Yungang Grottoes monastery, (near) Yungang, Shanxi, CN

Raw data

"Other examples for the solitary monasteries are Yungang 雲崗石窟 near Datong/Shanxi,"

"Not to be missed are the Yungang Grottoes located at the southern foot of Wuzhou Mountain fifteen kilometers west of Datong. The grottoes stretch for a whole kilometer from east to west. There are 53 grottoes and 1,100 niches, with about 51, 000 statues.
Legend says that in A.D. 446 during the Northern Wei Dynasty, Emperor Tai Wu suddenly renounced Buddhism and ordered that it be eradicated: monks and nuns were forced to resume secular life, and Buddhist monasteries and pagodas were burned down. Soon after he had launched this first "campaign to eradicate Buddhism" in Chinese history, Emperor Tai Wu fell ill and died. His grandson, Emperor Wen Cheng [Emperor Wencheng (r. 452-465)], took his sudden death as a sign of retribution. Wen Cheng therefore did his best to reinstitution Buddhism. Monk Yun Yao, who was then in charge of Buddhist affairs in China, was entrusted with the project of building grottoes at the foot of Wu Zhou Mountain. He conscripted a labor force of 10,000 men, and five grottoes were hewn in five years to commemorate the five emperors who had reigned since the founding of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The project was discontinued when Emperor Xiao Wen moved the capital from Datong to Lupyang. It is believed that the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang were a continuation of the Yungang Grottoes project."
Input by: tmciolek, Dec 16, 2009

"The Yungang Grottoes (simplified Chinese: 云冈石窟) are ancient Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the Chinese province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao.
The site is located about 16 km south-west of the city, in the valley of the Shi Li river at the base of the Wuzhou Shan mountains. The grottoes were mainly constructed in the period between 460-525 AD during the Northern Wei dynasty. They are an outstanding example of the Chinese stone carvings from the 5th and 6th centuries. All together the site is composed of 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes. In 2001, the Yungang Grottoes were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site"
Input by: tmciolek, Jul 26, 2011

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 31 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Yungang monastery, CN.

General location of the Yungang Grottoes monastery, CN.
Lat 40.1137 Long 113.1345
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=40.1137,113.1345&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Shanxi Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 40.1137 Long 113.1345 - visual identification of the grottoes' site in - tmciolek, 29 Dec 2009.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag: 0433-66p 0467-99p - tmciolek 31 Jul 2014
0433-66p 0467-99p 0500-32p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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