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DUNHUANG ART


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Cave Nos. [ 1 - 50   |  51 - 100  |  101 - 150  |  151 - 200  |  201 - 250 ]

[ 251 - 300   |  301 - 350  |  351 - 400  |  401 - 450  |  451 - 492 ]


A Glimpse of the Mogao Caves

 

Cave No. 201

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during Song).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling has half of the remains of a portrait of Avalokite¿vara drawn during Song; painted on the south slope are six sitting Buddhas, while the north slope features five sitting Buddhas both drawn during Song. The north and south walls have faded pictures of Avalokite¿vara respectively (one with eleven-heads) both drawn during Song.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has floral designs in the centre; the four slopes have decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall shows a bodhi-ratna canopy, clouds and two flying figures. The middle portion of the north and south walls illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru and sixteen meditations on the two sides. The east and west ends of the north wall have Avalokite¿vara and KÀitigarbhas respectively. The east and the west ends of the south wall feature Avalokite¿vara and KÀitigarbhas respectively. At the lower level are the donors drawn during Song. Above the entrance of the east wall are three preaching scenes. On the south and north sides of the entrance are paintings of Vir£dhaka and Vai¿rava¸a respectively both drawn during Song.

Cave No. 202

Period of Construction: Early and Middle Tang (renovated during Song and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The space above the entrance on the west wall is covered by portraits of seven Buddhas; an invocation is inscribed above these Buddha figures. On either side is Vai¿rava¸a attending Nata's sermon. On each of the north and south sides is the figure of a devar¡ja. The north and south walls illustrate the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra with Maµju¿r¢ on the south and Vimalak¢rti on the north both drawn during Song.

Corridor: The corridor ceiling has KÀitigarbha and the ten kings of hell in the centre. Both the north and south slopes display four standing BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas and a bodhisattva. The north and south walls both exhibit sitting Buddhas and a donor drawn during Song.

Main Hall: The ceiling shows a round petalled lotus in the centre; the four slopes have decorative hangings and twelve celestial musicians hovering around, miniature Buddhas with a preaching scene in the centre drawn during Song. The niche on the west wall has statues of cross-legged sitting Buddha, two each of disciples, bodhisattvas and Vajra warriors cast in Early Tang. Inside the niche there is a depiction of Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra painted in Early Tang with Early and Middle Tang paintings of disciples, bodhisattvas on its west wall. Outside there is Maµju¿r¢ with a devar¡ja on the south and Samantabhadra and a devar¡ja on the north. The south wall illustrates the Paradise of Maitreya drawn during Middle Tang. Below it is an inscribed invocation. On either side are heavenly musicians, further below are fourteen attending bodhisattvas painted in Song. There is a painting of a five-hundred year old woman getting married on the right corner. The north wall features Buddhas of ten directions attending a meeting; a ratna-pool with two celestial musicians on the sides. At the lower level are seen thirteen attending bodhisattvas drawn during Song. Above the entrance of the east wall is a preaching scene drawn in Early Tang. On its south is illustrated the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra and on its north, the Amit¡bha-S£tra, both painted during Middle Tang. To the south of the entrance is the portrait of Vir£dhaka drawn in Middle Tang, below this portrait are the figures of five attending bodhisattvas drawn during Song. To the north of the entrance is the portrait of Vai¿rava¸a and below it are the figures of four attending bodhisattvas drawn during Song.

Cave No. 203

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during Song).

Contents: Ante-room: Above the doorway of the west wall is inscribed an invocation which had been rewritten during Song. On both sides are scenes of Vai¿rava¸a attending Nata's sermon. To the north and south of the entrance illustrations of Vimalak¢rti S£tra showing Vimalak¢rti and Ma¸ju¿r¢ respectively drawn during Song.

Corridor: The centre of the ceiling has a painting drawn in Song. Both the north and south slopes have five sitting Buddhas. The north and south walls feature a female and a male donor respectively drawn in Song.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has the lotus designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall has statues of standing Buddha leaning on a mountain and two bodhisattvas carved during Early Tang. On both sides of the V¢ra platform at a lower level are two lions each and on the platform are the statues of two V¢ras cast in Song. The north and south walls have preaching scenes with miniature Buddhas and flying figures on either side. Above the entrance on the east wall are four rows of miniature Buddhas, a set of seven Buddhas and offering of vessels drawn in Song. On the south and north sides of the entrance are two devar¡jas drawn in Early Tang, a bodhisattva and a male donor drawn during Song.

Cave No. 204

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties, Song and Qing Dynasties).

Contents: Ante-room: Paintings of the Five Dynasties around the entrance on the west wall are damaged. To the north is a scene of N¡gar¡jas paying homage to Buddha.

Main Hall: The centre of the caisson ceiling shows four flying figures and lotus designs, the four slopes have decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall contains statues of cross-legged sitting Buddha, two disciples, four bodhisattvas. There are miniature Buddhas painted on the south and north walls with the preaching scene in the centre. Above the entrance on the east wall are miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 205

Period of Construction: Early and High Tang (renovated during Middle Tang and the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling has a portrait of Ma¸ju¿r¢ with thousand hands and bowls in each hand drawn during the Five Dynasties. The south and north sides feature portraits of Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara and Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara. Above the entrance on the west wall is an invocation inscribed during the Five Dynasties; on either side is a bodhisattva. On the south side of the entrance is illustrated the Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara S£tra having Aj¡ta¿atru on its north side and the sixteen meditations on its south side. To the north of the entrance is illustrated the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra with nine inauspicious deaths to its south and the twelve great vows to its north. The south wall features the Devat¡-S£tra and the north wall features a partial s£tra illustration.

