Giant Buddha of Leshan

Giant Buddha of Leshan

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The Giant Buddha of Leshan, also known as Dafo or the Great Buddha statue in Leshan, China, is a massive sculpture of a sitting Buddha which was carved into Mount Lingyun from 713 AD.

At an incredible height of 230 feet, the Giant Buddha of Leshan was originally created by a monk called Haitong to oversee passing ships travelling along the Qingyi, Min and Dadu rivers beneath it. the Giant Buddha of Leshan was completed in around 803 AD, although Haitong did not live to see his masterpiece completed.

Since then, many Buddhist temples and structures were built around the Giant Buddha of Leshan, transforming the area into one of China’s most important centres of Buddhism.

Visitors can take the steep stairs down to the Giant Buddha of Leshan's enormous feet, sail by in a boat or cross the Haoshang Bridge to catch a good view of this magnificent site.

In 1996, the Giant Buddha of Leshan became a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the Mount Emei Scenic Area. It is also featured as one of our top ten Tourist Attractions of China.

Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha boat trip ticket price: CNY 70 per person

Leshan Giant Buddha is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, which was carved out of a cliff on Lingyun Mountain. Leshan Giant Buddha, together with Mount Emei Scenic Area, was listed by UNESCO as the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1996.. The Giant Buddha lies at the junction of the Minjiang River, Dadu and Qingyi Rivers. The stone sitting sculpture faces the sacred Mt. Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet. Construction on the Giant Buddha began in 713 A.D during Tang Dynasty. It was the idea of a Chinese monk named Haitong, who hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. The rock and mud excavated from the mountain exposing the Buddha filled up the riverbed, creating a more favorable flow of water. Consequently the river did become calmer.

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. Maitreya was especially popular during the 4th to 7th centuries, and his images were found throughout the Buddhist world, conveying his characteristic air of expectancy and promise.

There is smart drainage system on Leshan Giant Buddha. 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 also been lovingly maintained on a regular basis throughout his 1,200-year history.

Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of maitreya. People worship maitreya in Tang dynasty. Buddhist texts wrote that the world would be "in peace" when maitreya was born. During Wuzhou Period (690-705), Wu Zetian gave orders to make up a book to prove she was the maitreya reincarnation. With the help of worship of the maitreya, she became the first woman emperor in feudal times of China. Since Wu Zetian strongly advocated maitreya, carving Buddha prevailed among the whole country. The Leshan Giant Buddha began to be built only 20 years from Wu Zetian Period, therefore the craftsman chose to carve maitreya in the mountain. Besides, maitreya is Buddha that can bring light and happiness of the future. This meaning was in accordance with the claim of quieting down the flood.

The Buddha is so huge that everything is big on his body. He has a 14.7-meter-tall (48.2 ft), 10-meter-wide (32.8 ft) head, 7-meter-long (23 ft) ears, a 5.6-meter-long (18.3 ft) nose, two 5.6-meter-long (18.3 ft) eyebrows, 3.3-meter-wide (10.8 ft) eyes and mouth, a 3-meter-long (10 ft) neck, 8.3-meter-long (27.2 ft) fingers and 8.5-meter-wide (27.9 ft) feet that can accommodate more than 100 people sitting together.

The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha's coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole. Another architectural highlight is the drainage system. This system is made up of some hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, behind the ears and in the clothes. This system, which helps displace rainwater and keep the inner part dry, plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha. The large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. For craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it was not easy to fix these to the stone head.

It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Tempestuous waters ensured that boat accidents were numerous and the simple people put the disaster down to the presence of a water spirit. So Hai Tong decided to carve a statue beside the river thinking that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. Besides, the fallen stones dropped during the carving would reduce the water force there. After 20 years' begging alms, he finally accumulated enough money for the plan. When some local government officials had designs on tempting this amount of money, Hai Tong said that they could get his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha. After Hai Tong dug out his eyeball, these officials ran away scared. The project was half done when Hai Tong passed away, and two of his disciples continued the work. After a total of 90 years' hard work, the project was finally completed.

