On our recent tour of China, we had really wanted to explore more of Sichuan not just for the spicy foods the province is famous for and the pandas in Chengdu, but also for the Leshan Giant Buddha – which at 71 meters (233 feet) tall, is the tallest Buddha statue in the world. Helmed by imposing peaks and gushing water, the Buddha figure stands tall and mighty, facing the legendary Mount Emei (the setting for many kungfu movies). Carved out of a cliff face, the giant Buddha was said to have been built right at the confluence point of three rivers, to calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels traveling down the river. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims and non-religious travelers alike.
There is a local saying: “The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain”. This is partially because the mountain range in which the Buddha statue is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart. Here are some photos of the impressive Leshan Giant Buddha, as shot from the river (on board a boat) – let’s see if you can spot the Buddha within the Buddha.
Haven’t got enough of Buddha statues? Check out Environmental Graffiti’s list of 17 biggest Buddhas on Earth.
Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by China Odyssey Tours, but all opinions expressed above are our own.