Saturday, April 16, 2011

That is One Big Buddha

On our first day in China, we visited the Leshan Giant Buddha statue in Sichuan. The seventy one meter high statue sits at the intersection of the Minjang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers. Construction finished in 803, taking 90 years to complete.

The statue was championed by a monk who sought to build this to protect the local people from flooding. After his initial attempts at getting the project started, he removed his own eyes. This dedication apparently moved the Governor at the time to undertake the project.

We took a boat ride to view the Giant Buddha. You can actually go there, but we just viewed it from the boat.

Its amazing to think of a project that lasts 90 years. Its very likely that no-one in the area who was alive at the start of the project was still alive at completion. The fact that this was completed over 1,300 years ago is even more astounding. In one sense it was interesting to see it, but I don’t know if it was really worth the time. We were probably in front of it less than five minutes.

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I took most of my photos in portrait (taller than wide) mode. That would have been okay, but I should have taken a few in landscape so that I could get all of the carvings on both sides of the statue.




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