Corridor: The ceiling shows Peacock King. On the slopes are decorative hangings. The south wall shows donor Cao Yijin and his attendants while the north displays the Uighur Princess Madam Li (Cao's wife) and her female attendants, all figures have faded. These paintings were drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: Placed on the central altar are statues of cross-legged sitting Buddha, two disciples, two bodhisattvas and two bodhisattvas cast in Early Tang and two statues of devar¡jas cast in Middle Tang. The ceiling has the three rabbits (joining as one) designs drawn in Early Tang; on the four slopes are the miniature Buddhas painted during Early Tang. The west wall features the Paradise of Maitreya drawn in Middle Tang; there are twenty-four male donors at the lower level. On the south side is a portrait of Ma¸ju¿r¢ drawn in Middle Tang; below this are portraits of Avalokite¿vara, a female donor and an attendant drawn in High Tang. The north side has a portrait of Samantabhadra drawn in Middle Tang; figures of Avalokite¿vara, a female donor and an attendant from High Tang are painted below. From east to west on the south wall is a preaching scene drawn during High Tang, an illustration of the Amit¡bha-S£tra painted during High Tang; the portraits of BhaiÀajyaguru, Avalokite¿vara and KÀitigarbha are shown below. The north wall illustrates from west to east the Amit¡bha-S£tra drawn in Early Tang. Below it is a painting drawn during the Five Dynasties showing nine bottle-shaped doors inside which are celestial musicians and precious offerings; a preaching scene on G¾dhrakµuta drawn during Early Tang. Below this scene is a painting of four bottle-shaped doors inside which are celestial musicians and precious offerings drawn during the Five Dynasties. Above the entrance of the east wall is a painting of Buddhas from ten directions attending a sermon, drawn during the Five Dynasties. On the north and south sides of the entrance are portraits of Cao family members and attendants drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Cave No. 206

Period of Construction: Sui Dynasty (renovated during Early Tang, the Five Dynasties and Western Xia).

Contents: Ante-room: Above the entrance on the west wall is a portrait of a meditating monk.

Corridor: On the ceiling are fragments of s£tra illustrations drawn in the Five Dynasties renovated in Western Xia. On the south wall is the painting of the Five Dynasties of the Samantabhadra-S£tra.

Main Hall:  The centre of the caisson ceiling has lotus and dharma cudgel designs drawn during Western Xia. The niche on the west wall contains statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha, two disciples and two bodhisattvas cast in Sui. Outside the niche on the two sides are statues of two warriors chiselled in Early Tang. Inside the niche flaming Amit¡bha on the ceiling and four disciples on each of the north and south walls drawn in Sui and coloured in Western Xia. Below the niche there are Maµju¿r¢ and an attending bodhisattva painted in Western Xia on the surface layer covering Sui paintings on the inner layer. On the south of the niche on top is Maµju¿r¢ and on its north Vimalak¢rti painted in Sui to depict the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra along with bodhi- sattvas below them coloured in Western Xia. The north and south walls feature miniature Buddhas drawn during Sui and painted during Western Xia with a preaching scene in the centre; below is a portrait of a bodhisattva (blurred) drawn in Western Xia. Above the entrance on the east wall are miniature Buddhas drawn during Sui and painted during Western Xia. On the north and south sides of the entrance are standing Buddhas drawn during the Five Dynasties.

Cave No. 207

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during Western Xia).

Contents: The ceiling has floral designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by decorative hangings. The niche on the west wall houses statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha, two disciples and two bodhisattvas cast in Early Tang. Outside the niche are drawn net hangings on top with bodhisattvas below on both northern and southern sides. The north and the south walls have net hangings drawn at the top and a preaching scene at the bottom. Above the entrance on the east wall only three of Buddhas remain out of the seven originally painted. On the south side of the entrance is BhaiÀajyaguru Buddha.

Cave No. 208

Period of Construction: Tang.

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling has a mural showing seven Buddhas drawn during the Five Dynasties. Above the entrance of the west wall is an invocation inscribed during the Five Dynasties. On either side are scenes of Vai¿rava¸a attending Nata's sermon. The south side of the entrance illustrates the Samantabhadra-S£tra; the north side illustrates the Ma¸ju¿r¢-S£tra, both were drawn during the Five Dynasties. The north and the south walls of the ante-room show a devar¡ja each.

Corridor: The ceiling exhibits the Peacock King in the centre drawn during the Five Dynasties; the north and south slopes are painted with four sitting Buddhas each.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has floral designs in the centre; the four slopes show decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall has the depiction of the St£pa sandarsana parivartana of Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra and six flying figures on the ceiling with a halo in the centre on the west flanked by two disciples and further flanked by a bodhisattva, three disciples on the north and south walls. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru to the west and the sixteen meditations to the east. The north wall features the S£tra of the Paradise of Maitreya. Above the entrance of the east wall are painted miniature Buddhas; on the north and south sides of the entrance are two bodhisattvas each.

