven Buddhist figures including Bodhisattva Maitreya and Akasobhya painged in the Five Dyansties. The south side of the entrance has paintings about Buddhist disciplines in the upper part and four Buddha seated in meditation below. The north side of the entrance wall depicts Buddhist disciplines in the upper and three seated Buddhas below. These pictures painted in a group to show how Buddhist monks made various vows to obey Buddhist disciplines based on the Mahanirvana Sutra translated by Dharmaksema in the Northern Liang dynasty.The top of the corridor is decorated with medallions painted in the Western Xia, and each side wall has three attendant Bodhisattvas. The west slope of the front chamber is decorated with three pictures of the Western Xia medallions (damaged). The south side of the west wall depicts the illustration of Samantabhadra while the opposite part shows an illustration of Manjusri (blurred). Beneath the surface layer there are traces of Early Tang and Five Dynasties murals. A small cave is dug out of the upper section in both the north and south wall. The north one with the Western Xia murals is numbered cave 324, while the south one with a preaching scene of the Western Xia is numbered cave 325. The main space of both of the side walls and the entrance wall are respectively occupied with the historical stories of Buddhism and Buddhist sacred lands as well as Buddhist disciplines. There themes are rare in both the sculptures and murals in other grottoes in China and also very rare in the Mogao murals. The appearance of these murals marked the Sinicization of Buddhistm and so they are of high artistic and historical value.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 323

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:The date of construction is not clear and it is supposed that this cave was constructed in the Early Tang period. This cave consists of the front chamber with a gabled ceiling, which partly survives, and the main chamber which is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The themes of the murals are mainly Buddhist historical stories. The painted statues were renovated in the Five Dynasties, Western Xia and the Qing dynasty. The ceiling center depicts a large medallion surrounded by the draperies which extend to the four slopes, and the four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a niche with a flat ceiing in the west wall, which contains a five-stucco grouping, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The central figure in the niche is The Buddha seated with legs pendent, flanked by two disciples, two bodhisattvas who stand on a lotus throne. On the ceiling of the niche is a parasol with Bodhi trees and two apsaras. The wall is covered with the mountains in bas relief (renovated in the Qing dynasty) which is connected with the landscape in the murals on the south and north sides out of the niche. Above the niche are Buddhas and clouds. A Buddha seated in meditation was painted below the niche in the Western Xia. Underliying this layer are remains of murals of the Early Tang and the Five dynasties.The upper section of the south wall is decorated with the Thousand-Buddha motif, and the middle section is covered with three stories of Buddhist history from the west side to the east side, 1. Two Stone Buddha's floating on the River in the Western Jin Dynasty, 2. a Golden Image Appearing from the River in Yangzhou in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and 3. Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty Welcoming Master Tanyan. The lower section has images of seven Bodhisattvas. The upper part of the north wall is covered with the Thousand Buddha motif, and on the middle part are five stories of Buddhist history from west to east: 1. Emperor Wu of the Western Han obtaining two golden images from the Huns and sending Zhang Qian on a diplomatic mission to explore the western region; 2. The pond where Sakyamuni washed his kasaya and the stone he dried his Kasaya; 3. Fo Tucheng's miraculous events; 4. King Asoka worshiping the heritics'pagoda; and 5. Kang Senghui's magic power. The lower part has images of seven bodhisattvas. The space above the entrance wall is filled with a Thousand-Buddha motif above eleven Buddhist figures including Bodhisattva Maitreya and Akasobhya painged in the Five Dyansties. The south side of the entrance has paintings about Buddhist disciplines in the upper part and four Buddha seated in meditation below. The north side of the entrance wall depicts Buddhist disciplines in the upper and three seated Buddhas below. These pictures painted in a group to show how Buddhist monks made various vows to obey Buddhist disciplines based on the Mahanirvana Sutra translated by Dharmaksema in the Northern Liang dynasty.The top of the corridor is decorated with medallions painted in the Western Xia, and each side wall has three attendant Bodhisattvas. The west slope of the front chamber is decorated with three pictures of the Western Xia medallions (damaged). The south side of the west wall depicts the illustration of Samantabhadra while the opposite part shows an illustration of Manjusri (blurred). Beneath the surface layer there are traces of Early Tang and Five Dynasties murals. A small cave is dug out of the upper section in both the north and south wall. The north one with the Western Xia murals is numbered cave 324, while the south one with a preaching scene of the Western Xia is numbered cave 325. The main space of both of the side walls and the entrance wall are respectively occupied with the historical stories of Buddhism and Buddhist sacred lands as well as Buddhist disciplines. There themes are rare in both the sculptures and murals in other grottoes in China and also very rare in the Mogao murals. The appearance of these murals marked the Sinicization of Buddhistm and so they are of high artistic and historical value. ...
Constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the ceiling center is a pattern of a large medallion composed of lotuses in the center, looking like a five-colored Dharma wheel, and it is surrounded by circles of various motifs such as the clouds, honeysuckles, flowers, triangles, and draperies.The four slopes each depict three apsaras flying around the center in a same direction. At the bottom are the thousand Buddha motifs. A niche is dug out of the west wall, containing a central seated Buddha flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas. All except the torso, costume and the diamond throne were renovated or painted in the Later Qing dynasty. On the two sides of the niche, the thousand Buddha motifs are painted in the upper and incarnated boys on lotuses are painted below. There is a desk with offerings on it and six bodhisattvas at the bottom of the west wall, most of which are blurred. The upper part of the south wall presents an illustration of the Amitabha sutra, in which the pavilions and platforms are separated by green water and the buildings are connected by various bridges. Amitabha is in the center, and on the platforms on both sides of Amitabha are groups of bodhisattvas respectively led by Avalokitesvara or Mahasthamaprapta. On the platform below the central Buddha are bodhisattvas, disciples, and music and dance scenes. In the pond there are different magic birds including Kalavinka.The lower part of the south wall depicts three Buddhist nuns and twenty-three female donor figures. The upper part of the north wall is occupied with an illustration of the Amitabha sutra (two pieces were taken away by Langdon Warner), which was divided into two sections from top down. The center of the upper section shows a preaching scene of Maitreya Bodhisattva in Tusita Heaven based on The Sutra of Maitreya's Rebirth up in the Heaven.  The other parts show the three Assemblies of Maitreya under the dragon flower trees. The first assembly is under the preaching scene in the Tusita Heaven and the second and third are respectively painted on the left and right sides. The lower part of the north wall contains seventeen male donor figures. There are four preaching scenes in the space above the entrance wall. The north and south sides of the entrance wall respectively depict a preaching scene in the upper part and  female and male donor figures in the middle.  There is a row of donor figures and chariots drawn by oxen. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has story paintings of the Five Dynasties in the center and five Buddhas in meditation on both slopes. On the south wall are three Buddhist monks and on the north a male donor figure. The ceiling of the front chamber is occupied by the illustrations of Amogha-pasa, thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara and Cintamani-cakra, all partly damaged, in the space above the entrance in the west wall there is an inscription of the Five Dynasties, and on its both sides are scenes of Vaisravana meeting Nezha. Both the north and south sides of the entrance depict a scene of eight dragon kings worshipping the Buddha painted in the Five dyansties, though obscured. There are traces of disciples and bodhisattvas on both the north and south walls in the front chamber.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 329

