The Middle Cave, the second largest of the caves in scale, still has its impressive entrance and large stone porch largely preserved. In recent times, a wooden porch-like structure was added to the front of the cave. Above the eaves of the porch and carved into the stone mountainside, there is a domed roof with a fenced harmika or platform at the top. The single-story stupa with domed roof is a distinctive feature of the design of the Xiangtangshan caves and appears on the walls of the North Cave and on many smaller stone carvings of the middle and late sixth century. Tall armored guardian figures stand under the stone eaves of the porch, and large lions support the columns flanking the door. Walking into the cave, visitors pass under the gaze of two tall bodhisattvas who face the entrance. The Middle Cave, like the great North Cave, has a large central pillar. However, it has only a single large niche deeply cut into the front of the pillar to form an altar on which a Buddha sits on a lotus throne accompanied by two tall standing disciple figures and two bodhisattvas. The base of the central pillar has relief figures of Spirit Kings, lions, and incense burners, much like the North Cave. The cave walls were originally left largely plain, but devotees of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) added a row of seated Buddhas contained in shallow niches that encircle cave's interior.