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Mogao Grottoes
莫高窟mò gāo kū

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Located just outside Dunhuang, China, is the site of the Mogao Grottoes (caves / caverns). Numbering 492 grottoes so far, Mogao is considered by many as the "spirtual stopover" for travellers along the Silk Road. In addition to housing more than 2000 sculptures of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, guardians and devotees, a staggering 45,000 square meters of the surfaces in these grottoes are covered with Buddhist paintings. Of these, there are more than 4500 images of flying asparas (found in 270 of the grottoes), more than 3400 pictures of musicians and dancers, 500 bands and at least 6000 musical instruments. 
   
At the heart of the Mogao Grottoes is the 35m tall statue of a female Buddha - the Female Emperor 
Wu Zetian 武 则天 wǔ zé tiān.

The caves in Mogao functioned as dormitories, mediation chambers and places for the dead. Examples of the numbered grottoes are listed here:         

Grotto No. Description
2 part of the Eastern thousand Buddhas grottoes;
scantily clad Bodhisattvas in tight half shirts and mini skirts dancing under a Banyan tree
3 painting of Sahasrabhuja Image
16
two Song Dynasty paintings show Bodhisattvas on a journey 
17 the Library Cave
112 39 dancers and musicians;
flying aspara playing the pipa behind her back
nicknamed "The Music Grotto"
257 Northern Wei Dynastyshowing the Buddhist story "Nine Colour Deer Script"
285
Couple of naked flying apsaras 
303 7 layer conical tower converted from a central tower pillar ;
murals of the Sui 
Dynasty
244, 280, 282, 287, 293, 295, 297, 302, 303, 305,  312, 419, 427, examples of the 80-odd grottoes carved during the Sui Dynasty

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