Posted by: Waheeda Harris | June 6, 2014

Datong: from grottoes to mountain temple

The city of Datong is a busy place:

china - datong freeway

but its the nearby attractions that make it a must-stop for travel in northern China – first stop: Hidden Grottoes of Yungang:

China - Datong grotto entrance

The entrance is a reconstructed area – done to imitate the past. But its the original statues, carved by locals and hidden within caves that date back to 450 AD:

And to demonstrate scaleĀ – here’s an image that shows how large these statues are:

China - Datong grotto

 

After a morning spent learning about the history of the Yungang Caves – it was on to another amazing creation – the Hanging Temple:

China - Hanging Temple

A monastery dedicated to three beliefs – Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism – it dates back 1500 years.

And although the narrow walkways are 50 to 60 metres above a river valley, its well worth climbing the stairs up and up and up to see this unique temple, which was occupied until the 1990s. But I don’t know if I would have leaned out to leave a donation:

China - Hidden Temple donations

Seeing these places reminded me again of not only how old the culture and history is in China but of devotion – for those who have faith.

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