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the ceiling center is a pattern of a large medallion composed of lotuses in the center, looking like a five-colored Dharma wheel, and it is surrounded by circles of various motifs such as the clouds, honeysuckles, flowers, triangles, and draperies.The four slopes each depict three apsaras flying around the center in a same direction. At the bottom are the thousand Buddha motifs. A niche is dug out of the west wall, containing a central seated Buddha flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas. All except the torso, costume and the diamond throne were renovated or painted in the Later Qing dynasty. On the two sides of the niche, the thousand Buddha motifs are painted in the upper and incarnated boys on lotuses are painted below. There is a desk with offerings on it and six bodhisattvas at the bottom of the west wall, most of which are blurred. The upper part of the south wall presents an illustration of the Amitabha sutra, in which the pavilions and platforms are separated by green water and the buildings are connected by various bridges. Amitabha is in the center, and on the platforms on both sides of Amitabha are groups of bodhisattvas respectively led by Avalokitesvara or Mahasthamaprapta. On the platform below the central Buddha are bodhisattvas, disciples, and music and dance scenes. In the pond there are different magic birds including Kalavinka.The lower part of the south wall depicts three Buddhist nuns and twenty-three female donor figures. The upper part of the north wall is occupied with an illustration of the Amitabha sutra (two pieces were taken away by Langdon Warner), which was divided into two sections from top down. The center of the upper section shows a preaching scene of Maitreya Bodhisattva in Tusita Heaven based on The Sutra of Maitreya's Rebirth up in the Heaven. The other parts show the three Assemblies of Maitreya under the dragon flower trees. The first assembly is under the preaching scene in the Tusita Heaven and the second and third are respectively painted on the left and right sides. The lower part of the north wall contains seventeen male donor figures. There are four preaching scenes in the space above the entrance wall. The north and south sides of the entrance wall respectively depict a preaching scene in the upper part and female and male donor figures in the middle. There is a row of donor figures and chariots drawn by oxen. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has story paintings of the Five Dynasties in the center and five Buddhas in meditation on both slopes. On the south wall are three Buddhist monks and on the north a male donor figure. The ceiling of the front chamber is occupied by the illustrations of Amogha-pasa, thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara and Cintamani-cakra, all partly damaged, in the space above the entrance in the west wall there is an inscription of the Five Dynasties, and on its both sides are scenes of Vaisravana meeting Nezha. Both the north and south sides of the entrance depict a scene of eight dragon kings worshipping the Buddha painted in the Five dyansties, though obscured. There are traces of disciples and bodhisattvas on both the north and south walls in the front chamber. ...
Located on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao and constructed in the Early Tang dynasty (renovated in the Middle Tang, Later Tang, Five Dynasties, Song and Qing dynasties), this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. It is one of the representative Tang dynasty caves. It was perhaps in the Song  or Western Xia period that the paintings in this cave were all covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. In 1944, the Dunhuang Art Research Institute removed the upper layer murals on the four walls, revealing the original Early Tang paintings. The west niche contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). The donor figures of the Early Tang below the niche are vague. The illustrations of the Vimalakirti and Manjusri are respectively rendered on the two sides out of the niche. The south wall is occupied by the Amitayus sutra illustration, and the north wall by the Medicine Buddha illustration. There are two scenes of dancers in the north wall (called as the whirling dance by some scholars).  A preaching scene is painted on the space above the cave entrance.  There are also two figures, a male and a female.  There is also an inscription dating to the 16th year of Zhengguan era (642 CE). The two sides of the entrance wall are devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration. In 1975, the Dunhuang Art Research Institute has removed the surface layer of the paintings as a whole, thus revealing the intact bottom paintings: a new styled illustration of Manjusri in the Tongguang third year (925) of the Five Dynasties, seven donor figures including that of Zhai Fengda, an inscription (on the north wall), a niche painted in the Middle Tang, a Buddha, a monk and seven donors painted in the Later Tang, an inscription about the Examination of the Family Tree written by Zhai Fengda (on the south wall). Each picture in this cave is a masterpiece, and the image of Vimalakirti in particular is of the highest level. The emperor and ministers can be compared with the Emperors of the Past Dynasties painted by Yan Liben. The dancing scene and the music band in the Medicine Buddha illustration are precious material for studying the music and dance.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 220

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:Located on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao and constructed in the Early Tang dynasty (renovated in the Middle Tang, Later Tang, Five Dynasties, Song and Qing dynasties), this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. It is one of the representative Tang dynasty caves. It was perhaps in the Song or Western Xia period that the paintings in this cave were all covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. In 1944, the Dunhuang Art Research Institute removed the upper layer murals on the four walls, revealing the original Early Tang paintings. The west niche contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). The donor figures of the Early Tang below the niche are vague. The illustrations of the Vimalakirti and Manjusri are respectively rendered on the two sides out of the niche. The south wall is occupied by the Amitayus sutra illustration, and the north wall by the Medicine Buddha illustration. There are two scenes of dancers in the north wall (called as the whirling dance by some scholars). A preaching scene is painted on the space above the cave entrance. There are also two figures, a male and a female. There is also an inscription dating to the 16th year of Zhengguan era (642 CE). The two sides of the entrance wall are devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration. In 1975, the Dunhuang Art Research Institute has removed the surface layer of the paintings as a whole, thus revealing the intact bottom paintings: a new styled illustration of Manjusri in the Tongguang third year (925) of the Five Dynasties, seven donor figures including that of Zhai Fengda, an inscription (on the north wall), a niche painted in the Middle Tang, a Buddha, a monk and seven donors painted in the Later Tang, an inscription about the Examination of the Family Tree written by Zhai Fengda (on the south wall). Each picture in this cave is a masterpiece, and the image of Vimalakirti in particular is of the highest level. The emperor and ministers can be compared with the Emperors of the Past Dynasties painted by Yan Liben. The dancing scene and the music band in the Medicine Buddha illustration are precious material for studying the music and dance....
Constructed in the reign time of Empress Wu Zetian in the Tang dynasty, this is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a large medallion surrounded by the draperies of twisted vines and half medallions that extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (a part of the south slope is damaged). The central Buddha is the original Early Tang work, the other statues including disciples, bodhisattvas and guardian warriors were all renovated or repainted in the Qing dyansty. The arch ceiling of the niche is decorated with double-layered railing against which is a row of bodhisattvas looking downwards. Behind them is the vast sky with apsaras, clouds, flowers, palaces, and fairy ladies. The sutra illustration on the south wall was first identified as that of the Lotus Sutra and finally as that of the Ten Wheel Sutra, which this text adopts. This sutra is mainly about the belief in Ksitigabha bodhisattva and it consists of four parts respectively on Ksitigabha, on the Ten Wheels, on the Period of Termination, and on the Six Perfections. In composition, the sutra illutration is largely divided into four areas: 1. the center for the preaching scene; 2. the middle of the west side for the salvations of Ksitigabha; 3. The upper part of the west side for the manifestations of Ksitigabha (some scenes are rendered on the upper of the east side), according to the sutras, Ksitigabha has fouty-four manifestations; 4. The east side for the Candala of the Kshatriya class (The Jataka of King Elephant is on the west side in this area).   The north wall was completely occupied by the Amitabha sutra illustration. In the center is the preaching scene of the Buddha and on two sides are bodhisattvas listening to Buddha's preaching. The architecture in this illustration is very special. Above the water are platforms and two side corridors, the pavillion with an east Asian hip and gable roof consists of two storeys, three jian in depth and three jian in width. There is no eave under the flat base of the upper storey. This kind of depiction is only seen among the Early Tang paintings.There is no window or wall between the pillars of the upper and lower storeys, which is replaced by the hanging curtains. The ground of the platform is paved with flowered tiles, similar to the customs of the Tang dynasty.  On the space above the east entrance is a preaching scene, and on either side of it is a preaching scene of a seated Buddha. The south side of the entrance contains a standing Buddha and two bodhisattva in the center and a row of male donors of the Five Dynasties below (obscured). The north side contains a eleven-headed Avalokitesvara illustration in the center, and a row of male donors painted in the Five Dynasties (obscured). On the lower parts of the north and east walls in the main chamber are male donor figures, most of them have been obscured. Judged from the numbers in the surviving inscriptions, people who sponsored the construction of this cave were mainly from the Zhang, Lihu,and Cao families. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor are part of a parasol and a desk painted in the Five dynasties. The north and south slopes are decorated with hanging draperies.On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor are part of a parasol and a desk painted in the Five dynasties. The north and south slopes are decorated with hanging draperies. A hell illustration was rendered on the south side of the entrance in the west wall of the front chamber (which was revealed in 1965 by removing the surface layer of paintings), and on the north side beneath the Five Dynasties paitnings are traces of the Early Tang murals. The south wall is covered with a Samantabhadra illustration (imcomplete) and the north wall with the Manjusri illustration (incomplete).

