The Yulin Grottoes, a brunch of the Dunhuang art complex and another name Ten-Thousand-Buddha Valley, are located in Qilian Mountain, southeast of the Mogao Grottoes. View from the mountain, a river flows and red-colored willows, elms grow luxuriantly on the both banks, a beautiful frontier scenery shows here.
There are 41 major caves and hundreds of others scattered around. Among them, the cave 25 is the most complete preservation. Murals in these grottoes which consist of huge scripture drawings, portraits of Buddha etc. reveal the highly developed art of painting in the Tang Dynasty more than 1300 years ago. Scripture drawings on the southern and northern walls of cave 25 are big ones. These colorful, especially line drawings are rare. The precious ivory Buddha which in the
Palace Museum in Beijing now had been protected in Yulin Grottoes for more than a thousand years.
Yulin Grottoes murals were built in Northern Wei dynasty, in the later dynasties of Tang, Five dynasties, Song, Xixia and Yuan dynasty, each generation has reconstruct Yulin Grottoes. Existing murals of more than 5000 square meters, sculptures by more than 100.Yulin Grottoes administrated by Dunhuang county in ancient time, so no matter from the cave shape or murals content, artistic style, Yulin Grottoes have close relationship with the Mogao Grottoes. If the murals of Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang whether in quantity and quality is the top of whole country, then, Yulin grotto is art treasure which is second only to the Mogao grottoes mural.
Though there are many excellent works of Yulin Grottoes statues, it also does not represent the value of Yulin Grottoes. Yulin Grottoes’ value is mainly manifested in the mural. Yulin grotto murals content is very rich, there are exquisite portrait of Buddha and bodhisattva, and stories of grand Buddhist, there are a wide variety of animals, flowers, and exquisite vignette. From Tang dynasty to Yuan dynasty, there are a lot of excellent work, and among these grottoes, 25 caves of Tang murals is the rare treasures.
Yulin Grottoes in the aspect of content, artistic style and painting form are similar with Mogao grottoes. And it has certain influence in the international and domestic.
Yulin grotto has a distance of more than 170 kilometers to Dunhuang, the entire road condition is good that driver can directly drive to there; Others can go there by train or bus in Dunhuang to Guazhou county and then transfer to a taxi.
【Bus】 There is no public bus in Yulin, from Guazhou bus station to charter a car cost 160 RMB for round way. The bus in bus station from Guazhou to Dunhuang departs at 15:00, 16:00, 17:00 and 17:30.