The Mogao Caves or Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 492 temples 25 km (16 miles) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The caves may also be known as the Dunhuang Caves, however, this term is also used to include other Buddhist cave sites in the Dunhuang area, such as the Western Thousand Buddha Caves, and the Yulin Caves farther away. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out 366 CE as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China.
See also the previous post: Savior of Turfan.
Art: John Cullen Murphy (from installment #2677, May 29, 1988).
Text: Cullen Murphy.
Source: The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion – Brian M. Kane (Fantagraphics Books, 2009).