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 321

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:Constructed in the reign time of Empress Wu Zetian in the Tang dynasty, this is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a large medallion surrounded by the draperies of twisted vines and half medallions that extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (a part of the south slope is damaged). The central Buddha is the original Early Tang work, the other statues including disciples, bodhisattvas and guardian warriors were all renovated or repainted in the Qing dyansty. The arch ceiling of the niche is decorated with double-layered railing against which is a row of bodhisattvas looking downwards. Behind them is the vast sky with apsaras, clouds, flowers, palaces, and fairy ladies. The sutra illustration on the south wall was first identified as that of the Lotus Sutra and finally as that of the Ten Wheel Sutra, which this text adopts. This sutra is mainly about the belief in Ksitigabha bodhisattva and it consists of four parts respectively on Ksitigabha, on the Ten Wheels, on the Period of Termination, and on the Six Perfections. In composition, the sutra illutration is largely divided into four areas: 1. the center for the preaching scene; 2. the middle of the west side for the salvations of Ksitigabha; 3. The upper part of the west side for the manifestations of Ksitigabha (some scenes are rendered on the upper of the east side), according to the sutras, Ksitigabha has fouty-four manifestations; 4. The east side for the Candala of the Kshatriya class (The Jataka of King Elephant is on the west side in this area). The north wall was completely occupied by the Amitabha sutra illustration. In the center is the preaching scene of the Buddha and on two sides are bodhisattvas listening to Buddha's preaching. The architecture in this illustration is very special. Above the water are platforms and two side corridors, the pavillion with an east Asian hip and gable roof consists of two storeys, three jian in depth and three jian in width. There is no eave under the flat base of the upper storey. This kind of depiction is only seen among the Early Tang paintings.There is no window or wall between the pillars of the upper and lower storeys, which is replaced by the hanging curtains. The ground of the platform is paved with flowered tiles, similar to the customs of the Tang dynasty. On the space above the east entrance is a preaching scene, and on either side of it is a preaching scene of a seated Buddha. The south side of the entrance contains a standing Buddha and two bodhisattva in the center and a row of male donors of the Five Dynasties below (obscured). The north side contains a eleven-headed Avalokitesvara illustration in the center, and a row of male donors painted in the Five Dynasties (obscured). On the lower parts of the north and east walls in the main chamber are male donor figures, most of them have been obscured. Judged from the numbers in the surviving inscriptions, people who sponsored the construction of this cave were mainly from the Zhang, Lihu,and Cao families. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor are part of a parasol and a desk painted in the Five dynasties. The north and south slopes are decorated with hanging draperies.On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor are part of a parasol and a desk painted in the Five dynasties. The north and south slopes are decorated with hanging draperies. A hell illustration was rendered on the south side of the entrance in the west wall of the front chamber (which was revealed in 1965 by removing the surface layer of paintings), and on the north side beneath the Five Dynasties paitnings are traces of the Early Tang murals. The south wall is covered with a Samantabhadra illustration (imcomplete) and the north wall with the Manjusri illustration (incomplete). ...
Constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Five Dynasties, this is a small hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. There is a niche with double recesses dug out of the west wall, containing a seven-stuccoed figures; a Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas and two heavenly kings. The heavenly kings have features of a non-Chinese foreigner;  high nose bridges, thick eyebrows and big eyes. The ceiling center has a pattern of twisted vines.  The drapery around the center extends to the four slopes. The decorative borders of twisted vines connect the the four walls with the four slopes. There is a preaching scene of Maitreya in the center of the south wall, which is surrouded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The north wall presents an illustration of the Amitabha sutra in the center, also surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. There are three preaching scenes above the entrance on the east wall. The south side of the entrance depicts a preaching scene of the Medicine Buddha, while the north has a standing disciple image with four donor figures. On either north or south of the brim of the entrance is a worshiping bodhisattva painted in the Five Dynasties. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor in a Buddha in meditation painted in the Five Dynasties. On both of the north and south walls of the corridor are covered with the Buddhas in meditation, only two has survived on each  side walls.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 322

  • DYNASTY::Early Tang Dynasty(A.D.618-712)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Five Dynasties, this is a small hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. There is a niche with double recesses dug out of the west wall, containing a seven-stuccoed figures; a Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas and two heavenly kings. The heavenly kings have features of a non-Chinese foreigner; high nose bridges, thick eyebrows and big eyes. The ceiling center has a pattern of twisted vines. The drapery around the center extends to the four slopes. The decorative borders of twisted vines connect the the four walls with the four slopes. There is a preaching scene of Maitreya in the center of the south wall, which is surrouded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The north wall presents an illustration of the Amitabha sutra in the center, also surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. There are three preaching scenes above the entrance on the east wall. The south side of the entrance depicts a preaching scene of the Medicine Buddha, while the north has a standing disciple image with four donor figures. On either north or south of the brim of the entrance is a worshiping bodhisattva painted in the Five Dynasties. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor in a Buddha in meditation painted in the Five Dynasties. On both of the north and south walls of the corridor are covered with the Buddhas in meditation, only two has survived on each side walls. ...
Constructed in the Jinglong era (707-710), namely the end of the Early Tang and the beginning of the High Tang, this cave was constructed as the family temple by the Yin Family at Dunhuang. Part of the paintings was renovated in the Later Tang and the Five Dyansties, and the statues were renovated in the Qing dynasty. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling which features a medallion pattern in the center enclosed by the twisted vines and draperies that extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). There is a niche with a flat entrance in the west wall housing a seated Buddha renovated in the Qing dynasty, and painted images of four bodhisattvas and eight disciples. A bodhisattva is painted on each side of the niche. The south side of the adobe platform on the north side of the niche has an inscription with the portraits and titles of the Yin Family members, Yin Ciqiong and Yin Ciwang. Inside the central frame on the south wall is a preaching scene, in which Mt. Sumeru is painted in the upper with eight temple halls stand on it. The two sides and below the preaching scene are covered with more than 30 scenes of figures and buildings in the landscape context, and each scene has one or several cartouches with unidentified words. The middle part below the preaching scene is a cartouche with some words identified. The lower parts show severe flaking and loss of paint. There is an alien-styled figure on the lower right side. Opinions about the contents of the murals differ: some consider it was executed according to the Lotus Sutra, while some think it is based on  the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. We accept that the content is according to the USnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. The whole north wall is covered with the Amitayus sutra illustration, which consists of three parts: the pure land of Amitabha in the center, the story between Binbisara and Ajatsatru on the west side and the Sixteen Meditations on the east side. The whole east wall is devoted to the illustration of the Universal Gate of the Lotus Sutra. Right above the entrance is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni on the Vulture Peak. The upper parts of the both sides of the entrance are used for scenes of Avalokitesvara saving people from disasters while the lower parts have images of the thirty-three manifestations of Avalokitesvara. Along the entrance on the north side is an image of bhiksu Hong Ren painted in the Five Dynasties. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has two slopes containing the images of Ksitigabha and Ten Kings painted in the Later Tang. The front chamber was repainted in later dynasties and it is severely damaged.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 217

