The Worlds largest Buddha and the Leshan Dafo Temple

Dafu Buddha, a Chinese Masterpiece

 Mom and I in front of the Leshan Giant Buddha

Mom and I in front of the Leshan Giant Buddha

MASTERPIECE.  No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.

I thought of the Dafu or Leshan Giant Buddha that I had the opportunity to see while on my China Odyssey with my mom.

Construction on the Leshan Giant Buddha started in 713, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels traveling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. After his death, however, the construction was stuck due to insufficient funding. About 70 years later, a jiedushi decided to sponsor the project and the construction was completed by Haitong’s disciples in 803.

The Buddha is 71 meters tall, the largest stone Buddha in the world
The Buddha is 71 meters tall, the largest stone Buddha in the world

Apparently the massive construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were indeed altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships.

His shoulders are 28 metres wide
His shoulders are 28 metres wide

When the Giant Buddha was carved, a huge thirteen story wooden structure, plated in gold, was built to shelter it from rain and sunshine. This structure was destroyed and sacked by the Mongols during the wars at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. From then on, the stone statue was exposed to the elements.

At 71 meters tall, it is the largest stone Buddha in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world.

33 comments

  1. Great series. I like how you included the crowd on the far side of the canyon. This really gives the statue a sense of scale. Without the people, one could easily mistake it as only a couple of dozen feet tall.

    Like

Please share your thoughts,I would love to know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.