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The Leshan Giant Buddha

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Chengdu, China.

  • Photo of The Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Photo of The Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Photo of The Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Photo of The Leshan Giant Buddha
Photo of The Leshan Giant Buddha
Photo by flickr user ToastyKen
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Seated, straight backed and more stern than in many of his other incarnations, the giant Buddha at Leshan is the world’s tallest stone Buddha coming in at 71 metres high, perfectly proportioned, each finger around three metres long. The statue is Maitreya, a plump cheerful monk always seen seated. It took 90 years for thousands or workers to create the statue which was finally finished in 803; as well as being big Maitreya is also detailed, with chearly ridged finger nails and more than a thousand inserts making up the coiled buns of his hair. He also has a cleverly hidden drainage system of channels running down his head and arms which keep him dry inside and help protect him from damage. Carved into a wooded orange cliff, the junction of the Dadu, Minjiang and Qingyi Rivers swirls around the ledge his feet rest on and he stares off towards Mount Emei, the people walking around his base not even reaching past the base of his vast platform flip flops. Hai Tong was the monk who conceived the scheme to build him, arguing that the power of the Buddha would help to calm the turbulent waters where the rivers join, it turns out that this was in part effective - all the rock from the excavations went into the rivers decreasing their ferocity. Tourist ships sailing past for a look at the Buddha now reap the calm rewards.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Leshan Giant Buddha

My wife and I took a retirement trip to the far east to include Hong Kong, Chengdu and Tibet. One of the highlights was to see the Great Buddha at Chengdu.

We travelled approx two hours from Chengdu city to the site, first taking a boat trip to view the statue from the river, then enter the main site and walk up to the Buddha.

This is an astonishing place to visit (only the photographs can do it justice) situated at the junction of two major rivers, built to offer protection to travels along the dangerous waterways.

We went in July this year, the weather was hot and steamy and the crowds of Chinese tourist prevented us from getting too close at the land site (we would have been subjected to a five hour wait to climb down 300 steps).

I would recommend anyone to take the time to visit this wonderful place and see for yourself the marvel of Chengdu.

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