MOGAO Caves or Mogao Grottoes form a system of 492 temples 25km southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China on the edges of the Taklamakan Desert.
The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. Construction of the Buddhist cave shrines began in 366 CE as places to store scriptures and art.
In the early 1900s, a Chinese Taoist named Wang Yuanlu appointed himself guardian of some of these temples. Wang discovered a walled up area behind one side of a corridor leading to a main cave. Behind the wall was a small cave stuffed with an enormous hoard of manuscripts dating from 406 to 1002 CE.
Mogao Caves travel, Dunhuang tourism, China Tourist Attractions
Rumors of this discovery brought several European expeditions to the area by 1910. These included a joint British/Indian group led by Aurel Stein (who took hundreds of copies of the Diamond Sutra because he was unable to read Chinese), a French expedition under Paul Pelliot, a Japanese expedition under Otani Kozui which arrived after the Chinese government's forcesand a Russian expedition under Sergei F. Mogao Caves, Oldenburg which found the least. Pelloit was interested in the more unusual and exotic of Wang's manuscripts such as those dealing with the administration and financing of the monastery and associated lay men's groups.
Mogao Caves travel
The remaining Chinese manuscripts were sent to Beijing at the order of the Chinese government. The mass of Tibetan manuscripts remained at the sites. Wang embarked on an ambitious refurbishment of the temples, funded in part by solicited donations from neighboring towns and in part by donations from Stein and Pelliot.Ayers Rock
Mogao Caves attractions
Mogao Caves tourism
Mogao Caves travel
Today, the Dunhuang tourism site is the subject of an ongoing archaeological project. The Mogao Caves became one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.
To have a better understanding of thoses embarrassed rumors, let's refer to a prose called "Daoist Pagoda" written by Yu Qiuyu.