Buddhism Artwork Along Silk Road
Trade routes have always been more than just the means of transporting goods and services to neighboring regions. These routes serve as a way to spread culture, art, religion, and many other things amongst countries. One of the most outstanding trade routes in the past was the Silk Road found in China. It was a route used by many people to travel and transport goods such as silk, paper, livestock, jewels, and much more, from East to West China. It consisted of land and sea routes, which made transportation and traveling convenient for man in that time period. There were many items traded along the Silk Road that had a profound impact on the development of the cultures, religions and other components. Religion was one thing that was
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Many of these travelers had followed Buddhism and stopped at these caves to worship and reach nirvana. There have been many recent discoveries of Buddhist artwork along the Silk Road that has been hidden for decades within the caves. The Cave of a Thousand Buddhas was the main discovery that had a huge impact on the Silk Road because it gave travelers the opportunity to learn more about Buddhism as religion, which included practice of the religion and the way of life. This cave stretched for miles and stored thousands of pieces of art from the Buddhists that traveled along the Silk Road and some still remain today. One piece of artwork that has been talked about throughout history was The Bodhisattvas. There are hundreds of paintings of the Bodhisattvas that have found their places on walls within the caves, which have been very inspiring for pilgrims who pass along the road. This painting was seen as portraying perfect peace and gave the travelers a sense of calmness when being worshipped and peace was the main thing that Buddhists wanted to attain. Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk, traveled along the Silk Road and came across this piece of artwork while stopping to worship at a sanctuary with a stupa or a figure of the Buddha at one end. He thought that this piece of artwork was portraying a way of perfect peace and the face of the sculpture showed tranquility, which he believed would allow an endless stream of pilgrims to witness.