Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi Province, were carved in the 5th and 6th centuries. There exist 53 grottoes and about 51,000 sculptures of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas today.
The Yungang Grottoes are a classical work of the Chinese grotto art as it is best described by the World Heritage Committee:
1.The assemblage of statuary of the Yungang Grottoes is a masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art.
2.The Yungang cave art represent the successful fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from south and central Asia with Chinese cultural traditions, starting in the 5th century CE under Imperial auspices.
3.The power and endurance of Buddhist belief in China are vividly illustrated by the Yungang Grottoes.
4.The Buddhist tradition of religious cave art achieved its first major impact at Yungang, where it developed its own distinct character and artistic power.
The Yungang Grottoes, the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang in Gansu Province and the Longmen Grottoes at Luoyang in Henan Province are the three largest ancient grotto complexes in China.