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Ancient China and India

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Ancient Asian civilizations were, to put it mildly, prolific. Ancient China was marked by a series of dynasties dating back to 2100 BC and made great advancements in science, philosophy, and military strategy. Ancient India was a civilization rather than an empire, organized into small kingdoms and known for a strong literary tradition and developing the precursors to Hinduism. The influence of the art of both still remains, in the ruins of earlier days and in surviving structures.
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Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Visiting the famous Terracotta Army was on my bucket list, and I was lucky enough to see it recently. As I entered the first pit, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Right in front of me was the section holding the life-size terracotta warriors all...
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Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, China
Close to Dunhuang city in Gansu, you will find one of the most important sites for Chinese Buddhism and for Buddhist art in general. For about a millennium, this place was a crossroads for Buddhists of many traditions, and probably the most...
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243 Provincial Rd, Yichuan Xian, Luoyang Shi, Henan Sheng, China
From one-inch statutes to the 57-foot Vairocana Buddha in the Fengxian Temple (pictured above), Longmen’s 100,000 Buddhist statues provide an awe-inspiring window into Buddhist art and its development through Chinese history. Beginning in 493 AD...
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Gusu, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, 215027
Just over an hour outside of Shanghai is the beautiful city of Suzhou. Within its oldest part is the Humble Administrator's Garden. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, it is one of the more beautiful sites to visit in all of China. It has...
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The Rainbow Mountains (Danxia) near Zhangye are one of the great natural wonders of China, and unique. If you're traveling the Silk Road in Gansu, you must make a stop. If not, they're worth a visit on their own merit. The vividness of the colors...
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Nanjiao, Datong, Shanxi, China, 037007
The city of Datong may not be the most exciting, but it is filled with amazing UNESCO-worthy sites like this: the Yungang grottoes, one of the Top 3 religious sculpture sites in China. Definitely worth a weekend trip if you're in the northern part...
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Maharashtra 431117, India
The 30 Caves at Ajanta ("the finest surviving examples of Indian painting") are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales. The Caves of Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut...
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Elephanta Island, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
When visiting Mumbai, a must-see is Elephanta Island. For just a few dollars, take a ferry from the Gateway of India to the island. The ferry ride takes about an hour and is an experience as well. Mumbai from the water is impressive. Once you land...
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The Buddhist temple complex of Dambulla consists of five cave temples carved under a very large overhanging rock. The temples were carved out over several centuries, but the oldest dates back to the 1st century B.C.E. The temples include numerous...