Cave No. 209

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The original painting on the ceiling was of miniature Buddhas, but now the entire painting has peeled off. Above the entrance on the west wall are the donors drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Corridor: The north and south walls show damaged paintings drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The central altar contains statues of three officials of hell cast in Qing. On the caisson ceiling are paintings of Prince Siddhartha's birth and departure from his palace with preaching scenes on the northern and southern slopes. On the west wall there are depictions of Buddhist stories on both sides of the halo. Below the altar on the west wall are four bodhisattvas and nine donors drawn in the Five Dynasties. The south wall illustrates the scene of Maitreya preaching the dharma; ten bodhisattvas are seen below; on the west end is a narrative painting. The north wall has a preaching scene with ten bodhisattvas below; the west end shows a narrative painting. Above the entrance of the east wall are three preaching scenes along with other figures.

Cave No. 210

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling shows a cross-legged sitting Buddha drawn in the Five Dynasties. The south wall shows traces of bhikÀu drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has miniature Buddhas on the north and south slopes; the top portion of the west wall is covered with miniature Buddhas. The east wall has miniature Buddhas in one corner and a donor. The south wall features miniature Buddhas. This cave is south-facing.

Cave No. 211

Period of Construction: Early Tang (the statues redecorated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: The ceiling shows four-petalled flowers in the centre; the four slopes are painted with the miniature Buddhas and decorative hangings. Partial damage of the paintings on the eastern slope. The niche on the west wall shelters a set of three statues of Xuan Zang cast in Qing. The north and south walls illustrate the Amit¡bha-S£tra. Above the entrance of the east wall is a painting of seven Buddhas; to the north and south of the entrance is an Usher Buddha.

Cave No. 212

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated during Middle Tang and Qing Dynasties).

Contents: Ante-room: To the south at the lower level of the entrance on the west wall is inscribed an invocation. Miniature Buddhas were sculptured on the upper layer on this wall which are destroyed.

Main Hall: The west wall shows a preaching scene and shelters statues of Buddha and two disciples. The west end of the south wall reveals a portrait of a bodhisattva and five miniature Buddhas. Below are the figures of twelve donors. The north wall features a disciple, a portrait of Vai¿rava¸a, a bodhisattva and three cross-legged sitting Buddhas drawn during Middle Tang. At the lower level are eight male donors.

Cave No. 213

Period of Construction: Early Tang.

Contents: The caisson ceiling is faded. Traces of miniature Buddhas can be seen on the four slopes. The west, south and east walls have a painting each of a Buddha and two bodhisattvas. The lower portion shows traces of miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 214

Period of Construction: High Tang (the stucco statues are sculptured during Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The north side of the west wall displays a portrait of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokite¿vara at the lower level.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has the designs of clouds and flowers painted in the centre, the four slopes are covered by decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall shelters a set of three Buddha statues cast in Qing. The south wall features the S£tra for BhaiÀajyaguru, and the north wall portrays a preaching scene. The eastern corner of both the south and north walls is damaged. A hole was bored. The east wall has fragments of a bodhisattva.

Cave No. 215

Period of Construction: High Tang (the statues being repaired during Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The west and south walls have impressions of Buddha and two bodhisattva statues which are damaged.

Main Hall: There is a floral design in the centre of the caisson ceiling, the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall shelters statues of cross-legged sitting Buddha, two disciples and two bodhisattvas cast in Tang. The north wall illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru on the east and the sixteen meditations on the west side, nine categories of Rebirth in Heaven; at a lower level are the portraits of five female donors. The south wall illustrates the S£tra for the Paradise of Maitreya with a row of male donors below. Above the entrance of the east wall are painted seven Buddha images; on both the north and south sides of the entrance is a bodhisattva.

Cave No. 216

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during Middle Tang).

Contents: The ceiling shows cloud patterns and floral designs in the centre with decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas on the four slopes. The west wall has an open altar on top of which is a painting of the Trinity preaching. Outside the altar are painted an Avalokite¿vara and another bodhisattva attended by soldiers of hell. The north and south walls feature miniature Buddhas drawn during Middle Tang. Above the entrance of the east wall and on the north and south of the entrance are the preaching scenes.

Cave No. 217

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during Late Tang, the Five Dynasties and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The west slope of the ceiling shows a painting drawn during Late Tang. Above the entrance on the west wall are painted offerings of vessels and donors drawn during High Tang. On the north and south sides of the entrance are portraits of devar¡jas drawn during Late Tang. The south wall features the Ma¸ju¿r¢-S£tra and the north wall features the Samantabhadra-S£tra, drawn during Late Tang of which only a portion is now extant.

Corridor: The north and south slopes of the corridor ceiling show portraits of KÀitigarbha and his ten hell kings lined up on both slopes drawn during Late Tang. The north and south walls have two donors each.

Main Hall: The ceiling has floral designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall contains a statue of cross-legged sitting Buddha cast in Tang. An illustration of the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra adorns the south wall. The north wall illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru to the west; a portrait of Aj¡ta¿atru with the sixteen meditations on the east side can be seen below. The east wall illustrates the chapter on Universal Gate of Avalokite¿vara.

Cave No. 218

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during Middle Tang, the Five Dynasties, Western Xia and Qing).

