The Giant Buddha of Leshan, China

We were cruising on a boat gazing landwards from the river. In front of us is a giant Buddha which one would not be able to see the whole statue from the landside.

The Buddha at 233 feet high was carved into rock during the Tang Dynasty. It was the tallest premodern statue, located near the city of Leshan in Sichuan, China.002

The view was awesome. On the left hand side of the Buddha, there were hundreds of people hanging on to the many flights of stairs trying to have a good view of the Buddha from a close distance. They appeared so tiny, so tiny that they just looked like ants.001

It is believe that this giant Buddha was carved at this location to pacify the turbulent waters of the river.

On the right side near the bottom, there were other figures carved into rock. They are smaller, but still, they reach almost to the knees of  the Buddha.004

I can think of other giant statues, say, those in Abu Simbel in Egypt.  However,  by comparison, they are not as tall.

The Buddha, sitting there, looks serene. One just wonders how much carving has to be carried out so that the Buddha was well recessed from the rock face.

So, another amazing view!

49 thoughts on “The Giant Buddha of Leshan, China

    • Hi, there is no one picture which can adequately shows the whole thing, this was the reason for resorting to several images. The images were taken in a boat, I was constrained by the distance of the boat from the shore and the range of my lenses. Regards, Michael

  1. It must be frustrating for a photog. as good as you are to be unable to contain the whole of a subject within your lens and on the one plane … I mean only that you cannot get a foothold anywhere to be able to shoot it all vertical. (Not describing this well; I hope you grasp my meaning, Michael.)
    Fascinating – absolutely fascinating !

    • Hi M.R., I was on a boat, the distance of the boat from the shore and the widest angle of my lenses were not adequate to capture the whole height and width of the Buddha and it’s environs. Think this is the best I could do, hope the images are satisfactory. Michael

  2. The faceless Buddhas at Bahmian, Afghanistan were quite tall too. Unfortunately they were blown up by the talibans. 😦

  3. Tang Dynasty is my favorite Chinese dynasty for its rich cultural and artistic heritage, including this giant Buddha statue. I do wonder, though, if that is fog or pollution hovering just above the statue’s head.

    • It was quite misty that day. As you can see from the left hand side of the last picture,there was mist over the water too. Will never know whether it is just mist or pollution as well.

  4. When I visited the Giant Buddha I heard that this statue has accomplished its pacifying mission: not because of its spiritual strenght though, but due to the amount of rocks that was dropped into the river during its construction. Great photographs!

  5. These are absolutely fantastic, mysterious, and so intriguing. I am enjoying seeing these through the eye of your camera lens. Your orchids are also stunning! Best, Babsje

  6. It is difficult to photograph scale of that sort but you have succeeded beautiful using the top of the pagoda and the pale figure on the working track.
    Cheers,
    Laurie keim

    • Hi Laurie, quite true, the sheer size of the Buddha makes it very difficult to photograph unless you have a very wide angle lens – but then you distort the image!

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