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Maiji Mountain Grottoes

These grottoes are found on the precipices of Maiji Mountain thirty kilometers south of Tianshui County, Gansu Province. Maiji Mountain is a green and graceful peak in the western part of the grand Qinling Range. The grottoes were cut during a period of 1,500 years from the Later Qin Dynasty (384-417) up to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). During an earthquake in the seventh century, the cliff broke in two and the grottoes were thus divided into east and west sections. The 194 remaining grottoes today contain a total of seven thousand clay and stone statues and 1,300 square metres of mural paintings. The sculptures representing celestial figures portray them as real people, full of life and energy.