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Jinglong era (707-710), namely the end of the Early Tang and the beginning of the High Tang, this cave was constructed as the family temple by the Yin Family at Dunhuang. Part of the paintings was renovated in the Later Tang and the Five Dyansties, and the statues were renovated in the Qing dynasty. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling which features a medallion pattern in the center enclosed by the twisted vines and draperies that extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). There is a niche with a flat entrance in the west wall housing a seated Buddha renovated in the Qing dynasty, and painted images of four bodhisattvas and eight disciples. A bodhisattva is painted on each side of the niche. The south side of the adobe platform on the north side of the niche has an inscription with the portraits and titles of the Yin Family members, Yin Ciqiong and Yin Ciwang. Inside the central frame on the south wall is a preaching scene, in which Mt. Sumeru is painted in the upper with eight temple halls stand on it. The two sides and below the preaching scene are covered with more than 30 scenes of figures and buildings in the landscape context, and each scene has one or several cartouches with unidentified words. The middle part below the preaching scene is a cartouche with some words identified. The lower parts show severe flaking and loss of paint. There is an alien-styled figure on the lower right side. Opinions about the contents of the murals differ: some consider it was executed according to the Lotus Sutra, while some think it is based on the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. We accept that the content is according to the USnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. The whole north wall is covered with the Amitayus sutra illustration, which consists of three parts: the pure land of Amitabha in the center, the story between Binbisara and Ajatsatru on the west side and the Sixteen Meditations on the east side. The whole east wall is devoted to the illustration of the Universal Gate of the Lotus Sutra. Right above the entrance is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni on the Vulture Peak. The upper parts of the both sides of the entrance are used for scenes of Avalokitesvara saving people from disasters while the lower parts have images of the thirty-three manifestations of Avalokitesvara. Along the entrance on the north side is an image of bhiksu Hong Ren painted in the Five Dynasties. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has two slopes containing the images of Ksitigabha and Ten Kings painted in the Later Tang. The front chamber was repainted in later dynasties and it is severely damaged. ...
Located in the middle section of the Southern Area of Mogao, this cave was constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Middle Tang and Five Dynasties. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling with a large lotus pattern in the ceiling center. Four illustrations of the Maitreya sutra, the Universal Gate of the Avalokitesvara sutra, the Amitabha sutra and the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra are respectively painted on the west, south, north and east slopes. The west niche has a grouping of seven -stucco figures renovated in the Qing dynasty. The stories start on the north wall, then continue on the east wall and end on the south wall. All represent the episodes in the Lotus Sutra. The corridor has a flat ceiling, on which part of the illustration of Defeating Mara has survived. Those paintings of the Five Dynasties on the south wall of the corridor are about the god of the sun in uncertain Esoteric Buddhist scriptures, and the others are all damaged. Part of the thousand Buddha motifs of the Five Dynasties has survived on the ceiling of the front chamber. The space above the entrance wall is filled with draperies and Buddhas in meditation of the Five Dynasties (with a Tangut inscription). To the south side of the entrance is part of a heavenly king (most blurred). The space on the entrance door was originally filled with draperies, an apsara and a heavenly king of the Five Dynasties, and now almost all of them have been covered. The cell in the south wall of the front chamber is numbered cave 24.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 023

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:Located in the middle section of the Southern Area of Mogao, this cave was constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Middle Tang and Five Dynasties. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling with a large lotus pattern in the ceiling center. Four illustrations of the Maitreya sutra, the Universal Gate of the Avalokitesvara sutra, the Amitabha sutra and the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra are respectively painted on the west, south, north and east slopes. The west niche has a grouping of seven -stucco figures renovated in the Qing dynasty. The stories start on the north wall, then continue on the east wall and end on the south wall. All represent the episodes in the Lotus Sutra. The corridor has a flat ceiling, on which part of the illustration of Defeating Mara has survived. Those paintings of the Five Dynasties on the south wall of the corridor are about the god of the sun in uncertain Esoteric Buddhist scriptures, and the others are all damaged. Part of the thousand Buddha motifs of the Five Dynasties has survived on the ceiling of the front chamber. The space above the entrance wall is filled with draperies and Buddhas in meditation of the Five Dynasties (with a Tangut inscription). To the south side of the entrance is part of a heavenly king (most blurred). The space on the entrance door was originally filled with draperies, an apsara and a heavenly king of the Five Dynasties, and now almost all of them have been covered. The cell in the south wall of the front chamber is numbered cave 24....
This cave, constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Qing dynasty, has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. The ceiling center of the main chamber is a design of a large medallion surrounded by different decorative borders, one after another, of the connected pearls, half medallion, scales, and draperies. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. The west niche which has a flat ceiling contains a central Buddha made in the Tang dynasty, renovated in the Qing dynasty,  two disciples reshaped  in the Qing dynasty, and two bodhisattvas repainted in the Qing dynasty. Most of the ceiling of the niche is damaged. The north and south sides of the niche each depict a bodhisattva. There is a platform made of adobe on either side out of the niche, on which stands a bodhisattva of the Qing dynasty. The east wall is covered with an illustration of Vimalakirti sutra, which consists of three scenes in the form of the Chinese character "品". The space above the entrance in the east wall illustrates the contents of the Chapter of Buddhist Paradise, the south side  deals with the Vimakakirti sutra illustration and the Chapter on the Expediency, and the north side with the scene of Manjusri and the kings, princes and ministers from various peoples and kingdoms. The lower part of the picture is blurred. The north wall is devoted to an illustration of the Amitayus sutra with two side scenes, in which the lower part is lost. The south wall depicts the Lotus sutra illustration, also with two side scenes illustrating the Fables of the Magic City, and the lower part is lost. On the north side of entrance of the west wall in the front chamber are traces of most part of the heavenly kings. The south wall is numbered as Cave 105, while the north as Cave 104. There is an image of Kistigabha on the south wall and an image of Vaisravana on the north wall of the corridor, partly blurred.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 103

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:This cave, constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Qing dynasty, has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. The ceiling center of the main chamber is a design of a large medallion surrounded by different decorative borders, one after another, of the connected pearls, half medallion, scales, and draperies. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. The west niche which has a flat ceiling contains a central Buddha made in the Tang dynasty, renovated in the Qing dynasty, two disciples reshaped in the Qing dynasty, and two bodhisattvas repainted in the Qing dynasty. Most of the ceiling of the niche is damaged. The north and south sides of the niche each depict a bodhisattva. There is a platform made of adobe on either side out of the niche, on which stands a bodhisattva of the Qing dynasty. The east wall is covered with an illustration of Vimalakirti sutra, which consists of three scenes in the form of the Chinese character "品". The space above the entrance in the east wall illustrates the contents of the Chapter of Buddhist Paradise, the south side deals with the Vimakakirti sutra illustration and the Chapter on the Expediency, and the north side with the scene of Manjusri and the kings, princes and ministers from various peoples and kingdoms. The lower part of the picture is blurred. The north wall is devoted to an illustration of the Amitayus sutra with two side scenes, in which the lower part is lost. The south wall depicts the Lotus sutra illustration, also with two side scenes illustrating the Fables of the Magic City, and the lower part is lost. On the north side of entrance of the west wall in the front chamber are traces of most part of the heavenly kings. The south wall is numbered as Cave 105, while the north as Cave 104. There is an image of Kistigabha on the south wall and an image of Vaisravana on the north wall of the corridor, partly blurred....
Constructed in the High Tang period, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a medallion pattern composed of flowers and clouds and draperies. The draperies extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven figure group made in the Tang dynasty and repainted in the Qing dynasty. The ceiling is decorated with a parasol and lotuses. Each of the north and south sides out of the niche depicts a Bodhisattva. The south wall is covered with a western pure land illustration, the middle and lower parts of it was damaged. The north wall is also covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration with two side scenes respectively for the Sixteen Meditation and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. The lower part is lost. Most of the east wall has collapsed, ony a few images of the thousand Buddha motifs have survived on the north side of the entrance.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 066

