The Yungang Grottoes lie in the northern part of Shanxi province about ten miles west of the industrial city of Datong. The approximately fifty caves carved in the sandstone cliffs of the Wuzhou mountain range stretch for about a kilometer along the Wuzhou River. The construction of the caves was started under the auspices of the noted monk Tan Yao in 453 and took 50 years to complete. The 53 grottoes in Yungang Grottos include some 1,000 niches with about 51,000 statues – a treasure-trove of cave art that combines traditional Chinese art forms with foreign influence, particularly Greek and Indian. Sculptures here are noted for their vigorous features and rich variety that range from the smallest, only 2 centimeters high, to the tallest – a Buddha 17-meters high.