Giant Buddha of Leshan - History and Facts | History Hit

Giant Buddha of Leshan

Leshan, Sichuan, China

The Giant Buddha of Leshan, China, is the largest Buddha in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Peta Stamper

24 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Giant Buddha of Leshan

The Giant Buddha of Leshan, also known as Dafo or the Great Buddha statue in Leshan, China, is a massive sculpture of a sitting Buddha which was carved into Mount Lingyun from 713 AD.

In 1996, the Giant Buddha of Leshan became a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the Mount Emei Scenic Area, and so is featured as one of our top ten Tourist Attractions of China.

Giant Buddha of Leshan history

At an incredible height of 230 feet, the Giant Buddha of Leshan was originally created by a monk called Haitong to oversee passing ships travelling along the Qingyi, Min and Dadu rivers beneath it. After trouble finding funding, the Giant Buddha of Leshan was finally completed in around 803 AD, although Haitong did not live to see his masterpiece completed.

By the time of the Song Dynasty in the medieval period, the Giant Buddha of Leshan was already covered in moss and its pavilion had crumbled. Nonetheless, since then many Buddhist temples and structures have been built around the Giant Buddha of Leshan, transforming the area into one of China’s most important centres of Buddhism.

Giant Buddha of Leshan today

Today, the Giant Buddha of Leshan continues to sit proudly within it’s rocky seat, draped in lush greenery. Visitors can take the steep stairs down to the Giant Buddha of Leshan’s enormous feet, sail by in a boat or cross the Haoshang Bridge to catch a good view of this magnificent site. Be aware, the area gets pretty crowded after 10am in the morning, so get there early to enjoy the best views.

Getting to the Giant Buddha of Leshan

Leshan Giant Buddha is located in central Leshan city, about 140km from Chengdu downtown in north, 150 kilometres to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and 45 kilometres from Mount Emei in south.

You can get the high speed train there: there are about 30 high speed trains departing from Chengdu East Railway Station to Leshan Railway Station each day, some of which stop at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. The earliest train usually departs around 6:30am and only takes about 1 hour to get to Leshan.

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