Day Trip to Leshan Giant Buddha

A local saying describes the Buddha like this: “The Mountain unveils a Buddha, while the Buddha fades into the mountain.” If you are traveling in the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, you can’t miss the Buddha for your tour. The figure occupies the entire hillside and its head reaches the top of the cliffs, his hands rest on his knees and his face has a serene expression as it gazes at the Leshan city across the river which rushes past its feet.

Looking up at the Buddha is 71 meters high. His shoulders are 28 meters wide, head 14.7 meters long and 10 meters broad, with a total of 1,021 chignons of hair clustered on it. Each chignon is as big as a round table. Its drooping ear is 6.2 meters long and each eye is 3.3 meters wide. Its middle finger is 8.3 meters long, and each of its bare feet is 11 meters long and 8.5 meters wide, large enough for more than 100 people to sit on. I couldn’t stop to think about this high and magnificent creature’s stories. How can the manual labor do such a huge work without any modern machines? Who shaped the Buddha and made him has boundless power. People often want to have a miracle to image. We are only the prayers, but never reach the height of the Buddha. It is the supreme good to do the meditation. Buddha gave ourselves a larger perspective to purify our own souls and let us to achieve the goals of lives.

The construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships as the monk had hoped. There are still some rough currents where the three rivers meet. 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. Construction on the Giant Buddha began in 713 in Tang Dynasty. It was the idea of a Chinese monk named Haitong, who 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. The massive construction project was finally completed by his disciples 90 years later. History can tell us the true story and make us feel the power of our nation. This belongs to our nation; this is in the bottom of our hearts and we all will never let it go.

Tour can be finished by time but if that is the end of my trip to Leshan Giant Buddha it is not enough. The ship goes to a farther place and my eyes just have a special point of view from the Lingyun Temple. The Giant sleeping Buddha is lying on the river quietly and the heart is just a perfect pure natural wonder. This is the Buddha’s world, quiet and peaceful.