Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Longmen Grottoes

Waitng area at Beijing West Railway Station

Theresa and Greg arrived the day after Ed and Nancy left. That weekend we took a high speed train to Luoyang.

Here is a shot of one of the waiting areas in the Beijing West Rail Station. This was a 16 car train that carries about 1300 passengers.

Grave mounds in Hebei Province in China

I took a few pictures out the window as we went along. This isn't as easy as it sounds. At 180 mph you don't have much time to frame the shot, focus and push the button.

The mounds of earth are graves.

These workers are planting something. A lot of polyethylene is used to manage moisture, weeds, ettc.

We passed this outdoor concrete sewer pipe factory.

High speed railway construction in China

At one point they were building a new rail line. I can't figure out exactly the sequence of operations to put the new sections of track support in place.

There are major infrastructure projects like this in progress all over China.

Vendor on rail station platform in China

At one of the stops I spotted this vendor on the platform.

After the train trip we had a short ride to the grottoes. This family was getting organized to take a group photo. The little girls were really cute in their fascinators.

Niches at Longmen Grottoes

Here is a look at some of the grottoes. These were carved over a long period from 493 AD to 1127 AD. The niches contain Buddha statues.

Niches and crowds at Longmen Grottoes

The Longmen Grottoes are one of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. They attract a lot of visitors.

Large Buddha carvings at Longmen Grottoes

There are about 1400 niches and over 100,000 Buddha carvings. The statues range in size from 1 inch to 57 feet.

Work on the statues in this area started in 672 and took about 4 years to complete.

Bodhisattva at Longmen Grottoes

The Bodhisattva is decorated with a crown and pearls.

Large Buddha carvings at Longmen Grottoes

You can get a better sense of scale in this picture. The Vairocana Buddha in the center is 57 feet tall.

Here is a shot of Greg, Theresa, Margot and me.

You can learn more here ---> Longmen Grottoes

This little girl wanted Greg's autograph. I assume she was looking for proof to show her English teacher that she had practiced her English with a native speaker. I have never had this experience in Beijing but this happened several times in Luoyang.

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