The Leshan Giant Buddha is located near Leshan City in the province of Sichuan in China and is the largest stone Buddha ever created in the world as well as the biggest and tallest existing statue from the ancient times. It has been listed a a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and is one of the main landmarks in the Chinese province of Sichuan. The Buddha statue sits at 71 metres tall and 28 metres wide and depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha.
Leshan Buddha and the river
Image attribution to Ariel Steiner @ Wiki
The cliff stairway to the top of the statue
Image attribution to happyheo @ Flickr
Close up view on the head of the Giant Buddha
The construction of the Leshan Buddha started in 713 AD during the Tang Dynasty by a Chinese monk hoping that the Buddha statue would calm the turbulent waters plauging shipping vessels around the river. However the construction was delayed due to lack of funding until a Chinese official sponsored the project to resume construction and was completed by 803 AD. The construction of the Giant Buddha was said to have resulted so much stone falling from the cliff face into the river that it eventually calm the turbulent waters around the river. A wooden structure was originally built to shelter the Giant Buddha but was destroyed by the Mongolians during the Yuan dynasty wars.
Guardian craving at the side of the Buddha
Closer full view
Smaller buddha statues around the Giant Buddha
Getting there :
The nearest international airport is the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) and is around 130 km from the Leshan Giant Buddha.