Gansu at a Glance

Located in the northwestern China, Gansu Province lies between Qinghai-Tibet and Inner Mongolia and rises 4,921 feet above sea level. With a long history and brilliant cultures, Gansu is the cradle of Chinese culture and abundantly endowed with cultural relics and natural scenery.

During the reign of Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD), the Silk Road linking the Central Plains with the Western Regions was built. This ancient trade route starts in the old capitals of Luoyang and Xi’an, reaches the Yellow River at Lanzhou, follows along the Hexi Corridor and stretches along the edge of deserts and mountains. Before the discovery of the sea route to India, the Silk Road was the most important connection between the Orient and the West, via which China’s ancient four inventions, pottery, iron wares were exported to the West, and astronomy, mathematics, religions and gems were introduced into China.

The 1,600-km-long Silk Road unfailingly brings you to such places as the grottoes at Dunhuang, the Jiayuguan Pass(the western end of the Great Wall), Majiishan Grottoes of Tianshui, the Labrang Temple of Xiahe, the Great Buddha Temple at Zhangeye and the bronze sculpture of galloping horse in Wuwei.

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Gansu is renowned as home of grotto art. The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, also known as Thousand Buddha Cave, is one of four noted grottoes in China. It’s the largest, best preserved and richest treasure house of Buddhist art in the world and also a post along the ancient Silk Road. According to historical records, the Mogao Grottoes were carved in 366. There are 492 grottos in existence with some 45,000 square meters of murals, and 415 painted clay figures.

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Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Moon Spring is famous across the whole world for its “Coexistence of mountain and spring, sand and water”. The Mingsha Mountain is so named due to the sound-making sand. The Crescent Moon Spring obtained its name for its crescent-like shape, and the spring survived even in the dry desert after more than several thousand years.

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Maijishan Grottoes is reputed as the “OrientalSculpturesMuseum” and “ChinaSculptureHistoryMuseum”. There are 194 existing caves, in which are preserved more than 7,200 sculptures made from terra cotta and over 1,000 square meters of murals.

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Bronze Galloping Horse Among China’s various craft masterpieces, the Bronze Galloping Horse is unique with its splendid designs. It is a classical work of Chinese ancient aesthetics. The statue has become a symbol of Chinese tourism

Many ethnic groups congregate in Gansu, which makes it a unique tourist destination with a variety of folk customs. The scenes of grassland, the Gobi desert, and snow-covered mountains add beauty to this mysterious land.

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