Leshan Giant Buddha
乐山大佛 The Leshan Grand Buddha is a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site and is the largest stone Buddha in the world. Usually done as a day trip, it is located about a 2 hour drive outside Chengdu. There is little reason to stay in Leshan itself. The Leshan Grand Buddha faces Mount Emei and was built at the confluence of two large rivers to protect those navigating the river from disasters.
Walking down the rock wall steps alongside it you can feel the immensity of this creation. Its feet viewed from above make people below look like ants. Detailed, well proportioned and beautiful, this Buddha is well worth a look.
There are two ways to see the Buddha, one is by foot on the site and the other is by boat. Its possible to do both. By foot you get a close look at the site. By boat you get a good distant view and don’t have to walk up and down the stone steps if this is a problem for you.
Built during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), the Buddha was carved at the intersection of two rivers because boat traffic was having a large number of accidents. After building the Buddha this part of the river became safe. It is speculated that maybe the rubble from carving the Buddha changed the flow of the river, or perhaps people became better at navigating it.
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