Contents: The ceiling shows floral designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall shelters statues of devar¡ja and a bodhisattva cast during the Five Dynasties, repaired during Qing. Inside the niche there is Maiterya preaching on the ceiling with eleven bodhisattvas on its walls. Outside the niche there is a faded Middle Tang sitting bodhisattva on its south and Western Xia bodhisattva on its north. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru to the west and the sixteen meditations to the east. The north wall features S£tra of the the Paradise of Maitreya. Inscribed below is an invocation with two celestial musicians on the two sides of the inscription. Above the entrance on the east wall is a painting of seven Buddhas out of which only five are visible; also seen are four bodhisattvas and four donors. On the south of the entrance is the BhaiÀajyaguru Buddha, on the north is a preaching scene drawn during Western Xia.

Cave No. 219

Period of Construction: High Tang.

Contents: The caisson ceiling shows floral designs in the centre; the north and west slopes are covered by decorative hangings. The miniature Buddhas on the four slopes are either faded or damaged. Paintings inside the niche on the west wall are also impaired featuring bodhisattvas, Nirm¡¸abuddha, disciples and Nirm¡¸abuddha. The north and south walls are painted with miniature Buddhas (blurred). The cave was damaged at the time when Cave No. 100 was hewn.

Cave No. 220

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during the Middle Tang, Late Tang, the Five Dynasties, Song and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: A damaged portrait of devar¡ja painted during Song is above the entrance of the west wall. The lower portion is Cave No. 221. A special feature is a niche on the inner surface inside which are Middle Tang paintings of Buddhas and bodhisattvas on all walls. Atop the niche are fragments of three Buddhas in relief, a sitting Buddha and Middle Tang paintings of a Buddha and two bodhisattvas on his sides. Beneath the niche is a Late Tang painting of a standing Buddha. The inner layer on the north wall has paintings of Maµju¿r¢ and Avalokite¿vara painted in the Five Dynasties.

Corridor: The ceiling has the portrait of four-armed Avalokite¿vara in the centre drawn during Song; the north and south slopes have six sitting Buddhas each.

Main Hall: The centre of the ceiling shows round petalled lotus and coiled dragon designs drawn during Song. The niche on the west wall houses statues of a Buddha, two disciples and two bodhisattvas cast in Tang and repaired during Qing. The ceiling of the niche shows a preaching scene and six flying figures. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡bha-S£tra drawn in Early Tang. The BhaiÀajyaguru-Sµutra adorns the north wall. Painted above the entrance of the east wall are three preaching Buddhas, a male and a female donor. To the south and north of the entrance are portraits of Vimalak¢rti and Maµju¿r¢ respectively from the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra drawn in Early Tang.

Cave No. 221

Period of Construction: Late Tang.

Contents: The centre of the ceiling and the four slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas. The west wall features a preaching scene; the north and south walls illustrate the Samantabhadra-S£tra and Maµju¿r¢-S£tra respectively.

Cave No. 222

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (the statues being cast in Qing).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling shows a sitting Buddha and two bodhisattvas.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has lotus designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas with Buddha sitting in the centre. The niche on the west wall contains two statues of Taoist gods and a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne cast in Qing. Inside the niche there are twelve BhaiÀajyas on the ceiling slopes. The map of Mount Wutai painted on both the north and south sides of the curtains at the opening of the niche has faded. The south wall illustrates the S£tra of the Paradise of Maitreya, on the west side of the illustration is the Maitreyavya-karana; the north wall features the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra, the west side shows the nine inauspicious deaths. Above the entrance to the eastern wall is inscribed an invocation which is obscure. On the north and south sides of the entrance are illustrated the Maµju¿r¢-S£tra and Samantabhadra-S£tra respectively.

Cave No. 223

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during Western Xia and Qing).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling is painted with flower clusters, two slopes are covered by decorative hangings. The north and south walls have faded pictures of bodhisattvas.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has coiled dragon designs in relief in the centre, with circular lines and floral motifs and chess-board patterns on the four slopes. Inside the niche on the west wall are nine Buddha statues, cast in Qing. The niche on the south wall has a damaged statue of a sitting Buddha cast in Tang. The ceiling of the niche on the north wall has fragments of floral designs and a bodhi tree. A preaching scene is shown above the entrance of the east wall, the north and south sides of the entrance illustrate the Maµju¿r¢-S£tra and Samantabhadra-S£tra respectively with their lower parts gone blurred.

Cave No. 224

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated during Western Xia).

Contents: The ceiling shows floral designs in the centre, the four slopes are painted with circular lines and floral motifs. The niche on the west wall shelters statues of a sitting Buddha, a devar¡ja, Ënanda cast in Late Tang and a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡bha-S£tra and the north wall the Sukh¡vat¢-S£tra. Painted above the entrance of the east wall is a preaching scene with the middle portion damaged. The north and south sides of the entrance have a portrait each of a cross-legged sitting bodhisattva.

Cave No. 225

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties, Middle Tang and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: Nine of the miniature Buddhas remain on the ceiling. Above the entrance on the west wall are featured portraits of eleven-headed Avalokite¿vara, Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara, Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara drawn during the Five Dynasties. The south side of the entrance is the entrance to Cave No. 227. Between it and the entrance of the corridor of Cave No. 225 are fragments of lokap¡las. The north side of the entrance is the entrance to Cave No. 226. Between it and the entrance of the corridor of Cave No. 225 are fragments of devar¡jas. The north and south walls both have Indra drawn in the Five Dynasties (damaged).

