Lóngmén Shíku

Longmen Grottoes - Dragon Gate Grottoes

Useful Information

Image: massive Buddhist sculptures in the main grotto. Image by Alex Kwok who released it into the public domain.
Location: 12km south of Luoyang, the capital of Henan Province.
Open: MAR to OCT daily 7-19:50.
NOV to FEB daily 7:30-18:50.
Fee: Adults CNY 120.
Classification: ExplainCave Church, Buddhist cave temples
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=1,000m.
Guided tours:  
Address: Longmen Grottoes, Lóngmén Shíku Development Co., Luoyang City, Henan, Tel: +86-379-5980186, Tel: +86-379-5980156.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


493 start of the construction of the grottoes.
2000 inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Image: massive Buddhist sculptures in the main grotto. Image by Ishai Bar who released it into the public domain.
Image: massive Buddhist sculptures in the main grotto. Public Domain.

The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain Buddhist sculptures created from the Northern Wei Dynasty to the Northern Song Dynasty (493-1127). It started when Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty moved his capital to Luoyang. The grottoes depict Buddhist subjects overwhelmingly. There are 2,345 caves and niches, 2,800 inscriptions, 43 pagodas and over 100,000 Buddhist images. The grottoes are located along the Yi River, especially in an area where the river cut into the two mountains Xiangshan to the east and Longmenshan to the west. The wide gorge is called Yique (The Gate of the Yi River).

Longmen Grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China, the other two are Mogao and Yungang. The caves are not really developed, and it is not possible to enter them. On the other side the site is well developed, there are paths and - as the caves are pretty shallow - it is sufficient to see them from the paths and from special viewing platforms. Binoculars might be a good idea though.