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Longmen Grottoes

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Opening Hours of the Longmen Caves Opening Hours

8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
(April 1st - October 7th) *
8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(October 8th - October 31st)
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(November - January)
8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(February - March)
* 7:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. during national May and October holidays and Friday - Sunday of Luoyang Peony Culture Festival

Admission Ticket Prices Admission Fees

90 Yuan
includes grottoes on eastern & western side of the river, Xiangshan Temple, Bai Garden

Tickets sold until 1 hour before closing time

The Longmen Grottoes (a.k.a. Longmen Caves) are located about 12 km south of the city of Luoyang (Henan province). About 2,300 caves and niches have been carved into the limestone cliffs along a 1 km stretch on both sides of the Yi River there. The caves and niches contain Buddhist cave art of outstanding artistic quality (including about 110,000 Buddhist stone statues) from the time of the Six dynasties and the Tang dynasty. It is therefore well-deserved that the Longmen Grottoes are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Among the currently 53 historic sights in China that are on that list, there are only two other Buddhist cave complexes. These are the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang and the Yungang Caves near Datong. All three Buddhist cave complexes should ideally be on the itinerary of travellers that are interested in Chinese history.

The carving of the Longmen Grottoes began in 493 AD during the time of the Northern Wei dynasty (one of the short-lived dynasties during the period of the Six dynasties). About 30% of the caves date from this period. Few new caves were created during the Sui dynasty and the early part of the Tang dynasty (524 AD - 626 AD). Then buddhism began to flourish in Tang China and most caves in the complex were created during this period (626 AD - mid-8th century). The creation of new grottoes then began to decline and eventually came to an end in 1127 AD during the period of the Northern Song dynasty. Altogether, about 60% of all the caves of the Longmen Grottoes were created during the time of the Tang dynasty.

The most important grottoes of the complex are all located along the western bank of the Yi River. These include the Fengxian Temple, Wanfo Cave (Ten-Thousand-Buddha Cave), Guyang Cave (Old Sun Cave), Binyang Cave and Lotus Cave (Lianhua Cave). Along the eastern bank of the river exist a few smaller grottoes as well as the Xiangshan Temple and the Bai Garden. There are two bridges to cross from the western to the eastern side of the cave complex and vice versa. Xiangshan Temple is the most important (and one of the oldest) of the 10 Buddhist temples at the site of the Longmen Caves. Some of its structures still date from the time of its reconstruction during the Qing dynasty. The Bai Garden is a landscape garden that was built in 1985 around the tomb of the Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi.

Of all the grottoes at Longmen, the Fengxian Temple is by far the largest. Its nine carved figures can be clearly seen even from the other side of the river. Among them, the 57 feet tall (17.14 m) Vairocana Buddha at the center is the tallest of all the figures at the Longmen Grottoes. The Wanfo Cave is famous for the 15,000 small Buddha statues that are chiseled into its northern and southern walls. It also contains lifelike reliefs of singers and dancers. Both the Fengxian Temple and the Wanfo Cave were built during the Tang dynasty.

The Guyang Cave, Binyang Cave and Lotus Cave were all built during the period of the Northern Wei. The Guyang Cave is in fact the oldest cave at the Longmen Caves. It contains hundreds of statues and many famous calligraphic inscriptions. The very large Buddhist sculptures that are found in the North, Middle and South Binyang Cave are all characteristic of the Northern Wei style. The Lotus Cave got its name from the amazing high relief carving on its ceiling. It depicts a highly detailed lotus flower of huge size that is surrounded by six flying musicians. There are many more caves to be visited in addition to the ones mentioned on this page. The Longmen Grottoes are a truly great place to visit to not only learn about the development of Buddhism in China but also about various cultural aspects such as the music, calligraphy, clothing, medicine etc. of these historic times.

view of Fengxian Temple, the largest grotto of the Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang
view of Fengxian Temple, the largest grotto of the Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang, from the other side of the Yi River

Getting there and nearby Hotels

How to get there?

Longmen Grottoes
13 Long Men Zhong Jie
Luolong district
Luoyang, Henan province
China

Telephone Number +86 379 6598 0972

nearest airport Luoyang Beijiao Airport (LYA)

nearest railway stations Luoyang Longmen Railway Station, Luoyang Railway Station

public bus stop Longmen Shiku Station
bus lines: 53/K53, 60/K60, 71, 81/K81, 99/K99, 167
bus line from Luoyang Longmen Railway Station: 71
bus line from Luoyang Railway Station: K81

nearby Hotels Hotels

The hotels underneath are listed by their increasing distance from the Longmen Caves:

1. Dongshan Hotel
Dongshan, Longmen
0.4 miles away

2. Holiday Inn Express Luoyang Yichuan
Crossing of Binhe Avenue and Yugang Avenue
1.8 miles away

3. Yijun Building
No.583 Luomen Avenue
3.4 miles away

4. Hotel Vanlee ZS
Intersection of Longmen Avenue and Cuiyun East Road
4.0 miles away

5. Jumei Fashion Hotel
Cuiyun East Road
4.0 miles away

6. Lanpu Hotel
Block F Baolong City Plaza, Crossing of Kaiyuan Avenue and Houzaimen Street
4.6 miles away

7. Mudu Lee Royal International Hotel
No.239 Kaiyuan Avenue
4.9 miles away

8. Jinguang Express Luoyang Hengsheng Science and Technology Park
Intersection of Kaiyuan Avenue and Huitong Street
5.0 miles away

9. Holiday Inn Express Luoyang City Center
No.28 Jinchenzhai Street
5.0 miles away

10. 7 Days Inn Luoyang Longmen Shiku Kaiyuan Avenue
No.74 Kaiyuan Avenue
5.1 miles away

11. Dinisi Hotel Luoyang Kaiyuan
Kaiyuan Avenue
5.2 miles away

12. Waku Yushe Hotel
East 50M South Crossing of Taikang Road and Wangchunmen Street
5.3 miles away

13. Yaxiang Jinling Hotel Luoyang
Wangcheng Avenue and Taikang Road
5.4 miles away