Corridor: The centre of the ceiling has an Usher Buddha drawn in the Five Dynasties. The south slope shows six cross-legged sitting Buddhas and the north slope five sitting Buddhas, both drawn in the Five Dynasties. The north and south walls have faded donors drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has floral designs in the centre, the four slopes are painted with floral motifs, garlands and hanging curtains and miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall contains statues of a sitting Buddha, two disciples and a bodhisattva cast in High Tang and repaired during Qing. Outside the niche on the east is KÀitigarbha on the east and Avalokite¿vara on the west painted in Middle Tang. The niche on the north wall houses the statue of Nirv¡¸a Buddha, nineteen disciples and celestial beings behind the Buddha. Painted above the entrance of the east wall are the donor figures drawn during Middle Tang and six hundred and ten miniature Buddhas; on the north and south sides of the entrance are the pictures of Avalokite¿vara drawn during the Five Dynasties. The south side also shows portraits of KÀitigarbha, bodhisattva, and sitting Buddha.

Cave No. 226

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Camellia flowers in circles can be seen in the centre of the ceiling; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas with a sitting Buddha in the centre. The niche on the west wall contains a statue of a cross-legged sitting Buddha which has been shifted here from elsewhere. The north and south walls both feature a preaching scene painted in the Five Dynasties.

Cave No. 227

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated during Song).

Contents: The ceiling shows two floral designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas, with a cross-legged sitting Buddha in the centre. The niche on the west wall contains four damaged statues of cross-legged sitting Buddhas cast in Song shifted from elsewhere. The miniature Buddhas on the ceiling of the niche are blackened by smoke, on its inner walls are bodhisattvas painted on screens. Outside it on the south there are three sitting Buddhas and a depiction of Samantabhadra's feat, while on the north, Maµju¿r¢ in addition to the three sitting Buddhas. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡bha-S£tra. Below is a row of donors (blurred) drawn during Late Tang. The north wall illustrates the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra. Above the entrance of the east wall and on the north and south sides of the entrance are miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 228

Period of Construction: Qing Dynasty.

Contents: The ceiling is damaged; only a damaged statue of devar¡ja cast during Qing remains.

Cave No. 229

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties and Western Xia).

Contents: Corridor: The north and south walls have each a donor bhikÀu.

Main Hall: The west wall has three clay statues without paint along with a fresco of miniature Buddhas. The south wall is covered by miniature Buddhas drawn during Late Tang. The north wall, too, has a miniature Buddha fresco.

Cave No. 230

Period of Construction: Song Dynasty.

Contents: The caisson ceiling shows dragon designs in relief in the centre. The west, south and east slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas and decorative hangings. The niche on the west wall has statues of two disciples, one bodhisattva and a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne. Inside the niche there are twelve sitting Buddhas on the slopes of the ceiling, with faded story paintings on its walls. At the opening of the niche there is Samantabhadra on the south of the curtains and Maµju¿r¢ on their north. The south wall features two scenes from the Sukh¡vat¢-S£tra; at a lower level are seven bodhisattvas. The north wall also has two scenes from the Sukh¡vat¢-S£tra. Above the entrance of the east wall are the Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara and two bodhisattvas.

Cave No. 231

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during Song and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling shows a portrait of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokite¿vara drawn in Song, on the south and north sides are Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara and Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara both partially damaged. The west wall has two Avalokite¿vara on Mount Patalaka drawn in Song. On the north and south of the entrance are illustrations of s£tras drawn in Song.

Corridor: The ceiling shows the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed AvalokiteÜvara drawn in Middle Tang. The north and south walls have portraits of Cao Yuanzhong and his wife (both faded) drawn in Song.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling shows a lion and round petalled lotus designs in the centre; the four slopes are covered by floral motifs, decorative hangings, celestial musicians hovering all over and miniature Buddhas with a preaching scene in the centre. The niche on the west wall contains statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha and a disciple cast in Tang and statue of a disciple carved in Qing along with a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne. On the south wall west-eastwards are illustrated the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra, below which is a four-panel screen showing Aj¡ta¿atru and sixteen meditations and the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¶ka-S£tra below which is a four-panel screen painted with the chapter on the Universal Gate of Avalokite¿vara and the Devat¡-S£tra, with a four-panel screen below illustrating the Brahma-S£tra. On the north wall west-eastwards is an illustration of the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra, with a four-panel screen below painted with the nine forms of inauspicious death and the twelve great vows and the Avatamsaka-S£tra with a four-panel screen below it, and also the Paradise of Maitreya with a four-panel screen below it showing scenes of marriage ceremony, bumper harvest and Maitreya's returning to the city. Above the entrance on the east wall are the donor portraits of the parents of Yin Chu; the south side of the entrance on the east wall illustrates the S£tra for Redemption from Indebtedness. The north side illustrates the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra.

Cave No. 232

Period of Construction: Late Tang.

Contents: The east, south and north slopes of the ceiling have fragments of miniature Buddhas. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall has the chess-board and floral designs. Seventeen sitting BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas and seven attending bodhisattvas are painted on its four slopes. On its walls are paintings highlighting the twelve great vows, the nine inauspicious deaths and also BhaiÀajyaguru. On the south of the curtains at its openings is Samantabhadra, while on the north Ma¸ju¿r¢, both below three sitting Buddhas. On the south wall from west to east are illustrated the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra and the Avatamsaka-S£tra; below the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-Sµutra is a four-panel screen showing Aj¡ta¿atru and sixteen meditations while the four-panel screen below the Avatamsaka-S£tra illustrates various chapters of the Sµutra. On the north wall from west to east is illustrated the BhaiÀajyaguru S£tra with a single-panel screen below it showing the twelve great vows and Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra below which is a screen. Above the entrance of the east wall is a portrait of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokite¿vara; on the north and south sides of the entrance are Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara and Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara respectively.

