Buddhist Sites of North China:
Luoyang City ( 洛陽 Luòyáng)
and
Datong City (大同) of Shanxi Province
Scraps from My Visit, June 1983   
a typical north-China temple, of the Huayan (華嚴 Ch: Huáyán, K: Hwaeom, J: Kegon, Sanskrit: Avatamsaka) Sect of
Mahayana Buddhism philosophy that flourished in China during the Tang period. The name “Flower Garland” refers to an inter-
woven chain of Lotus Blossoms, symbols of Enlightenment, and is meant to suggest the crowning glory of profound wisdom.
The Yungang Grottoes (雲崗石窟 Yúngāng Shíkū), a UNESCO World Heritage Site
of excellent ancient Buddhist temple-caves about 16 km southwest of Datong at the base of the Wuzhou-shan
Mountains, are another excellent example of rock-cut Chinese architecture.  They were built between 460-525 CE
during the Northern Wei Dynasty, and include 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues or carvings.
The Longmen Grottoes (龍門石窟 Dragon's Gate Caves), located 12 km south of Luoyang in
Henan Province. These famous Buddhist grottoes are densely dotted along the two mountains Xiang-shan
(to the east) and Longmen-shan (to the west) for about one km north-to-south; the Yi River flows northward
between them towards the Yellow River.  This is one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in
China, along with Mogao and Yungang.  There are 2345 caves and niches, 2800 inscriptions, 43 pagodas
and over 100,000 Buddhist images here.  30% of the caves date from the Northern Wei Dynasty, 60%
from the Tang Dynasty, and less than 10% from other periods.  Pictured above is the Fengxian Cave, the
most famous one, featuring an excellent Buddha-head modeled after a Queen of Tang.
These are pages from the photo-diary notebook I created during my epic six-week
exploration of Mainland China's most famous places, in May-June of 1983
Baima-si [白馬寺 Báimǎ Sì / Baekma-sa / White Horse Temple], in Luoyang City by the
Yellow River, known as the first Buddhist temple built in the ancient Chinese
area,
founded in the year 68 CE, when Luoyang was capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty.