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Xumi Mountain Grottoes

Xumi is a mountain range in the Ningxia Autonomous Region. Built throughout the 5th and 10th centuries and found on the east end of the mountain is a series of Buddhist temple caves. There are over 130 caves in total. The greatest structure on the site is a seated Buddha statue, measuring approximately 20 metres (65 feet) in height. Inside the caves there are various wall art and inscriptions, as well as numerous statues. The caves are carved in the cliffs made of red sandstone and have almost no inscriptions or decorations on the outside.
Like many sites in this area, it was built along the notorious Silk Road. The Silk Road was one of the most culturally influential and significant roads in history for this region. It played a big part in the spread of religion and culture. Shamans and Buddhist alike passed through this area, sharing traditions, customs and food.
The area is made up of five main viewing spots, including the Yuanguang and Xiangguo Temple, Taohua Cave, Dafo Tower, and Zisun Palace. Some studies have shown a religious element to the caves and it’s believed that they were once used as houses for passing monks.

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