Cave No. 233

Period of Construction: Song (renovated during Western Xia and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling is painted with floral motifs (the colour has changed into blackish grey). Above the entrance on the west wall is a preaching scene and to the north of the entrance are s£tra illustrations, both are faded.

Corridor: The ceiling shows floral designs in the centre; the north and south slopes are covered by decorative hangings and flying figures. The north and south walls feature seven and ten alms-offering bodhisattvas respectively.

Main Hall: An image of a cross-legged sitting Buddha cast during Song is seen on the main altar along with statues of Maµju¿r¢, Samantabhadra, two disciples, six bodhisattvas and four warriors (all repaired in Qing). To the east of the altar at the lower level is the extant Qing painting of a donor. The north, south and west walls are painted with miniature Buddhas. Buddha figures on lotus are painted above the entrance of the east wall. Miniature Buddhas are seen on the north and south sides of the entrance.

Cave No. 234

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during Western Xia and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling shows floral patterns. An illustration of the Sukh¡vat¢ S£tra is seen above the entrance of the west wall, to the south of the entrance is illustrated the Samantabhadra-S£tra and on the north side is the Maµju¿r¢-S£tra.

Corridor: The ceiling shows floral designs. The south wall has alms-offering bodhisattvas drawn in Western Xia; the inner layer reveals a part of a Middle Tang painting of devar¡jas.

Main Hall: There is a set of three standing Buddhas on the central altar of the main hall. The centre of the ceiling shows the five dragon designs; the four slopes have the chess-board and floral patterns. The west wall shows decorative hangings and at the lower level is the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra, the south wall is also covered by the decorative hangings and at the lower level is the illustration of the Amit¡bha S£tra. The north wall has the same features as the south wall. Above the entrance of the east wall is a preaching scene; on the south side of the entrance is a damaged figure of the Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara while on the north side is the portrait of Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara.

Cave No. 235

Period of Construction: Song Dynasty.

Contents: Adorning the west wall is a painting of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokite¿vara (the upper portion is damaged due to smoke). Both the north and south walls illustrate Avalokite¿vara S£tra  (the top portion damaged due to fumigation). To the north and south of the entrance on the east wall is a donor bhikÀu.

Cave No. 236

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties and Qing).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling shows a cross-legged sitting Avalokite¿vara drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: Sheltered in the niche of the west wall are three statues carved during Qing and a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne. The ceiling of the niche has the chess-board and floral designs. The west slope is covered by eight auspicious figures, a bodhisattva and a bhikÀu. The south slope shows five auspicious figures and the north shows three figures; the east slope has eight auspicious figures. From west to east on the south wall are illustrated the Amit¡yus-S£tra with Aj¡ta¿atru on the east and the sixteen meditations on the west; La¸k¡vat¡ra-S£tra. On the north wall west-eastwards are illustrated the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra with the twelve great vows on the east and the nine inauspicious deaths on the west and the Vajracchedik¡-S£tra. On the north and south sides of the entrance on the east wall are illustrations of the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra showing Maµju¿r¢ and Vimalak¢rti respectively.

Cave No. 237

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated in Western Xia and Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling shows coiled dragons, chess-board and floral designs drawn during Western Xia. Above the entrance on the west wall are the portraits of Indra, two devakany¡s and a devar¡ja, while the north and south sides show "Water and Moon" Avalokite¿vara. A painting on the north side of the entrance drawn during Western Xia has peeled off revealing the severely damaged devar¡jas painted in Middle Tang.

Corridor: The ceiling shows floral patterns. The south wall features male donors and attendants drawn in Western Xia while the north wall features two female donors also drawn in Western Xia. All are faded or severely damaged.

Main Hall: The ceiling shows the three rabbits (joining as one) and round petalled lotus designs in the centre. The four slopes are covered by the decorative hangings and the miniature Buddhas with a ratna-st£pa in the centre. The niche contains five statues and a horse-hoof shaped Buddha throne cast in Qing. On the south wall west-eastwards is an illustration of the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra, below it is a four-panel screen with the scene of Chapter on the Universal Gate of Avalokite¿vara; the Amit¡yus-S£tra, with a four-panel screen below showing Aj¡ta¿atru on two panels and sixteen meditations on the other two; there is the Paradise of Maitreya with a four-panel screen below it depicting scenes of bumper harvest, marriage ceremony and Maitreya's birth. The north wall illustrates the Avatamsaka-S£tra, below it is a four-panel screen with the paintings of the various chapters from the Avatamsaka-S£tra; there is the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra with the four-panel screen below it depicting the nine inauspicious deaths and the twelve great vows; there is the Devat¡-S£tra with a four-panel screen below it illustrating the Brahma-S£tra. Above the entrance of the east wall is an illustration of the Chapter of Buddhaloka from the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra. Both sides of the entrance depict the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra with Vimalak¢rti on the south and Maµju¿r¢ on the north. Below them on each side is a four-panel screen illustrating the Chapter on Up¡yakau¿alya.

Cave No. 238

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during Western Xia).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling shows miniature Buddhas drawn during Middle Tang. Above the entrance of the west wall are decorative hangings and an invocation. On both the north and south of the entrance is a devar¡ja drawn during Middle Tang.