Having such a long history and such worldwide fame, the renovation of the Buddha has received extensive attention both at home and abroad. The Buddha was nearly destroyed by the erosion of wind and rain before 1963 when the Chinese government began the repairing work. At present, the maintenance work is in progress under the instruction of experts from UNESCO.

Leshan Giant Buddha

In 693 AD one of the most colossal undertakings in pre-modern history began taking place. A Buddhist monk named Haitong decided he wanted to build a Buddha statue in the Sichuan Province of China. But it wasn’t going to be just any Buddha statue. This Buddha statue was going to be carved into the side of a mountain next to a river in hopes that the Buddha would be able to control to tempestuous river spirits and allow safe passage to the numerous travelers of that river.

After saving alms for 20 years, Haitong saved up enough copper coins to begin building this monumental statue. He enlisted help from other monks, masons and his disciples and they worked tirelessly to create Haitong’s vision. Since the project was bigger than Haitong had realized, he didn’t quite have enough money to cover all the costs and he solicited a government grant. Soon after the project had begun, legend says that government officials lobbied for the cancellation of support for Haitong’s project in order to keep the money for themselves, but Haitong fought for his cause. Legend states that Haitong told them they would have his eyes before they would have the money for the Buddha statue. When they pressed further, in a fit of religious rage Haitong gouged out his own eyes and flung them at the government officials. Thus terrorized and convinced of his conviction, nobody ever tried to take that money again.

Unfortunately Haitong died before his statue was completed and after his death the government officials were successful in diverting funds from the project to their own special interests. The statue languished, unfinished, for 70 years until a regional military governor funded the completion of Haitong’s dream and the statue was finally finished in 803 AD.

Fun fact: there are 1,021 coiled buns in the Buddha’s hairdo. Another fun fact is that the ears on this statue are 23 feet long, made of wood and covered in mud.

When you first arrive at the Leshan Buddha Park, you don’t really see much. Well, after you’ve gone past a few temples and pagodas you come to this open area with the tell-tale railings that zig-zag long lines of people. And, seriously, this was a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG line. From the time we got in line until we got to the bottom of the stairs at the base of the Buddha we had been in line for a little over 2 hours. But at least the line was bunched up next to the top of the statue and we got to entertain ourselves by trying to get pictures of it without one of the billion other people that were trying to do the same thing.

Aside from entertaining ourselves that way, there was a snack cart with lots of things to choose from. The only problem is that they have it right next to the line and the only way to purchase from it is to get out of line. And yell. A lot. Those of you who have been to China know what I’m talking about.

For some reason, I got voted as the person to stand in line and fight people to get my order taken. I tried a few times and I’d get shoved or yelled over. And I’m so not kidding. People were physically pushing me out of the way. I don’t do good in crowds and this type of situation was really making my anxiety go nuts, but I eventually pushed someone back and stood my ground and got our chips and water. The next fun part was making my way back through the line to find Troy and Scott. I kept saying “excuse me” and trying to politely make my way past people, but most of the time they’d just stand there or look at me and then move in front of me. It was so frustrating!

Eventually I started getting mad at how rude people were being and started just shoving my way through people. Some people tried to block me (what the crap!) and I had to use a lot of force, which made me feel awful, but why were they not letting me through? At one point I had to shove my way through two guys who were blocking me and ended up dropping some of my stuff. It’s really hard to carry 4 water bottles and three bags of chips by yourself while trying to also protect a large camera. I really wanted to go home at that point and was about to cry. The elderly man in front of me turned around and helped me pick up my stuff and moved aside so I could get past. He was the only kind person in that entire line and I’m still grateful to him for that. By the time I made my way back to Troy and Scott I was super frustrated and told them next time we were in this situation that one of those two would be left behind to fight the crowds. It was not fun. But after a few minutes of non-stress I was able to calm down and get my anxiety back under control.

