What You May Want To Know About Silk Road And Dunhuang Mogao Caves

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 500 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the centre of Dunhuang, an oasis located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China.


Dunhuang was established as a frontier garrison outpost by the Han Dynasty Emperor Wudi to protect against the Xiongnu in 111 BC. It also became an important gateway to the West, a centre of commerce along the Silk Road, as well as a meeting place of various people and religions such as Buddhism.

The more than 500 Buddhist caves dug out of the mountains centuries earlier near Dunhuang look ordinary from outside. But housing more than 50,000 square meters of gorgeous murals, they are a rare gem in the world’s history of art. Following the example of Indians, some Chinese Buddhist believers began to dig caves on mountains near Dunhuang around the middle of the fourth century to house Buddhist statues and for meditation.

Most cave owners or patrons also had the inside walls and ceilings of their caves painted with religious images and stories. And this tradition extended for more than 1,000 years.

Early murals there show a salient influence from India and Central Asia in terms of both content and painting techniques.

The art of Dunhuang covers more than ten major genres, such as architecture, stucco sculpture, wall paintings, silk paintings, calligraphy, woodblock printing, embroidery, literature, music and dance, and popular entertainment.

Details of painting of the meeting of Manjusri and Vimalakirti. Cave 159.

Deer King Jataka, Cave No. 257, Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534)

The mixture art style of Dunhuang has inspired designers until today. Light Stone’s Silk Road Collection has got inspirations from Dunhuang Art, and turned them into daily wear jewelry. We hope we could present you a small corner of such timeless beauty through our jewelry collection and bring good luck and positive energy.

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