Corridor: The ceiling shows a four-armed Avalokite¿vara. Faded portraits of Avalokite¿vara and Maµju¿r¢ painted in Middle Tang are on the south and north walls respectively.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling shows coiled dragons and floral designs in the centre. Decorative hangings along with miniature Buddhas can be seen on the four slopes and these are damaged due to fumigation. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall shows chess-board patterns with floral designs. The east and west walls of the niche have each a set of five standing BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas along with two bodhisattvas. Similarly each of the north and south walls of the niche has a set of three standing BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas and two bodhisattvas. On the south wall west-eastwards is illustrated the Amit¡yus-S£tra, the upper portion is damaged because of fumigation and below is a three-panel screen having drawings of the sixteen meditations, Aj¡ta¿atru; an illustration of S£tra for Redemption from Indebtedness (damaged by smoke) below which is a three-panel screen showing the Chapter on Evil Friends (blurred). On the north wall from west to east are illustrations of the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra with a three-panel screen below it having twelve great vows painted on it; the Maitreya-S£tra with a three-panel screen below showing scenes of rich harvest, marriage ceremony and birth (blurred). Above the entrance on the east wall are the donor figures damaged by fumigation; to the south is illustrated the S£tra of filial piety, at the lower level is a three-panel screen; to the north of the entrance is a s£tra illustration and a screen.

Cave No. 239

Period of Construction: Western Xia.

Contents: The upper portion of the west wall is partially painted with decorative hangings.

Cave No. 240

Period of Construction: Middle Tang.

Contents: The west and south slopes of the ceiling are covered by miniature Buddhas (partial). The north side of the caisson ceiling shows the decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas with a cross-legged Buddha sitting in the centre. The niche on the west wall shelters a statue of a sitting Buddha cast in Middle Tang. On the south wall west-eastwards are illustrated the Amit¡yus-S£tra, a three-panel screen below this illustration showing the sixteen meditations; Devat¡-S£tra below which is a three-panel screen. On the north wall from west to east are the illustrations of the BhaiÀajyaguru-Sµutra, below it a three-panel screen showing the twelve great vows and nine inauspicious deaths; Vajracchedik¡-S£tra with a screen at the lower level.

Cave No. 241

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated during Western Xia).

Contents: The centre of the caisson ceiling shows lions and floral designs; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings; below these are miniature Buddhas. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall exhibits lions and floral designs, the north, west and south slopes are partially painted with decorative hangings below which are the miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 242

Period of Construction: Early Tang (renovated in Song and Qing).

Contents: The ceiling shows round petalled lotus designs drawn in Song; floral motifs, decorative hangings and flying figures hovering all over cover the four slopes. The north, south and west slopes are painted with miniature Buddhas. The niche on the west wall houses statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha and two disciples cast in Tang. The lower layer of the south wall shows s£tra illustrations drawn during Early Tang.

Cave No. 243

Period of Construction: Sui Dynasty (renovated in Song and Qing).

Contents: The centre of the ceiling shows round petalled lotus designs. Circular lines, floral motifs and decorative hangings cover the four slopes. A scene of Buddha attending the sermon is portrayed on the east and west sides. The niche on the west wall shelters statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha, three bodhisattvas cast in Sui and a statue of a bodhisattva cast in Qing. A sµutra illustration adorns the south wall while the north wall illustrates the Maitreya-S£tra. To the north of the entrance of the east wall is Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara.

Cave No. 244

Period of Construction: Sui Dynasty (renovated during the Five Dynasties and Western Xia).

Contents: Ante-room: The west slope of the ceiling has floral designs drawn during Western Xia. Above the entrance of the west wall and to the north and south of the entrance are miniature Buddhas drawn during Western Xia. On the south side at a lower level is the scene of N¡gar¡jas paying homage to Buddha drawn during the Five Dynasties. Miniature Buddhas cover the north and south walls, both painted during Western Xia.

Corridor: The centre of the ceiling has floral designs drawn in Western Xia. The north and south walls of the corridor feature both a donor and attendants drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: On the caisson ceiling we can see a cross-shaped beam and parts of other wooden structures left by Sui; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings and miniature Buddhas. On the west wall are the statues of a cross-legged preaching Buddha, K¡¿yapa, Ënanda and two bodhisattvas carved during Sui. The wall also features eight flying figures, celestial mansions, railing and walls. On the south wall there is a standing Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas, being statues cast in Sui. Twelve flying figures with a glimpse of the paradise in addition to eight preaching scenes are painted on the wall. The north wall paintings are identical while the standing statue is Maitreya also carved in Sui. The east wall depicts nine flying figures drawn during Sui, celestial mansions and five cross-legged sitting Buddhas. Above the entrance is a preaching scene drawn during the Five Dynasties, a standing Buddha and a male donor drawn during Western Xia. On the north and south sides are two preaching scenes each drawn during Sui and two attending bodhisattvas drawn in Western Xia.

Cave No. 245

Period of Construction: Western Xia.

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling has floral patterns in the centre, the north and south slopes are painted with clouds and floral motifs. On both the north and south walls is a damaged figure of an attending bodhisattva.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling shows coiled dragons in the centre with the four slopes having floral designs. The niche on the west wall shelters a sitting Buddha statue and a Vajra Buddha throne. BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas are painted on the walls north and south of the niche. Preaching scenes are illustrated on the north and south walls. A blurred image of a donor is visible at the west end of the south wall. The lower layer of the north wall shows four female donors. Above the entrance of the east wall are the portraits of Vipa¿yin and five Buddhas, on the north and south sides of the entrance are the figures of Samantabhadra and Maµju¿r¢ respectively.

