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The Mogao Caves, also called Mogao Grottoes, is one of the “Two Bests” in the south of Dunhuang with the Echoing-sand Mountain and Crescent Spring. Famous for its fabulous frescos and statues, the Mogao Caves is one of the four celebrated caves in China and has been listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.
Caved on the eastern precipice of the Echoing-sand Mountain, the Mogao Caves stretches almost 1,600 meters long, and looks magnificent with its five-storey loft construction. It is said to be the largest, oldest and best-preserved Buddhist caves with richest contents on the world today, containing 735 caves, 45,000 square meters of murals as well as 2,415 colored clay statues in total. When looking around these caves, you will find frescos of Buddhist stories or others everywhere. Since the Mogao Caves is also well-known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, numerous Buddha statues in various shapes can be found here, which act as a sculpture gallery.
The construction of the Mogao Caves can be traced back to the period of the Sixteen Kingdoms. And the later dynasties witnessed their recreation, perfection, as well as absorption of the merits of western ancient arts from India, Greece, Iran, etc. Nowadays, in order to keep and research these rare scriptures, Dunhuang Studies has come into being.
In recent time, Mogao Caves has been a brilliant pearl in the Chinese art treasure troves, and attracted tourists all over the world.