Mogao Grottoes [File Photo]
Located on the eastern slopes of the Mingsha Mountain in the southeast of Dunhuang County in Gansu Province, the Mogao Grottoes are one of three best noted grottoes in China and also contain the largest, best preserved and richest treasure house of Buddhist art in the whole world. Also known as the Thousand Buddha Cave, a monk named Yue Seng chiseled the first cave here in 366, during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). The endeavor was continued by later dynasties, up until the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), resulting in the fantastic group of caves that can still be seen today. Today, 492 caves have stood the test of time and contain some 2,100 colored statues and 45,000 square meters of murals.