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:Constructed in the High Tang period, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a medallion pattern composed of flowers and clouds and draperies. The draperies extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven figure group made in the Tang dynasty and repainted in the Qing dynasty. The ceiling is decorated with a parasol and lotuses. Each of the north and south sides out of the niche depicts a Bodhisattva. The south wall is covered with a western pure land illustration, the middle and lower parts of it was damaged. The north wall is also covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration with two side scenes respectively for the Sixteen Meditation and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. The lower part is lost. Most of the east wall has collapsed, ony a few images of the thousand Buddha motifs have survived on the north side of the entrance....
This is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling constructed in the High Tang period. The ceiling center is a medallion enclosed by circular network, and in each of the four corners is an apsara. The four slopes are covered with thousand Buddha motifs. A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven-figure group: a Seated Buddha with legs pendent flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. Except two bodhisattvas sit with one leg bent and one pendent, all the others stand. On the two sides of the nimbus are six painted disciples. There is a bodhi parasol on the ceiling of the niche. On each of the two sides out of the niche is a heavenly king statue, and an apsara is painted along the niche on either side.Both the south and north walls are covered with a large-sized Amitayus sutra illustration, while the layout of the figures, buildings and space arrangement of the one on the north wall are more pleasant to look at. Compared with the Early Tang sutra illustrations, the combination of the figures, the layout of the buildings, and the treatment of the perspectives displayed greater artistic refinement, especially the perspective.  The hall in the center is the main body of the architecture, and it looks grand when painted in a low angle. Those buildings on the two sides are in a high angle, looking vast. The pavilions in the back are depicted at the eye level, looking deep. In this way, the focus is on the symmetry axis, slightly upward, creating a focus perspective, and making it a perfect patchwork of palace groups.On the space above the entrance in the east wall is a pureland illustration. On the south side are four bodhisattvas including Kistigabha and Avalokitesvara above the Samantabhadra illustration, the lower part is obscured. On the north side are four bodhisattvas including Bhaisajyaguru Bodhisattva above a Manjusri illustration, and below is a row of female donor figures of the Song dynasty(obscured). In the landscape,the ethereal mist and waving ripples painted at one stroke reflect the achievements of combining the line drawings with the haloing techniques in the landscape.On the tent-like top of the corridor are a large medallion, and on the south and north slopes are draperies of the Song dynasty. On the south wall are three attendant bodhisattvas of the Song dynasty (already obscured). The middle is the entrance of Cave 173. On the north wall are four attendant bodhisattvas of the Song dynasty, only three are preserved.The damaged ceiling of the front chamber shows traces of the Song dynasty sutra illustration. There is an inscription on the space above the entrance in the west wall, which was flanked by the scenes of Vaishravana attending Nezha's assembly. On the two side of the entrance are the Vimalakirti sutra illustration, in which Vimalakirti is painted on the north side and Manjusri on the south side. The image of an thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara on the south wall was badly damaged due to the hole cut through the wall. There is also a hole in the image of thousand-armed Manjusri with a bowl in each hand on the north wall, and above the hole is a picture of five dhyana Buddhas.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 172

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:This is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling constructed in the High Tang period. The ceiling center is a medallion enclosed by circular network, and in each of the four corners is an apsara. The four slopes are covered with thousand Buddha motifs. A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven-figure group: a Seated Buddha with legs pendent flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. Except two bodhisattvas sit with one leg bent and one pendent, all the others stand. On the two sides of the nimbus are six painted disciples. There is a bodhi parasol on the ceiling of the niche. On each of the two sides out of the niche is a heavenly king statue, and an apsara is painted along the niche on either side.Both the south and north walls are covered with a large-sized Amitayus sutra illustration, while the layout of the figures, buildings and space arrangement of the one on the north wall are more pleasant to look at. Compared with the Early Tang sutra illustrations, the combination of the figures, the layout of the buildings, and the treatment of the perspectives displayed greater artistic refinement, especially the perspective. The hall in the center is the main body of the architecture, and it looks grand when painted in a low angle. Those buildings on the two sides are in a high angle, looking vast. The pavilions in the back are depicted at the eye level, looking deep. In this way, the focus is on the symmetry axis, slightly upward, creating a focus perspective, and making it a perfect patchwork of palace groups.On the space above the entrance in the east wall is a pureland illustration. On the south side are four bodhisattvas including Kistigabha and Avalokitesvara above the Samantabhadra illustration, the lower part is obscured. On the north side are four bodhisattvas including Bhaisajyaguru Bodhisattva above a Manjusri illustration, and below is a row of female donor figures of the Song dynasty(obscured). In the landscape,the ethereal mist and waving ripples painted at one stroke reflect the achievements of combining the line drawings with the haloing techniques in the landscape.On the tent-like top of the corridor are a large medallion, and on the south and north slopes are draperies of the Song dynasty. On the south wall are three attendant bodhisattvas of the Song dynasty (already obscured). The middle is the entrance of Cave 173. On the north wall are four attendant bodhisattvas of the Song dynasty, only three are preserved.The damaged ceiling of the front chamber shows traces of the Song dynasty sutra illustration. There is an inscription on the space above the entrance in the west wall, which was flanked by the scenes of Vaishravana attending Nezha's assembly. On the two side of the entrance are the Vimalakirti sutra illustration, in which Vimalakirti is painted on the north side and Manjusri on the south side. The image of an thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara on the south wall was badly damaged due to the hole cut through the wall. There is also a hole in the image of thousand-armed Manjusri with a bowl in each hand on the north wall, and above the hole is a picture of five dhyana Buddhas....
Constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Late Tang and Western Xia, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. Most of the main chamber has collapsed.  Now there is only a part of the west slope of the ceiling with a half medallion motif and a part of the north slope of the ceiling with a head of a bhiksu survived. The tent-like niche in the west wall contains a group of stucco figures of the High Tang period: a seated Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas, and two heavenly kings. There is a platform on which stands guardian warriors on both the north and south sides alongside the niche. There is an illustration of the Vimalakirti sutra on the south wall (most of it is damaged). Below the sutra illustration are sixteen donor figures of the Western Xia. The north wall is covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration (the upper part is lost) with two side scenes for the Sixteen Meditations and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. Below it are six female donors and five male donors of the High Tang and four Western Xia female donors (upper part is lost). The upper part of the east wall is damaged. The south side of the entrance contains the images of a Ksitigabha and a Avalokitesvara as well as a Tang dynasty female donor. The north side is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, below them are images of an Avalokitesvara and a Tang dynasty male donor. There is a preaching scene on the ceiling of the corridor. The south wall of the corridor is devoted to the illustration of Amogha-pasa and the north wall to the Cintamani-cakra illustration, both were painted in the Late Tang. In the front chamber, there is a preahing scene of the Later Tang on the space above the entrance in the west wall (blurred), A Late Tang heavenly king is painted on each of the south and north sides of the entrance (blurred). The south wall in the front chamber has traces of Late Tang paintings (blurred), below them are five male donors (obscured). On the north wall is a Later Tang heavenly king.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 194

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:Constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Late Tang and Western Xia, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. Most of the main chamber has collapsed. Now there is only a part of the west slope of the ceiling with a half medallion motif and a part of the north slope of the ceiling with a head of a bhiksu survived. The tent-like niche in the west wall contains a group of stucco figures of the High Tang period: a seated Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas, and two heavenly kings. There is a platform on which stands guardian warriors on both the north and south sides alongside the niche. There is an illustration of the Vimalakirti sutra on the south wall (most of it is damaged). Below the sutra illustration are sixteen donor figures of the Western Xia. The north wall is covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration (the upper part is lost) with two side scenes for the Sixteen Meditations and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. Below it are six female donors and five male donors of the High Tang and four Western Xia female donors (upper part is lost). The upper part of the east wall is damaged. The south side of the entrance contains the images of a Ksitigabha and a Avalokitesvara as well as a Tang dynasty female donor. The north side is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, below them are images of an Avalokitesvara and a Tang dynasty male donor. There is a preaching scene on the ceiling of the corridor. The south wall of the corridor is devoted to the illustration of Amogha-pasa and the north wall to the Cintamani-cakra illustration, both were painted in the Late Tang. In the front chamber, there is a preahing scene of the Later Tang on the space above the entrance in the west wall (blurred), A Late Tang heavenly king is painted on each of the south and north sides of the entrance (blurred). The south wall in the front chamber has traces of Late Tang paintings (blurred), below them are five male donors (obscured). On the north wall is a Later Tang heavenly king....
Located on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao, this cave was constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Middle Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties. It is one of the representative cave of the Tang dynasty. The main chamber, square in plan, has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. The ceiling center depicts a peony surrounded by cloud patterns.  On the four sides are various decorative patterns, such as the motif of two partly overlapped squares, half medallions, diamond lozenges,  medallions, and draperies in red, blue and green colors, looking bright and fresh. The four slopes are covered with the Thousand Buddha motifs. In the center of the south wall is a preaching scene (two pieces taken away by Langdon Warner in 1924). The central statue is lost, while the back halo in bas relief as well as one disciple and two bodhisattvas have survived. The ceiling of the niche highlights a preaching scene of Maitreya, in which two disciples, four bodhisattvas and two heavenly kings stand in order. There, heavenly kings wear  chain mail and tabards which can protect the legs in battles. There is no such example in other preaching scenes in Mogao. On the walls of the niche are eight disciples and two bodhisattvas in gorgeous costumes. An image of Avalokitesvara is painted on either side of the niche. The north wall is covered with the illustration of Amitayurbhavana-sutra with the pure land in the center and two side scenes illustrating the stories of the Sixteen meditations and of the stories Between King Bimbisāra and Ajātaatru, similar to the illustration of the Amitabha in composition. This illustration creates an elegant ambiance mainly in blue, green and black,  focuses on the incarnated boys on the lotuses in the pond, auspicious birds and beasts, as well as musicians. It represents a style of the same themes of the High Tang dynasty.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 320

