Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Letting the pearl on the Silk Road shine brighter

There is need to transcend civilisation barriers between India and China through exchanges, rise above civilisation conflicts by mutual learning, and overcome the sense of superiority by promoting coexistence of civilisations
By IASToppers
August 30, 2019


  • Introduction
  • What are Mogao Caves?
  • Connection of Mogao caves with India
  • Silk road and India
  • High level meeting between India-China
  • Conclusion

Letting the pearl on the Silk Road shine brighter

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  • Recently, Chinese President visited the Mogao caves to inspect cultural relics protection and research work.


What are Mogao Caves?

  • The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 492 temples near Dunhuang (Chinese city).


  • These caves are situated at a strategic point along the Silk Route. Being an important hub city, Dunhuang is known as the “Pearl on the Silk Road”.
  • It is located in a desert oasis surrounded by water and mountain.
  • It was built over 1,650 years ago and become the most abundant and exquisite Buddhist art relics in China and beyond.
  • These caves have about 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2,000 painted sculptures.

Connection of Mogao caves with India

  • Indian-style sculptures can be seen in the Mogao caves built during the 4th to 6th centuries.


  • The moves of the most commonly seen Apsara figure in Dunhuang murals are similar to those in Indian classical dances.
  • Dunhuang also keeps many ancient Buddhist sutras written in Sanskrit and Pattra-Leaf Scripture.
  • These paintings show the mixture of Chinese, Indian, Greek and Islamic cultural systems as well.

Silk road and India

  • China and India have developed close economic, trade and cultural exchanges along the ancient Silk Road of both land and sea.


  • China’s paper making, silk, porcelain and tea were introduced to India, while Indian singing and dancing, astronomy, architecture and spices were introduced to China along the silk route.
  • Buddhist monks such as Xuan Zang, Kumarajiva, Bodhidharma and other great monks made the expeditions to India and western world.

High level meeting between India-China

  • Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister and Indian Minister of External Affairs co-chaired the second meeting of China-India High Level People-to-People (P2P) and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism in Beijing.

  • The mechanism was set up under the joint initiative of Chinese President and Prime Minister of India.


  • At this meeting, China and India agree to host more P2P and cultural events, work for new cultural exchanges and consolidate the popular support for the sound development of China-India relations.


  • Facing challenges of today’s world, there is need to draw wisdom from the history of the Silk Road and create a bright future of common development.

Th24-Sun-Dunhuang-iastoppers Letting the pearl on the Silk Road shine brighter

  • The Silk Road spirit reveals the truth that there will be no progress without openness and no development without exchanges.
  • In the new era, China and India should adhere to inclusiveness and resolve differences through building common ground.


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