Soon we made it over to an area where we could take pictures by the Buddha and we all took turns taking pictures of each other. It was pretty fun.

It’s so embarrassing, but you can totally see how sweaty I am. It was so dang hot and humid that day. I don’t know how Troy isn’t a sweaty mess because he was sweating, too, but you can see it quite nicely on me. Even though getting the extra water had been frustrating, I’m glad I did it because we hadn’t expected it to be so hot and to be in full sun the entire time we were in line.

After an hour and a half of zig-zagging slowly we finally figured out what the holdup was. In order to get down to the Buddha you have to climb down a thin 1,640 foot switchback staircase that was carved into the side of the mountain. It’s pretty steep at the end, so people were going super slow. Kinda hard to fault them for that.

One of the neat things about the rock face (and another reason why the line moves so slowly down the stairs) is that there are carvings all down the wall. You can see several in the above picture. The few that we were able to see on our descent were pretty neat.

It wasn’t until we got to the bottom of the stairs that we faced the true magnitude of exactly how tall this statue is.

The Leshan Giant Buddha, also known as Dafo, is 233 ft tall. His shoulder span is 92 feet and each eyebrow is 18 feet. Seriously, they could fit almost 3.5 of me across one eyebrow. WOW.

Another interesting thing to note is that there is a drainage system that runs through the statue to help protect from erosion and weathering. There are holes in his hair, collar, chest and back of the ears to keep excessive amounts of water from running down the whole of the statue. And there is also regular maintenance to clean up excess moss and repair any significant damage.

We spent about a half an hour taking pictures at the base of the Buddha. We would have stayed longer, but after spending over two hours in the direct sun, we were ready to head out. But, before we did, we had to get our selfie. By this time pretty much my entire shirt was soaked. lol.

Leaving the Buddha area is a bit easier than arriving and I totally recommend visiting via the exit. We saw a few people doing that and we wish we had. People like to hang out at the bottom for a while and the exit stairs aren’t nearly as crowded as the entrance stairs. Plus they’re wider and not as steep.

There are also some neat carved tunnels to walk through. I love the texture on the walls. It’s really neat.

We also found these on a wall in the tunnels. No clue what they say, but they look really neat.

Ferries to Yibin, Luzhou and Chongqing are available at the port of the city.

Top 8 Facts about the Leshan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha, also known as Lingyun Giant Buddha, is the largest stone Buddha in the world. It is 71 meters tall. It is 8 meters taller than Bamyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.

This Giant Buddha was carved out of the side of a mountain cliff at Leshan in Sichuan Province. This site receives the most visitors in Leshan.

It took 90 years to carve the Leshan Giant Buddha, this was during the Tang Dynasty. The people back then worshipped Maitreya, they, therefore, built this statue to bring brightness and happiness.

Sitting along the banks of the Min, Qingyi, and Dadu rivers, the Leshan Giant Buddha has his hands on his knees while his eyes are fixed on the river.

This place is also frequented by Buddhists who pay homage to Maitreya. The site and the statue were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Mount Emei in 1996.

Here are the top facts about Leshan Giant Buddha.

1. The Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest stone carving in the world

By Ariel Steiner – Wikimedia

This is a statue of Maitreya in a sitting posture. It is also the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world.

The Giant Buddha has been featured in poetry, songs and stories. This project was initiated by a monk called Hai Tong.

He was concerned about the long-suffering of the people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Their daily activities put them at great risk daily.

By the time Hai Tong passed away, the project was half done. It was continued by two of his ardent disciples. They finished it in 803 BC.

The safety of the people was secured since no accident was reported. The currents of the rivers were altered by deposits from the Giant Buddha.

2. It took more than 90 years to complete this giant Buddha

Carving of Leshan Giant Buddha begun in the year 713 during the reign of the Tang Dynasty.

About 3,000 sculptors worked on the statue during the 90 years it took to complete it. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.

