Mogao Grottoes, also known as the "Thousand - Buddha Cave", is located 25 km to the southeast of Dunhuang City. It is one of the Four Caves of China, the other three being Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi, Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan, and Maiji Mountain Grottoes in Tianshui, Gansu. The building of Mogao Grottoes began in the former Qin period of the Sixteen Kingdoms and continued to be built all through the Sixteen Kingdoms, the Northern Dynasties, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Western Xia, and Yuan Dynasty, forming a huge scale with 735 caves, murals of 45,000 square meters, and 2415 muddy painted sculptures. It is the largest place of Buddhist art with the richest content existing in the world.
The Pass of Jiayuguan was built in 1372. The whole building process lasted 168 years (from 1372 to 1539). It is the most magnificent and the most important pass among thousands of ones governed by nine towns along the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Because of its strategic location and grandeur it gets the name of “Mighty Pass Under the Sun”, “Lock to the Frontier.”
The construction of Maiji Mountain Grottoes started in the Later Qin period (384-417 AD) of the Sixteen Kingdoms. The altitude is 1742 meters, and the height of mountain is only 142 meters. It looks like a grain stack. Because of the shape of the mountain, it is called Maiji (grain stack) Mountain. The southwest of the mountain is a steep cliff where the Maiji Mountain Grottoes were excavated. Some grottoes lie 20 to 30 meters away from the base and some extend as long as 70 to 80 meters. To have excavated thousands of caves and figures of the Buddha in such a steep cliff is very rare in Chinese grottos. It is highly praised as “Oriental Sculpture Gallery”.
Kongtong Mountain is located twelve kilometers west of Pingliang City in Gansu Province. With an altitude of 2123 meters, the landscape is typical of Danxia landform. It has long been known for its “Kongtong Mountain’s scenery is the elegant in the world”. Also because, according to legend, this is the place where the immortal Guangchengzi cultivated his physical and mental capacities and attained full enlightenment of ultra wisdom. The legendary Yellow Emperor, who is the ancestor of Chinese civilization, visited Kongtong Mountain himself to ask the immortal Guangchengzi for advice. Kongtong Mountain has been respectfully honored by Taoism as “The First Mountain of Taoism in the world”.
Labrang is the shifted sound of “Lazhang” in Tibetan language, which means the location of temple. Located in the west of Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province, Labrang Monastery faces the Dragon Mountain and leans against the Phoenix Mountain. With such superior geographical position, Labrang Monastery looks like a fish in the gold basin of water. The monastery was founded in 1710 by the first generation Living Buddha Jamyang Rinpoche. Having been repaired and rebuilt, it is the largest Tibetan religion and culture center in Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan Provinces. It is honored as “World Class Institute of Tibetan Culture”.
Zhangye Danxia GeoPark, at the north foot of Qilian Mountain, 30 km to the south Linze County, is the only compound district of Danxia landform and colorful hills in China, which has a value of scientific research and sightseeing and is voted as one of “The Most Beautiful Danxia Landform”.
Gansu, abbreviated as Gan or Long, was named after the initial characters of the two historical cities Ganzhou (today’s Zhangye City) and Suzhou (today’s Jiuquan City). As most part of the province is lying in the west of Longshan Mountain (Liupan Mountain), and it was set as an administrative region of Longyoudao (Longyou, literally the right side of Mountain Long) in the Tang Dynasty, Gansu Province is also called“Long”.
Located in Northwest China with diverse climates and landforms, Gansu Province is wedged between the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Loess Plateau and the Inner Mongolian Plateau. And it crosses three river basins including the Yellow River, Yangtze River and inland rivers. Gansu Province has a population of over 26 million people and covers an area of 454,400 square kilometers, extending 1,655 kilometers from east to west. The capital city, Lanzhou, is geographically located in the center of China.
Gansu Province enjoys rich culture heritage. Diverse cultures add radiance and beauty to each other here—Silk Road Culture, Yellow River Culture, the Great Wall Culture, and Ancestral Culture. Both the symbol of China Tourism—the Bronze Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow, and the symbol of the earliest postal service of China—the Painting of Postal Messenger were unearthed in Gansu. Now, there are 2 World Cultural Heritages, 8 Excellent Tourism Cities, 18 National Intangible Cultural Heritages, 8 National Historical and Cultural Cities and Towns，as well as 72 Major Historical and Cultural Sites Protected at the National Level in Gansu.
Beautiful scenery can be found in Gansu including gobi desert, glaciers, snow mountains, Danxia landform, canyons and Karst caves. In Gansu, there are 1 World Biosphere Reserve, 3 National 5As Tourist Attractions, 3 National Parks, 23 National Forest Parks, 4 National Geological Parks, 9 National Water Parks and 16 National Nature Reserves.
Gansu has been a multi-ethnic province since ancient times, and now all 56 ethnic groups of China can be found here. There are 16 ethnic minorities having a population of more than 1,000 people, including Han, Tibetan, Hui, Yugur, Tu and Mongolian, etc.. Three unique ethnic minorities, Dongxiang, Yugur and Bao’an, only live in Gansu, enjoying their rich and special folk customs.
Gansu province is famous for its rich and varied resources for tourism development -- with all kinds of topography resources except oceans and reefs. Gansu is known as the birthplace of Chinese civilization, the museum of natural wonders, the garden of folk customs as well as the favorable destination of leisure tourism.
Gansu province is a scenery passage in the Silk Road where you can learn about the history, taste the culture, travel the mountains and rivers as well as experience the special folk customs. Welcome to Gansu!