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The Biggest Grottoes Gallery - Mogao Crottoes

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The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, also known as the One-Thousand-Buddha Grottoes and must-see for Silk Road travel, are located on the eastern, rocky side of Singing Sand Mountain, near Dunhang City, Gansu Province. According to historical records, the carving of them was started in 366 AD and continued for about 1,000 years.

The Mogao Grottoes were hewn, in a 1,600-meter expanse across the sheer Cliffside running from south to west. The smallest cave is only about 0.3 meter tall, merely allowing one to pop his head in, whereas the largest one covers a space of 268 square meters. The tallest grotto stands from the foot to the top of the hill, looking like a high-rise from the outside. All are randomly scattered like a honeycomb. Despite harsh weathering through the centuries, the murals in the grottoes still remain colorful and brilliant, with their content focusing mainly on Buddhist stories. They are a showcase for the development and evolution of China's art from the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589) to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). Grotto No. 17 is a sutra-keeping cave well-known at home and abroad. The over 50,000 sutras, ancient documents, embroideries and portraits discovered here in 1900, once produced wide repercussions in the academic circles of the world. Now, there are 492 grottoes in existence to explore for your top 10 China tours, with some 45,000 square meters of murals and 2,415 painted clay figures.

The grottoes in the Mogao Caves are the world's largest and oldest treasure house of Buddhist art, attracting an endless flow of scholars and tourists with their everlasting charms.

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