Hai Tong had hoped that the Buddha would help calm the turbulent waters. Many ships had crashed and capsized down this river confluence.

He campaigned to get funding for this project. At one point, he threatened to gouge out his eyes as a sign of piousness if the funding was stopped.

The work was halted after his death due to a lack of funding. His disciples continued the work after they were financed by a local official.

3. The Leshan Giant Buddha can show emotions

By André Holdrinet – Wikimedia

This Giant Buddha has been sad and happy during different moments. He does this by closing his eyes when sad or showing happiness when he was satisfied with a particular situation.

This was, however, said to have been caused by bad weather and air pollution.

Instances, when the people believed the Leshan Giant Buddha cried, was in 1962, 1963, and 1976. He showed happiness in 1994, 2001, and 2002.

In 1962, there was a natural disaster that lasted for two years. This is said to have caused the Giant Buddha to close his eyes. He could not bear watching the people suffer.

Millions of people lost their lives from starvation. The Buddha could not bear to see such tragedy. Tears were seen flowing down the face of the Giant Buddha.

4. The sculpture depicts a famous Buddha

By BrightRaven – Wikimedia

This Giant Buddha was sculpted in the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty. The brains behind the project were Hai Tong.

At the time that the statue was carved, it was the peak of Buddhist culture in ancient China. This statue depicts Maitreya, a very popular Buddha in the Tang Dynasty.

It is believed that when Maitreya comes into the world, he brings peace with him. A female Chinese sovereign, Wu Zetian, believed she reincarnated as Maitreya. She strongly supported the project.

The Giant Buddha is believed to be the source of light and happiness. Hai also believed that the Buddha would protect the people from floods.

5. It was carved to appease the gods

By Christopher J. Martin Pacemparabellum – Wikimedia

Buddhism had been one of the most important religions in ancient China. Many people built statues around the giant Buddha to thank the gods.

The Buddhist monk Hai Tong was concerned about the safety of the local people. These people earned their living from the three rivers.

People would travel on the river using boats and they would lose their lives in the turbulent waters. So, Hai believed that to end this, they needed to appease the gods.

It took him more than 20 years to raise funds for this project. He refused to get help from the government because they wanted to gain personal profits.

He even extracted his eyeball in protest against the local authorities. They backed out after this incident.

6. There were no accidents on the river during the time the Buddha was being carved

After the Buddha was completed, no cases of shipwrecks were reported. What changed was that the pieces of stones removed from the cliff were taken to the river and it, in turn, reduced the turbulent currents.

Pleased by this, the people built tombs of the Han Dynasty near the Leshan Giant Buddha. These historic sites make the Leshan Giant Buddha predominantly important for archaeologists and researching people’s lifestyles in ancient times.

A sophisticated drainage system was added to the Leshan Giant Buddha when it was built. It includes drainage pipes carved into various places on the statue. It drains water and reduces weathering.

7. The Leshan Giant Buddha has been damaged severally

At the beginning of the Northern Song Dynasty, the Leshan Giant Buddha had been damaged. Little care was given and it was covered in moss. The wooden pavilion had even collapsed.

It was repaired during the reign of Song Renzong. The wooden pavilion was rebuilt. After that, there is little information that shows the reconstruction and deconstruction of the Buddha.

Pollution from the developments in the region has also greatly affected the Giant Buddha.

8. One can view the Leshan Giant Buddha on a boat

To get a good view of the massive Leshan Giant Buddha, one can take a boat. This saves on time and energy climbing the wooden planks.

The boat is shared by a group of tourists, and it cruises in front of the river with frequent stops. Tourists take in the panoramic views of the Buddha, then return to the pier.

One can also opt for both walking and boat sightseeing. The boat can be taken to the Baxiandong Pier.


