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Leshan Giant Buddha

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Bee Cha
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« on: December 08, 2007, 05:52:07 pm »



The Leshan Giant Buddha, 71 m (233 ft) in height; construction began in 713 and was completed ninety years later in 803.
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Bee Cha
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2007, 05:53:01 pm »


The Leshan Giant Buddha (simplified Chinese: 乐山大佛; traditional Chinese: 樂山大佛; pinyin: Lshān Df) is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet.

The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

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Bee Cha
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2007, 05:53:59 pm »

Construction was started in 713 AD, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling 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. Construction was completed by his disciples ninety years later. Apparently the massive construction resulted in so much stone being removed from the cliff face and deposited into the river below that the currents were indeed altered by the statue, making the waters safe for passing ships.

Like many of China's other UN designated World Heritage sites, the Leshan Buddha has fallen victim to the pollution emanating from the unbridled development in the region. The culprit has been determined to be the growing number of coal fired power plant's located near the Giant Buddha, primarily the toxic gases that their smokestacks spew into the air which eventually return to the earth as acid rain. Over time, the Buddha's nose has turned black and the curls of his hair began to fall from his head (visible in the pictures below).

At 71 metres tall, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. His shoulders are twenty-eight metres wide and his smallest toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person. There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.
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Bee Cha
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 05:54:57 pm »



The head of the Buddha
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Bee Cha
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2007, 05:55:47 pm »



Leshan Buddha seen from ground level
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Bee Cha
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2007, 05:57:36 pm »



The Giant Buddha seen from above
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