Longmen Grottoes is another city in China that suffered at the hands of the Japanese soldiers.


Hundreds of Buddhas & stone statutes carved by hand in The Longmen Grottoes. #Luoyang #China #travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

The Longmen Grottoes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Luoyang. It is populated from top to bottom in carvings, engravings and sculptures of Buddha and his disciples. In a single sentence on a board by the entrance gate to the Longmen Grottoes, it states that Japanese soldiers chopped off the heads of the stone statues of religious idols. These pieces are probably sitting in some museum in Japan right now.

The Longmen Grottoes sit on the sides of two mountains – the Xiangshan (to the east) and the Longmenshan (to the west) – with the Yi River flowing between them. To get to the other side of the mountain, you have to cross a bridge at the end of the grottoes.

It’s hard to imagine the painstaking work involved in carving these masterpieces by hand. What’s more astonishing is that these sculptures were made before the use of modern tools. In 493 the people of Henan Province began sculpting them with only a chisel and a religious soul. The carvings are meticulously detailed. The precision is jaw dropping. It must be devastating to have such devotion and dedication destroyed.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.