The grottoes are located in Luoyang, in central China and are one of the most impressive examples of Buddhist art in all of China. They are carved into a one kilometer stretch of limestone on the Yi River. There are approximately 1400 caves, the little holes in the limestone visible in the above pictures included. Inside and outside those caves reside approximately 100,000 statues.
The earliest of the statues was carved in 493 AD. Many of the statues were commissioned by emperors in memory of ancestors. Over the years, they were looted by foreign countries and warring states. In addition, wind and water erosion have worn away some of the statues. Over the past 60 years or so, the Chinese government has made a concerted effort to restore and protect the grottoes.
It is worth a visit to Luoyang to see the grottoes. Other attractions in the area include the Shaolin Temple and Song Mountain.