Sichuan Leshan Giant Buddha, China
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Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha is located in eastern side of Min river, Leshan city, Sichuan province, facing to west. It is the largest stone sitting figure of Buddha in China.
"The mountain is like the figure of Buddda and the figure of Buddha is like the mountain" is the exact description of Leshan Giant Buddha.
Leshan Giant Buddha is 70.70 meters high, its head is 14.70 meters high with 1021 bangs, its ear is 6.72 meters long, its shoulder is 24 metres wide, its nose is 5.33 meter long, its eye is 3.3 meters long, its middle finger is 8.30 meters long, its instep is 9 meters wide and 11 meters long where more than 100 people can sit around.
Its posture is very gigantic and structure is well proportioned, its expression is dignified, natural and calm.
Leshan Giant Buddha is with hill of Lingyun behind and three rivers in front. The three rivers are Min river, Qingyi river and Dadu river. They join at Lingyun hill which has been famous scenic spot and Buddhism resort as early as Sui Tang Dynasty.
When people look up to the gigantic figure of Buddha by boat, they tour the scienic spot of Lingyun hill at same time.
People always thought Bashian, the gigantic standing figure of Buddha of 53 meters height in Afghanistan, was the largest one in the world previously. In fact, Leshan Giant Buddha is 18 meters higher than it and three times higher than the largest figure of Buddha in Yungang Grotoes, Datong area, Shanxi province.
When people visit it, they can not help praising highly the ancient sculpture experts'wisdom and willpower with that they designed and built the gigantic figure.
Min river flows to Chengdu plain with vast snow water rising from Daxue mountain in north of Sichuan province and become a large river when it flows to Leshan. It converges with Dadu river of roaring waves and Qingyi river of rapids in Lingyin hill where Leshan Giant Buddha built.
The best time to visit the figure of Buddha is in a suuny afternoon of spring, you first enjoy the beautiful scenery of three rivers by boat, then go to foot of the figure of Buddha, you will find "Xifang Rulai" towers aloft magnificantly in front of your eyes when the setting sun is shinning the Buddha. Travelling by boat is the best way to appreciate Leshan Giant Buddha.
Leshan Giant Buddha was started to build in the early year of Tangxuanzong Kaiyuan(713 A.D.) and finished in 19th year of Dezongzhenyuan of Tang Dynasty(803 A.D.). It lasted 90 years totally. Its sponsor was Haitong, a famous Buddhist mond in Lingyun temple near Lingyun hill.
He often passed by here and saw Min river, Qingyi river and Dadu river joining here, It flowed rapidly to the foot of Lingyun hill, surged forward irresistibly. It was even more rapid in flood season, the waves dashed the boats passed here against rocks.
Haitong felt uneasy seeing this occassion. He wanted to perish the flood relying on superhuman strength. So, he emerged an idea of building the figure of Buddha.
He took vigorous action to contribute money at that time. He went to many places to persuade kind people to support his thoughts. The donation (manpower, money and material resources) expanded to Jianghuai areas and lasted as long as 90 years.
Haitong insisted on donation with single-hearted devotion and spared no effort. Haitong cave on the top of Lingyun hill now with Haitong's statue inside was to commenorate Haitong. It is said Haitong lived there at that time. Haitong died before Leshan Giant Buddha was set up. Then, Weigao (Chuanxi Jiedushi) continued to supervise the cutting project in order to finish Haitong's last wish.
When the figure of Buddha finished, a Daxiang pavilion was set up to cover the figure of Buddha. The span of the pavilion was 60 meters. 7 layers high, 13 eaves, but it was damaged during the end year Yuan Dynasty because of turmoil and chaos of war.
There were "Jiu Qu Zhan Dao"at the right side of the figure of Buddha It was cut in precipitous rock and finished at same time with the figure of Buddha. Standing on pavement, facing the dangerous precipice and deep valley, people feel alarmingly dangerous.
It was surprising that how ancient Chinese could guarantee proportion ratio proper and posture balanced without scientific instruments. Careful visitors find there are drainage ditches vertically and horizontally behind the figure's ears and head. Water could be drained away through the ditches after rain. So, the figure of Buddha could not be eroded by water.
The figure of Buddha be kept so well after thousands of years, many thanks to the scientific drainage system which guarantee the figure of Buddha not eroding by water and oxidizing by wind.