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:Located on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao, this cave was constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Middle Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties. It is one of the representative cave of the Tang dynasty. The main chamber, square in plan, has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. The ceiling center depicts a peony surrounded by cloud patterns. On the four sides are various decorative patterns, such as the motif of two partly overlapped squares, half medallions, diamond lozenges, medallions, and draperies in red, blue and green colors, looking bright and fresh. The four slopes are covered with the Thousand Buddha motifs. In the center of the south wall is a preaching scene (two pieces taken away by Langdon Warner in 1924). The central statue is lost, while the back halo in bas relief as well as one disciple and two bodhisattvas have survived. The ceiling of the niche highlights a preaching scene of Maitreya, in which two disciples, four bodhisattvas and two heavenly kings stand in order. There, heavenly kings wear chain mail and tabards which can protect the legs in battles. There is no such example in other preaching scenes in Mogao. On the walls of the niche are eight disciples and two bodhisattvas in gorgeous costumes. An image of Avalokitesvara is painted on either side of the niche. The north wall is covered with the illustration of Amitayurbhavana-sutra with the pure land in the center and two side scenes illustrating the stories of the Sixteen meditations and of the stories Between King Bimbisāra and Ajātaatru, similar to the illustration of the Amitabha in composition. This illustration creates an elegant ambiance mainly in blue, green and black, focuses on the incarnated boys on the lotuses in the pond, auspicious birds and beasts, as well as musicians. It represents a style of the same themes of the High Tang dynasty. ...
The main chamber is square in plan with a central altar, and the front chamber is rectangular in plan. Both are connected by a long corridor. In the Maitreya sutra illustration in this cave, there is an inscription in ancient Tibetan and an image of a wedding ceremony of a Tibetan man with a Chinese woman, from which it can be determined that it was constructed in the period when Guazhou was occupied by the Tibetans and Shazhou was not yet, namely from the 11th year of Dali era (776) to the second year of Jianzhong (781). Part of the ceiling of the main chamber has collapsed, and the front chamber was renovated in the Five Dynasties. The original paintings are well preserved. On the east wall is a Mandala of Eight Bodhisattvas, on the south wall is an Amitayus sutra illustration, and on the north wall is a Maitreya sutra illustration. On both sides of the illustration are single images of Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapdta and Kistigabha bodhisattvas. On the two sides of the entrance in the west wall are illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. In the front chamber, the south side and north side of the east wall respectively depict Vidudabha and Vaisravana, who protect the paradise of Buddhism.

Guazhou Yulin Grottoes Cave 025

  • DYNASTY::High Tang Dynasty(A.D.713-766)
  • Summary:The main chamber is square in plan with a central altar, and the front chamber is rectangular in plan. Both are connected by a long corridor. In the Maitreya sutra illustration in this cave, there is an inscription in ancient Tibetan and an image of a wedding ceremony of a Tibetan man with a Chinese woman, from which it can be determined that it was constructed in the period when Guazhou was occupied by the Tibetans and Shazhou was not yet, namely from the 11th year of Dali era (776) to the second year of Jianzhong (781). Part of the ceiling of the main chamber has collapsed, and the front chamber was renovated in the Five Dynasties. The original paintings are well preserved. On the east wall is a Mandala of Eight Bodhisattvas, on the south wall is an Amitayus sutra illustration, and on the north wall is a Maitreya sutra illustration. On both sides of the illustration are single images of Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapdta and Kistigabha bodhisattvas. On the two sides of the entrance in the west wall are illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. In the front chamber, the south side and north side of the east wall respectively depict Vidudabha and Vaisravana, who protect the paradise of Buddhism....
The construction of this middle sized hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling was prior to the tenth year of Xiantong in the Late Tang (869) and it was renovated in the Five Dynasties.There is an ink inscription on the east wall above the entrance, which reads: "Spondored by Monk Suoyi, a Buddhist official from the Jinguangming Temple." There are altogether 10 sutra illustrations in the main chamber. The south and north sides out of the west niches repectively depict the illustrations of Samantabhadra and Manjusri. The upper part of the south wall is filled with the illustrations of the Lotus sutra, the Amitayur-dhyana Sutra, and the Maitreya sutra from west to east. The upper part of the north wall is filled with the Garland Sutra, Sutra of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra on the Questions of Devas, and The north and south of the entrance in the east wall are respectively the illustration of Vimalakirti sutra and Panikarasuttau sutra. The spaces below the illustrations on the south, north and east wall all are divided into three for four strips of screen paintings illustrating the stories in the corresponding sutras. The north and south walls of the corridor are painted with donor figures. The south and north side of the entrance wall in the front chamber respectively show the Virūdhaka (king of the south) and Vaisramana (King of the north).

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 012

  • DYNASTY::Late Tang Dynasty(A.D.827-859)
  • Summary:The construction of this middle sized hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling was prior to the tenth year of Xiantong in the Late Tang (869) and it was renovated in the Five Dynasties.There is an ink inscription on the east wall above the entrance, which reads: "Spondored by Monk Suoyi, a Buddhist official from the Jinguangming Temple." There are altogether 10 sutra illustrations in the main chamber. The south and north sides out of the west niches repectively depict the illustrations of Samantabhadra and Manjusri. The upper part of the south wall is filled with the illustrations of the Lotus sutra, the Amitayur-dhyana Sutra, and the Maitreya sutra from west to east. The upper part of the north wall is filled with the Garland Sutra, Sutra of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra on the Questions of Devas, and The north and south of the entrance in the east wall are respectively the illustration of Vimalakirti sutra and Panikarasuttau sutra. The spaces below the illustrations on the south, north and east wall all are divided into three for four strips of screen paintings illustrating the stories in the corresponding sutras. The north and south walls of the corridor are painted with donor figures. The south and north side of the entrance wall in the front chamber respectively show the Virūdhaka (king of the south) and Vaisramana (King of the north)....
Constructed between the fifth year of Dazhong era and the third year of Xiantong era (851-862), this cave served as a memorial cave for Hong Bian, a Monastic Official in Hexi region in the Late Tang dynasty. It is located in the north wall of the corridor of Cave 16 and was discovered by Taoist priest Wang Yuanlu who lived at Mogao in the 26th year of Guangxu era of the Qing dynsty (1900). It is called the Library Cave because there were over 50,000 cultural relics including Buddhist scriptures, social documents, silk paintings, embroideries, and Buddist utensils dating back to the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. The cave is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. There are no murals on the four slopes or the ceiling center. An octangular altar is built in front of the north wall, on which a statue of the monk, Hong Bian sits. The west wall contains a stele recording that Hong Bian was appointed the highest Buddhist official in Hexi region in the fifth year of Dazhong era (851). There is a painting of two trees of the Late Tang on the north wall. Under the tree on the west side is an standing upasika (holding a scepter and towel). A cloth bag is hung on the tree. Under the tree on the east side is a Buddhsit nun (bhiskuni, holding a silk fan), and a water kettle is hang on the tree. There are no wall paintings on the south and east walls, no corridor and no front chamber.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 017

