CHINA – When it comes to historically inspiring landmarks, the giant Buddha statue of Leshan stands as a testament to human craftsmanship and dedication.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a colossal statue carved into the Lingyun Mountain. Standing at a height of over 71 meters, surpassing the standing Buddha statue in Afghanistan, the Leshan Giant Buddha is the tallest and largest Buddha statue in the world.
Locals have a saying: “The mountain is the Buddha, the Buddha is the mountain” It has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Dimensions of the Giant Buddha Statue
The statue depicts the Maitreya Buddha seated with both hands on his knees and a smile on his face.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is approximately 71 meters tall and 24 meters wide. The head is 14.7 meters long and 10 meters wide, adorned with 1,021 hair knots.
The smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person. Each ear is 7 meters long, and the nose is 5.6 meters long. Each eyebrow extends 5.5 meters.
The foot platform, 8.5 meters wide, can hold 100 people, and the toes are large enough to accommodate a dining table.
The Origin Story of The Leshan Giant Buddha Statue
Revealing Cultural Heritage
The Leshan Giant Buddha was crafted during the Tang Dynasty, a flourishing period for art and culture in China. Carved into the rock walls at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi rivers, the sculpture emerged as a symbol protecting sailors navigating the treacherous waters.
A Marvelous Undertaking
Creating the statue was a labor-intensive effort spanning decades. Skilled artisans meticulously carved the red sandstone rock to reveal an intricately detailed and inspired form. Absolute dedication to every detail is evident in the fine craftsmanship of the stone.
In ancient times, Leshan was located at the confluence of the Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The turbulent waters caused numerous boat accidents, leading to suffering for the people in the region.
A monk named Hai Tong believed that the spiritual energy of the Buddha could calm the turbulent waters, so he initiated the construction of the statue. Halfway through the project, Hai Tong passed away, and his two disciples continued the work.
Special Drainage System
The Leshan Giant Buddha features a special drainage system to ensure proper preservation. Some drainage channels are concealed within the hair, collar, chest, and behind the ears and chest of the Buddha, preventing erosion and serious weathering.
The Buddha has been venerated throughout its 1,200-year history, yet moss still grows on the statue.
How to Visit the Giant Buddha Statue
Embarking on a journey to the inspiring Leshan Giant Buddha offers not one but two enchanting ways to immerse yourself in its grandeur: a daring hiking trail or a scenic boat tour.
For those yearning to forge a close connection with this colossal wonder, the hiking trail beckons. Step onto the intricate wooden paths winding around the majestic Buddha statue.
Navigating these steep and narrow paths will unveil ever-changing perspectives, allowing you to admire the magnificent beauty of the Buddha from head to toe.
However, tread carefully, as this option demands agility and flexibility. If circumstances hinder this adventurous exploration, perhaps consider an alternative solution.
Enter the scene aboard a boat, where distance provides a different splendid view. On a sightseeing boat, marvel at the Buddha from a strategic position, creating a panoramic masterpiece.
A tranquil journey provides relaxation for those less inclined to trek rugged trails, making it an ideal choice, especially during peak tourist season (July to October), where avoiding crowds is crucial.
Alternatively, embrace both worlds—the intimacy of walking and the allure of a seaside panorama. This harmonious combination ensures a comprehensive encounter with this iconic masterpiece, extending beyond mere sightseeing to a profound meeting with this iconic marvel.
Learn more about: Chengdu travel experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is the Leshan Giant Buddha?
The Leshan Giant Buddha dates back to the Tang Dynasty, making it over 1,300 years old.
How tall is the Giant Buddha statue?
The standing statue is approximately 71 meters tall.
Can visitors climb the statue?
No, visitors cannot climb the statue. However, there are paths and platforms providing closer views.