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How to Travel Leshan Giant Buddha: By Boat VS Hiking

Leshan Giant Buddha Tourist Map

There are two ways to see the Giant Buddha. One is hiking up on Lingyun Mountain and watching the Buddha from a very close distance. In this way, traveler will enter into the scenic area, and walk to the mountain top, get to the Buddha head, hike downstaris to feet through zigzag Nine Bends Plank Road. The hiking tour is unique and interesting when you see the huge size of each part, the big head, ear, eyes, feet and toenail, and lots of nice temples and Buddhist relics along the way. Good physical condition and enough time and patience are required. Your time and effort are well worth once you get to the feet, looking at the magnificent Buddha statue. But it could be long and slow when there are huge crowds.

Travel Leshan Giant Buddha by Boat or Hiking

If you want to avoid the crowded walking on the mountain, in a tight schedule or like to see the panoramic view of the Buddha, travelers can take a leisurable boat tour to see the Giant Buddha. There are two ways to take boat. The first and most popular option is to take sightseeing boat at Baxiandong or Leshan Cruise Terminal on upsteam. Wear a life jack on board and you will be taken to enjoy the panoramic front view of the Giant Buddha from the boat. The boat ride ticket is 70CNY per person, and you can take photos with the Buddha by yourself or paid service by the scenic area. The whole boat ride lasts about 30 minutes, and you will back to the departure port. Another cheap way is taking boat at Tieniumen Pier to Sun Island (a little isle 500 meters from the Buddha), where you can see the full view at afar and enjoy relaxing tea time in a local farmhouse. Sun Island is very popular among local people. More details about Visit Leshan Giant Buddha by Boat or Hiking >>

Note: 1.) Baxiandong Cruise Terminal is located about 1km from the Ticket Office on the same side of the Buddha, while Leshan Dock/Port is located across the river facing the Buddha. 2.)You don't need to buy the entrance ticket if taking a boat. 3.) In summer rainny season, water level will rise and the boat tour may be suspended for safety.

The Leshan Giant Buddha Weeps at the Crimes Against God and Humanity

The Leshan Giant Buddha in the southern part of Sichuan Province in China is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. (Image: Ariel Steiner via wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.5)

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The world’s largest and tallest stone Buddha statue, the Leshan Giant Buddha, is located at the Lingyun Mountain’s Qifeng Peak, which is located at the confluence of three rivers — the Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River — in the southern part of Sichuan Province in China. The statue depicting Maitreya Buddha in a sitting posture is 233 feet tall. It was built between A.D. 713 and A.D. 803 during the middle of the Tang Dynasty.

The mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is perceived to be shaped like a resting Buddha when seen from the river. With the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart, the local people used to say that “the mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain.”

For hundreds of years, people from all walks of life, as well as today’s tourists, have been visiting the site to see the Buddha statue, which has been included by UNESCO on the list of World Heritage sites since 1996. It has become a cultural and natural heritage site in the world.

In history, the eyes of the Leshan Giant Buddha have closed and shed tears several times.

In history, the eyes of the Leshan Giant Buddha have closed and shed tears several times. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

According to related records, the Leshan Giant Buddha closed its eyes once during the Great Famine in China between 1959 and 1961. During that time, countless people starved to death in Sichuan. The locals were very impoverished and when their loved ones died, their bodies were rolled up in straw mats and placed into the river. The Giant Buddha is located at the lower reaches of the river and every day, dead bodies would float down the river past the Giant Buddha. The Giant Buddha, one night during this time, suddenly closed his eyes. The local people witnessed this phenomenon and thought that the Buddha could not bear to see such misery and horror.

It was believed that when the eyes of the Leshan Giant Buddha closed, it was an ominous sign. This phenomenon alarmed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities. So they ordered “reconstruction” work be carried out on the Buddha’s eyes. Back then, photos of the Buddha with closed eyes were still preserved in the Leshan Exhibition Hall.

In 1966, Mao Zedong’s 10-year Cultural Revolution movement inflicted catastrophe, wholesale destruction, and tragic disaster on traditional Chinese culture. During this appalling time of carnage, the eyes of the Buddha closed and wept silently.