  • DYNASTY::Late Tang Dynasty(A.D.827-859)
  • Summary:Constructed between the fifth year of Dazhong era and the third year of Xiantong era (851-862), this cave served as a memorial cave for Hong Bian, a Monastic Official in Hexi region in the Late Tang dynasty. It is located in the north wall of the corridor of Cave 16 and was discovered by Taoist priest Wang Yuanlu who lived at Mogao in the 26th year of Guangxu era of the Qing dynsty (1900). It is called the Library Cave because there were over 50,000 cultural relics including Buddhist scriptures, social documents, silk paintings, embroideries, and Buddist utensils dating back to the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. The cave is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. There are no murals on the four slopes or the ceiling center. An octangular altar is built in front of the north wall, on which a statue of the monk, Hong Bian sits. The west wall contains a stele recording that Hong Bian was appointed the highest Buddhist official in Hexi region in the fifth year of Dazhong era (851). There is a painting of two trees of the Late Tang on the north wall. Under the tree on the west side is an standing upasika (holding a scepter and towel). A cloth bag is hung on the tree. Under the tree on the east side is a Buddhsit nun (bhiskuni, holding a silk fan), and a water kettle is hang on the tree. There are no wall paintings on the south and east walls, no corridor and no front chamber....
Constructed in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling and has been badly damaged. There is a tent-like niche in the west wall, in which the original statues have been damaged. There is is a pattern composed of a crossed vajra and a medallion on the niche top. The west slope in the niche has a picture of three seated Buddhas (only two preserved) and an incarnated boy, the other four slopes each have a picture of three seated Buddhas. The west, north and south walls in the niche are divided into a upper section and a lower section. All the upper section exhibit a picture of three seated Buddhas, but on the west wall only two are preserved. The lower sections are all covered with screen paintings. The four screen paintings on the west show six disciples, while the six screen paintings on both the north and the south walls each has a bodhisattva. The brim of the niche is decorated with vines and pomegranate mofits. Below the niche is a votive text, flanked by one Buddhist monk, two nuns, two male donors and one female donor. The ceiling, east slope and south slope are severely damaged. The west side of the south wall is devoted to the illustration of the Medicine Buddha and the east side to the illustration of the Sutra on Devas' Questions. Below them are seven male donor figures. The west side of the south wall is covered with the illustration of the Amitabh sutra and the east side with the illustration of the Maitreya sutra (both incomplete). Below them are 10 female donor figures. On the north side of the entrance in the east wall is an illustration of Cintamani-cakra with two female donors below and on the south side is an illustration of Amogha-pasa (the upper part is lost) with three male donor figures below.  Notes: According to a a votive text below the west niche (now invisible), this cave was constructed in the 12th year of Xiantong era (871).

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 107

  • DYNASTY::Late Tang Dynasty(A.D.827-859)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling and has been badly damaged. There is a tent-like niche in the west wall, in which the original statues have been damaged. There is is a pattern composed of a crossed vajra and a medallion on the niche top. The west slope in the niche has a picture of three seated Buddhas (only two preserved) and an incarnated boy, the other four slopes each have a picture of three seated Buddhas. The west, north and south walls in the niche are divided into a upper section and a lower section. All the upper section exhibit a picture of three seated Buddhas, but on the west wall only two are preserved. The lower sections are all covered with screen paintings. The four screen paintings on the west show six disciples, while the six screen paintings on both the north and the south walls each has a bodhisattva. The brim of the niche is decorated with vines and pomegranate mofits. Below the niche is a votive text, flanked by one Buddhist monk, two nuns, two male donors and one female donor. The ceiling, east slope and south slope are severely damaged. The west side of the south wall is devoted to the illustration of the Medicine Buddha and the east side to the illustration of the Sutra on Devas' Questions. Below them are seven male donor figures. The west side of the south wall is covered with the illustration of the Amitabh sutra and the east side with the illustration of the Maitreya sutra (both incomplete). Below them are 10 female donor figures. On the north side of the entrance in the east wall is an illustration of Cintamani-cakra with two female donors below and on the south side is an illustration of Amogha-pasa (the upper part is lost) with three male donor figures below. Notes: According to a a votive text below the west niche (now invisible), this cave was constructed in the 12th year of Xiantong era (871)....
This cave was constructed in the Tang dynasty and its corridor was renovated in the Song dynasty. It has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a west niche. The ceiling of the main chamber features a medallion pattern formed by four cloud motifs and the draperies extend to the four slopes which are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs with a seated Buddha in the center. The tent-like ceiling of the west niche contains a five figure group: one Buddha, two bodhisattvas and two disciples. The U shaped altar has six small frames decorated with musicians. The center of the niche ceiling highlights a painted medallion. The west slope is decorated with draperies on the upper and two screen paintings below, which illustrate Buddha's life stories including the bathing scene of the prince by nine dragons. The north slope shows the same design as the south one, but the screen paintings illustrate the Three Assembly of Maitreya, namely the Maitreya sutra illustration. The edge of the niche is decorated with ocean pomegranate and twisted vines. On the upper of the niche are curtain designs with an apsara on each side. There is an adobe platform on each side alongside the niche, and there was originally a statue (now lost). Below the niche are images of Manjusri, Samantabhadra and Mt. Wutai.  Alongside the niche on the south side is an illustration of Samantabhadra, and on the opposite side is that of Manjusri. The south wall depicts the Diamond sutra illustration on the west side and the Amitayus sutra illustration on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). The north wall depicts the Panikarasuttau sutra illustration on the west side and that of the Medicine Buddha on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). On the east wall, the illustration of Defeating Mara is in the center above the entrance and the Maitreya sutra and Avalokitesvara illustrations are respectively on the south and north sides of the entrance.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 112

  • DYNASTY::Mid-Tang Dynasty(A.D.762-827)
  • Summary:This cave was constructed in the Tang dynasty and its corridor was renovated in the Song dynasty. It has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a west niche. The ceiling of the main chamber features a medallion pattern formed by four cloud motifs and the draperies extend to the four slopes which are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs with a seated Buddha in the center. The tent-like ceiling of the west niche contains a five figure group: one Buddha, two bodhisattvas and two disciples. The U shaped altar has six small frames decorated with musicians. The center of the niche ceiling highlights a painted medallion. The west slope is decorated with draperies on the upper and two screen paintings below, which illustrate Buddha's life stories including the bathing scene of the prince by nine dragons. The north slope shows the same design as the south one, but the screen paintings illustrate the Three Assembly of Maitreya, namely the Maitreya sutra illustration. The edge of the niche is decorated with ocean pomegranate and twisted vines. On the upper of the niche are curtain designs with an apsara on each side. There is an adobe platform on each side alongside the niche, and there was originally a statue (now lost). Below the niche are images of Manjusri, Samantabhadra and Mt. Wutai. Alongside the niche on the south side is an illustration of Samantabhadra, and on the opposite side is that of Manjusri. The south wall depicts the Diamond sutra illustration on the west side and the Amitayus sutra illustration on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). The north wall depicts the Panikarasuttau sutra illustration on the west side and that of the Medicine Buddha on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). On the east wall, the illustration of Defeating Mara is in the center above the entrance and the Maitreya sutra and Avalokitesvara illustrations are respectively on the south and north sides of the entrance....
The hall cave was sponsored by the couple of Cao Yuanzhong, military governor of the Gui-yi-jun regime as their family temple in the tenth century, part of the murals were renovated in the Song dynasty. It is located at the lower level on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao and it is one of the largest caves at Mogao, consisting of a front chamber, a corridor and a main chamber. There is a two-stepped central altar in the center of the hall. It is called the hall of Manjusri in Dunhuang documents. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling, and the ceiling center features a large parasol motif, in the center of the parasol are five lotuses, a entwining dragon and parrots. On the four slopes are preaching scenes surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The four arch recesses in the four corners of the ceiling respectively depict the four great heavenly kings, namely, Dhrtarastra in the southeast recess, Virudhaka (mostly damaged) in southwest, Virupaksa in the northwest, and Vaisravana in the northeast recess. On the south, north, and east walls are eleven sutra illustration altogether and below these illustrations are Buddha's life stories and donor figures. The whole west wall is covered with a large-sized map of Mt Wutai (13 meters long and 3.6 meters high). On the upper part of each sidewall are five sutra illustrations, below them are thirty-three screen paintings illustrating Buddha's life stories. There are also tens of donor figures of the Cao family and inscriptions preserved on the east, north and south walls. The statues on the central altar are completely destroyed, only the traces of the paws of a lion can be seen on the back screen on which traces of some images are visible. On the upper part of the east wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration and below are donor figures. On the ceiling of the corridor is a six-fold medallion pattern with draperies on the two slopes. On the south and north walls of the corridor are images of Tejaprobaha Buddha and Eleven Star Gods, the zodiac, and alms-begging monks and nuns. There are inscriptions in both Tangut and Chinese. In the Yuan dynasty, the Huangqing Temple was built in front of the cave, which was renovated in 1351 by Suleiman Khan, King of Xining.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 061

