History of Leshan:
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk) in sitting posture.The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River.
The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in this city Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve.Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters high. The 9-meter-wide instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 24-meter-wide.
It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Tempestuous waters ensured that boat accidents were numerous and the simple people put the disaster down to the presence of a water spirit. So Hai Tong decided to carve a statue beside the river thinking that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. Besides, the fallen stones dropped during the carving would reduce the water force there. After 20 years’ begging alms, he finally accumulated enough money for the plan. When some local government officials had designs on tempting this amount of money, Hai Tong said that they could get his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha. After Hai Tong dug out his eyeball, these officials ran away scared. The project was half done when Hai Tong passed away, and two of his disciples continued the work. After a total of 90 years’ hard work, the project was finally completed.
The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha’s coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole. Another architectural highlight is the drainage system. This system is made up of some hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, behind the ears and in the clothes. This system, which helps displace rainwater and keep the inner part dry, plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha. The large pair of ears, each seven meters long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. For craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it was not easy to fix these to the stone head.MY experience:
We went with a travel agency, Our tour package included a drive from Chengdu to Leshan (almost 2-hours) to see the Giant Buddha, Lunch in Leshan and then a drive to Emeishan (1hr) for an overnight stay to see the beautiful Mount Emeishan.
The park itself is very beautiful with extremely pleasant surroundings and it was a very long walk up and down a series of steep stairs up and down the hills. Leshan Giant Buddha was carved out of a huge cliff where three rivers meet on a beautiful bank. This is the last remaining giant Buddha of such a kind after the other one was destroyed by the Talibans in Afganistan. Let me tell you, As I climb the last few stairs, Not sure when I will actually get there, and when I was there and I saw him, WOW! It gave me goosebumps, he was so massive and amazing. trust me, it is absolutely majestic! you will not be disappointed and you most certainly will not regret it!
we hovered at his head and looked down, we walked down the stairs from his head to his feet , which if you ask me, is more impressive. You realize much better the size of it.
There is a temple at the back of the giant Buddha which is worth seeing, and you can see the cave where the Monk who was in charge of the building of the Buddha used to live, then we went all the way to the bottom. It was such a fun adventure!! Everywhere you look is beautiful, be it the river or the Buddha. The Buddha is unimaginably massive and I really felt tiny standing in his presence.It is Several hundreds of years old and still in an perfect state, it is absolutely impressive.This was definitely worth all the travel stresses!
Under the protection of the Sichuan Provincial Government gained its fame from Lingbao peak on which it stands,it was built in the 9th century and renovated many times later.this square is 13 floors dense beamed brick flower with a height of 29.29 mts has five halls and many stone steps spiraling inside to the very top. From there u can have a beautiful bird view of Leshan.
One piece of advise, the air quality is extremely poor and on the verge of dangerous here. If you have asthma, it might not be safe for you to come here, and if you do, take it slowly and bring a spare inhaler, you will be needing it.