It has been said that photos of the Giant Buddha weeping made the CCP panic. They spent US$6.8 million to clean and reconstruct the Giant Buddha. However, they still failed to erase the tears from the corner of the Giant Buddha’s eyes!

The CCP spent US$6.8Million to clean and reconstruct the Giant Buddha but failed to erase the tears from the corner of the Giant Buddha’s eyes! (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

In July 1976, after the Tangshan 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the entire city was leveled causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. After the earthquake, local people in Sichuan found that the eyes of the Leshan Giant Buddha were closed again. This time the Buddha looked angry and wept.

The last time the Giant Buddha shed tears was on June 7, 1994. Based on eyewitness accounts, tourists on a cruise ship witnessed the Buddha weeping. Soon after the cruise ship pulled near the shore, the Buddha was then seen smiling happily, although the tears were still on the face of the Buddha. This time the tourists shed tears of happiness. A Taoist teacher and his disciple were also on the cruise ship.

The disciple asked his Teacher: “Why did the Leshan Giant Buddha shed tears?”

The Taoist replied: “The world does not know how to respect the Buddha and the Buddha is worried for the world.”

Translated by Chua BC and edited by Michael Segarty

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Importance of Buddha’s/Buddhism

Leshan Giant Buddha - Biggest in the World - Leshan Giant Buddha. Photo by Phil Parsons Buddhism, a nontheistic religion, encompasses a variety of teachings, beliefs, and traditions that are based on the teachings of Buddha. Gautama Buddha , largely considered the founder of Buddhism, is believed to have lived and carried out his teachings across India.
With approximately 350-660 million Buddhists worldwide, followers are found mostly in Asia, the religion is now truly global, with major branches found in most countries.
There are many Buddha statues all over the world, and a lot can be learned from the position of the Buddha. The Giant Buddha in Sichuan is a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees as he gazes across the water. In Buddhism, a Maitreya Buddha, also known as the medicine Buddha, represents ‘the embodiment of loving-kindness’ specifically, ‘unattached and unconditional’ kindness.

Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area

We finally arrive at the park where the Leshan Giant Buddha rests (literally, as it has been sitting down for more than a thousand years). This astonishing 71 meter tall icon was carved from a cliff face of red bed sandstone between 713 and 803AD making it by far the largest pre-modern statue in the world. The Maitreya Buddha (one of the many Bodhisattiva or incarnations of the Buddha) sits at the confluence of the Min and Dadu rivers facing Mt Emei, the tallest of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China (at 3099 meters) and is truly a wondrous site to behold.

A scenic walkway takes pilgrims and tourists alike in a complete elevated circle around the giant statue where one can truly appreciate the incredible detail that went into building such a majestic structure. The width of the statue is 28 meters from shoulder to shoulder and each ear alone measures about 7 metres!

The attention to detail is truly mesmerizing, after all construction of the statue took only 90 years!

Although some degradation has obviously occurred throughout the more than one thousand years since its construction, the statue was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1996 meaning its conservation is safeguarded by a number of entities. The original builders integrated a drainage system inside the statue that controls the flow of rainwater limiting erosion of the structure.

10. The Tian Tan Buddha

The Tian Tan Buddha is the world’s tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. It is located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. Oye-sensei,, Creative Commons License

The tenth Buddha in our list is the only modern one. The Tian Tan Buddha of Hong Kong was completed in 1993. But he’s quickly turning into one of the most photographed Buddhas in the world. The Tian Tan Buddha is 110 feet (34 meters) tall and weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons). It is located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is called the “Tian Tan” because its base is a replica of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

The Tian Tan Buddha’s right hand is raised to remove affliction. His left hand rests on his knee, representing happiness. It is said that on a clear day the Tian Tan Buddha can be seen as far away as Macau, which is 40 miles west of Hong Kong.

He’s no rival in size to the stone Leshan Buddha, but the Tian Tan Buddha is the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha in the world. The massive statue took ten years to cast.