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The Yungang Grottoes

  • Uploaded: 6/20/2012 2:42:00 PM | Views: 1015

The Yungang Grottoes are located at the southern foot of Mt. Wuzhou, 16 kilometers west of Datong city in Shanxi Province. The grottoes extend for one kilometer from east to west. It is one of China's largest grotto groups; the other two being the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, and the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang. The construction of the caves started under the auspices of the noted monk Tan Yao in 453, and took 60 years to complete. 40,000 laborers and prisoners, including some people from Sri Lanka, contributed to this huge project. There are 45 caves housing the Yungang Grottoes, containing 252 grottoes and 51,000 sculptures illustrating Chinese Buddhism from the 5th to the 6th centuries.

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