  • DYNASTY::Five Dynasties(A.D.907-960)
  • Summary:The hall cave was sponsored by the couple of Cao Yuanzhong, military governor of the Gui-yi-jun regime as their family temple in the tenth century, part of the murals were renovated in the Song dynasty. It is located at the lower level on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao and it is one of the largest caves at Mogao, consisting of a front chamber, a corridor and a main chamber. There is a two-stepped central altar in the center of the hall. It is called the hall of Manjusri in Dunhuang documents. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling, and the ceiling center features a large parasol motif, in the center of the parasol are five lotuses, a entwining dragon and parrots. On the four slopes are preaching scenes surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The four arch recesses in the four corners of the ceiling respectively depict the four great heavenly kings, namely, Dhrtarastra in the southeast recess, Virudhaka (mostly damaged) in southwest, Virupaksa in the northwest, and Vaisravana in the northeast recess. On the south, north, and east walls are eleven sutra illustration altogether and below these illustrations are Buddha's life stories and donor figures. The whole west wall is covered with a large-sized map of Mt Wutai (13 meters long and 3.6 meters high). On the upper part of each sidewall are five sutra illustrations, below them are thirty-three screen paintings illustrating Buddha's life stories. There are also tens of donor figures of the Cao family and inscriptions preserved on the east, north and south walls. The statues on the central altar are completely destroyed, only the traces of the paws of a lion can be seen on the back screen on which traces of some images are visible. On the upper part of the east wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration and below are donor figures. On the ceiling of the corridor is a six-fold medallion pattern with draperies on the two slopes. On the south and north walls of the corridor are images of Tejaprobaha Buddha and Eleven Star Gods, the zodiac, and alms-begging monks and nuns. There are inscriptions in both Tangut and Chinese. In the Yuan dynasty, the Huangqing Temple was built in front of the cave, which was renovated in 1351 by Suleiman Khan, King of Xining....
This cave was constructed in the later period when Guazhou was ruled by the Western Xia. With the diversified contents and art of both exotic and esoteric Buddhism, supported respectively by Chinese and the Tibetans, it is a most representative cave with the most matured and unique art. The cave is rectangular in plan with a dome ceiling. In the central back is an octangular altar with three steps on which stand a few statues of the Qing dynasty. The lower parts of the four walls are platforms of double steps built in the Qing dynasty, on which stand the statues of eighteen arhats. The ceiling is covered with a Mandala: in the center are five Buddhas of five directions. The middle part of the east wall is used for depicting Buddha's life stories, and on the two sides are a mandala of fifty-one headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of exotic Buddhism, a garbhadhatu-mandala of the esoteric Buddhism, and an illustration of the Sutra on Deva's Questions of exotic Buddhism. On the south wall, starting from the east, are a mandala, the Amitayus sutra illustration and a mandala. The north wall is in the same composition: a mandala, a pure land illustration and a mandala. On the space above the entrance in the west wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration, and the both sides of the entrance are respectively used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. The north and south walls of the corridor are occupied by donor figures.

Guazhou Yulin Grottoes Cave 003

  • DYNASTY::Western Xia Regime(A.D.1038-1227)
  • Summary:This cave was constructed in the later period when Guazhou was ruled by the Western Xia. With the diversified contents and art of both exotic and esoteric Buddhism, supported respectively by Chinese and the Tibetans, it is a most representative cave with the most matured and unique art. The cave is rectangular in plan with a dome ceiling. In the central back is an octangular altar with three steps on which stand a few statues of the Qing dynasty. The lower parts of the four walls are platforms of double steps built in the Qing dynasty, on which stand the statues of eighteen arhats. The ceiling is covered with a Mandala: in the center are five Buddhas of five directions. The middle part of the east wall is used for depicting Buddha's life stories, and on the two sides are a mandala of fifty-one headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of exotic Buddhism, a garbhadhatu-mandala of the esoteric Buddhism, and an illustration of the Sutra on Deva's Questions of exotic Buddhism. On the south wall, starting from the east, are a mandala, the Amitayus sutra illustration and a mandala. The north wall is in the same composition: a mandala, a pure land illustration and a mandala. On the space above the entrance in the west wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration, and the both sides of the entrance are respectively used for the illustrations of Manjusri and Samantabhadra. The north and south walls of the corridor are occupied by donor figures....
Constructed in the Yuan dynasty (A.D.1279-1368), this is a small hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling whose center in bas relief is a design of four painted dragons  (the central part is damaged) . The four slopes are covered with  connected fountain patterns (those on the east slope are partially lost and those on the north and south slopes are blurred); and the west niche contains an eight-armed Avalokitesvara of the Qing dynasty. In the center of the south wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. Each of the upper corners is filled with an apsara. The east side of the central Avalokitesvara has an image of Indra above a seated deva and the opposite west side has a seated deva above Brahma. In the center of the north wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. The east side of the central image depicts Vasistha above the images of a three-headed and six-armed guarding warrior and pig-headed Vinayaka, and the opposite west side show Lakşmī above a three-headed eight-armed guarding warrior and Elephant-headed Vinayaka. Each of the upper corner is filled with an apsara. The space above the entrance  displays five seated Buddhas. On the north side of the entrance wall is a scene of Avalokitesvara offering treasures to the poor, and on the south side of the entrance is a scene of Avalokitesvara with a bottle in hand giving water to the hungry ghosts. There is no corridor and front-chamber.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Cave 003

  • DYNASTY::Yuan dynasty (A.D.1279-1368)
  • Summary:Constructed in the Yuan dynasty (A.D.1279-1368), this is a small hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling whose center in bas relief is a design of four painted dragons (the central part is damaged) . The four slopes are covered with connected fountain patterns (those on the east slope are partially lost and those on the north and south slopes are blurred); and the west niche contains an eight-armed Avalokitesvara of the Qing dynasty. In the center of the south wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. Each of the upper corners is filled with an apsara. The east side of the central Avalokitesvara has an image of Indra above a seated deva and the opposite west side has a seated deva above Brahma. In the center of the north wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. The east side of the central image depicts Vasistha above the images of a three-headed and six-armed guarding warrior and pig-headed Vinayaka, and the opposite west side show Lakşmī above a three-headed eight-armed guarding warrior and Elephant-headed Vinayaka. Each of the upper corner is filled with an apsara. The space above the entrance displays five seated Buddhas. On the north side of the entrance wall is a scene of Avalokitesvara offering treasures to the poor, and on the south side of the entrance is a scene of Avalokitesvara with a bottle in hand giving water to the hungry ghosts. There is no corridor and front-chamber....