Grand Buddha of Leshan

Grand Buddha of Leshan

Literally translating as 'Happy Mountain', Leshan is home to the largest stone-carved and tallest pre modern statue in the world, the Leshan Grand Buddha. Sitting peacefully over the confluence of the Min, Dadu and Qingyi Rivers, the Buddha has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

The 71 metre tall Buddha was originally built in AD713 under the instruction of Haitong, a Buddhist monk. During this period, the waters of the river were turbulent and traitorous, making trade and travel impossible. Haitong believed that the presence of the Buddha would calm the river below and sure enough, he was correct. Whilst plenty of praise was heaped on Buddha for calming the river, sceptics felt that it was in fact the excess rock from the construction that was cast into the river that calmed the waters. The Buddha can be best viewed from a boat from the waters below, though it is also possible to climb to the bottom of the Buddha's feet, from where you can truly appreciate its colossal size.

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Six Facts About The Grand Buddha of Leshan

When the Buddha was first constructed, a 13 storey wooden shelter was also built, to protect him from the elements.

The statue is of a seated Maitreya Buddha (a future Buddha).

The Buddha’s shoulders are 28 metres wide and his eyebrows are five and a half metres.

‘The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain’ is a local proverb from the Leshan area.

On the terrace close to Buddha’s ear is a modern-made statue of the Haitong, the monk who commissioned him.

The whole Buddha is carved from stone, apart from his ears which were made of wood, fixed to the statue and covered in clay.

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