Cave No. 246

Period of Construction: Northern Wei (renovated in Western Xia).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling shows blurred chess-board patterns. Above the entrance on the west wall is a preaching scene. On the south side of the entrance is an illustration of Maµju¿r¢-S£tra (blurred). Both the north and south walls have fragments of painting drawn during Western Xia.

Corridor: The centre of the ceiling shows floral patterns. The north and south slopes have decorative hangings. The north and south walls each feature three attending bodhisattvas.

Main Hall: The east-facing niche on the central column shelters statues of á¡kyamuni and Prabh£taratna along with two attending bodhisattvas. Paintings of halo and bodhi tree are seen inside the niche on the west wall while there are bodhisattva figures on the north and south walls. The niche on the central column facing south features two meditating Buddhas, that facing west features two sitting Buddhas while that facing north features two meditating Buddhas. They are all accompanied by attending bodhisattvas. The ceiling of the cave is entirely covered by floral designs. The west wall of the cave is covered by decorative hangings; below these are miniature Buddhas. A preaching scene is below the front portion of the slopes of the north and south walls. The top portion of the east wall is covered by decorative hangings while the lower portion is painted with miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 247

Period of Construction: Western Wei.

Contents: The west slope of the ceiling shows a blurred painting of six lotus flowers. The niche on the west wall houses a statue of meditating Buddha, the north and south walls have decorative hangings on top with miniature Buddhas at the bottom (partly damaged). The north and south sides of the entrance on the east wall are covered by miniature Buddhas.

Cave No. 248

Period of Construction: Northern Wei (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Corridor: The north and south slopes have three cross-legged sitting Buddhas which are damaged. The north wall shows female donors drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The central column of the main hall has an east-facing niche which shelters a cross-legged sitting Buddha, outside the niche on either side are bodhisattvas. The south-facing niche on the column features a statue of meditating Buddha with two statues of bodhisattva. The niche which faces west features a statue of Buddha practising ascetic while that facing north features meditating Buddha, all with attending bodhisattvas. The beam of the last niche has ma¸i-ratna carved in relief. In the front of the ceiling of the cave there are eleven celestial citizens on both the east and west slopes. The beam of the niche features a carved dragon head. The west wall shows ten celestial musicians at the top with miniature Buddhas in the centre and four yakÀas at the bottom. The south wall shows sixteen celestial musicians at the top, the front of the middle portion shows a preaching scene while the rear shows miniature Buddhas, the bottom portion has a row of five yak¦as. The north wall has seventeen musicians at the top, the rest of the wall has the same features as the south wall. The east wall has twelve musicians on the top layer, the miniature Buddhas cover the centre portion; on the south side of the entrance on the east wall are the figures of yakÀas.

Cave No. 249

Period of Construction: Western Wei (the stucco statues being redecorated in Qing).

Contents: Main Hall: Like Cave No. 285 created in the same period, the caisson ceiling here features strange eclectic figures very similar to those of Cave No. 285. On the west slope there is a four-armed figure in the centre who stands in the sea and holds up Mount Sumeru and the Paradise (with an open gate). The theme of the N¡ga churning the sea seems also present in the picture. This figure is identified by the Dunhuang Academy as an Asura which needs to be reconsidered. On the east slope two figures are holding a strange lotus plant which seems to symbolize Dharmaratna. There is a celestial figure riding a chariot on both the north and south slopes (partially damaged on the north slope) who have been identified as Xiwangmu and Dongwanggong of the Chinese legend (the latter identified as Indra and the former his mistress). Other strange figures are similar to those shown on the caisson ceiling of Cave No. 285. The niche on the west wall shelters statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha, two bodhisattvas. Outside the niche to its north and south are two statues of Buddha and bodhisattva. The south wall features nineteen celestial musicians at the top, the middle portion is covered by the miniature Buddhas with a preaching scene in the centre. The figures of Aupap¡dakas, an alms-offering celestial being and a statue of a bodhisattva are shown at the western end; below them are the figures of a bhikÀu and a donor. Further below is a row of yakÀas. The top portion of the north wall shows twenty celestial musicians, the middle portion is painted with the miniature Buddhas having a preaching scene in the centre. The western end exposes portraits of three Aupap¡dakas, a celestial being and statue of a bodhisattva repaired during Qing. The lower level shows a row of male donors, eight bhikÀus and twelve UpŒsakas; at even lower level is seen a row of seven yakÀas. The top layer of the east wall shows two celestial musicians.

Cave No. 250

Period of Construction: Northern Zhou.

Contents: The ceiling shows six flying figures and a s£tra illustration in a corner. The niche on the west wall contains statues of Buddha, K¡¿yapa and V¢ra. Inside the altar there are Buddha disciples, flying figures, a deer-head brahmac¡rin, and Vasubandhu. Outside the niche on the two sides are two bodhisattva statues. The north wall has remains of miniature Buddhas.

Cave Nos. [ 1 - 50   |  51 - 100  |  101 - 150  |  151 - 200  |  201 - 250 ]

[ 251 - 300   |  301 - 350  |  351 - 400  |  401 - 450  |  451 - 492 ]

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