Located seven km to the northeast of Kizil Town in Baicheng County, Kizil Grottos (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2008-08/13/content_6932025.htm) stand amidst beautiful natural surroundings, with Mingwutag Mountains to the north and Muzart River to the south. Of the total existing 236 grottoes, 135 remain virtually intact. The construction of the grottoes began around the 3rd century and lasted for 500-600 years. In terms of scale, they are comparable to the Mogao Grottoes in Gansu, Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi, and Longmen Grottoes in Henan. The murals in these grottoes are mainly drawings of the Buddha, patrons of Buddhism, and animals in Jataka stories in Buddhist sutras, such as the birth of the Buddha. In 1961, Kizil Grottos were designated among the first batch of key cultural relics under state protection.