The Matisi Grottoes are Buddhist cave temples in the administrative region of the Mati Tibetan community in the Chinese province of Gansu. It is a large group of different cave complexes that are scattered over 30 square kilometers in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains. The best accessible site is approximately 65 kilometers south of Zhangye city center. The first caves were dug about 1,600 years ago. It is named after the Mati Monastery (Mǎtísì), which literally means “Horse Hoof Monastery”. According to Chinese legend, the god Erlang stopped here so that his horse could rest. Tibetan tradition, however, attributes the horse’s hoof , which is seen as an imprint in a rock, to the riding horse of the famous hero king Gesar. The section of the cliff carved out as a pagoda is the most imposing part of Mati Si. It’s nearly 200 feet in height. It’s divided into seven floors and houses seven grottoes, an intricate set of tunnels, and 200 Buddha statues.