Leshan, located in southern Sichuan province about 170 kilometers from Chengdu, is famous for having the world’s largest Buddha statue.

At the confluence of the Dadu, Qingyi, and Min rivers, Leshan has been a place that suffered from frequent floods. In Chinese culture, the dragon is the ruler of water. There was a flood because the dragon spouts too much water, so people wanted to build a Buddha statue here to subdue the dragon.

A Chinese monk named Hai Tong began this construction in 713. About 90 years later, a 71-meter tall stone statue carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones was completed in 803 by the disciples of Haitong.

When you arrive at Leshan, you will find a mountain like a sleeping Buddha. At the heart of the mountain, there is a seated Buddha statue with his hands resting on his knees. That’s why the locals say: The Mountain is a Buddha, and the Buddha is a mountain.

To get a more panoramic view of the Giant Buddha, you can take a sightseeing boat floating on the river in front of the statue. If you want to get a close-up view of him, there is a steep and narrow pedestrian pathway that allows visitors to climb from the feet of Buddha to his head. While climbing, you will find his shoulders are 28 meters wide, and his smallest toenail is large enough to accommodate a seated person. His hair is composed of 1,021 spiraled curls embedded in his head which measure 14.7 meters in height and 10 meters in width. If you watch carefully, you will find many small holes in the statue. They are a drainage system still in working order. These drainage pipes are carved all over the body to carry away the water after the rains to prevent the statue from eroding for the past 1,200 years.

In1996, Leshan Giant Buddha, with Mount Emei, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How Go To Leshan?

Except for the high-speed train, the most convenient way is to use a private vehicle booked through a local travel agent.

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