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Leshan Giant Buddha, the Biggeset Buddha on Earth

Leshan Giant Buddha As one of Chinese ancient man-made wonders, Leshan Giant Buddha is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, and is the hottest tourist destination in southwest China thanks to its grandness and mystery. It was carved out of a cliff face by an 8th-century monk in southern Szechuan province, near the city of Leshan. The Giant Buddha lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers. It faces the sacred Mount Emei (with which it shares its World Heritage status), with the rivers flowing below his feet.

Construction  began in 713 AD. A Chinese monk named Haitong, who hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river, proposed to build it. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. The massive construction project was finally completed by his disciples 90 years later.

The construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships as the monk had hoped. There are still some vicious currents where the three rivers meet - but none that threaten the tourist ferries. The "Mount Emei Scenic Area with Leshan Giant Buddha" was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. Maitreya is the future Buddha, who will appear to preach the dharma when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have faded away. He was especially popular during the 4th to 7th centuries, and his images are found throughout the Buddhist world, conveying his characteristic air of expectancy and promise.

the big foot of the giant buddha in Leshan mountain The Giant Buddha of Leshan sits impassively against the mountain, hands on his knees and looking across the river with heavy-lidded eyes. Standing 71 meters (233 feet) tall, the Giant Buddha of Leshan is taller by 17 meters than the standing Buddha in Afghanistan, making it the tallest in the world.

His shoulders are 28 meters (92 feet) wide and his smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person. Each eyebrow is 18 feet long. According to a local saying, "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain."

Several drainage passages are hidden in the Buddha's hair, collar, chest, and holes in the back of his ears and chest, preventing the Buddha from serious erosion and weathering. He has been lovingly maintained on a regular basis throughout his 1,200-year history, but is still a bit mossy.

Visitors stare in awe at the Buddha from passing tourist ferries and from a terrace next to his ear. On one side of the terrace is a modern statue of the monk Haitong, and behind is the Lingyun Temple Museum with accounts of the construction and renovations of Dafo.

Also in Leshan, south of the Giant Buddha, is Wuyou Si, a pink-walled monastery founded in 742 AD. It has impressive decorations, including splendid gate guardians, animated scenes from the Journey to the West (on the second hall) and amusing sculptures of arhats (inside the Louhan Hall).

 Map of Leshan Grand Buddha

map of leshan grand buddha
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