While all the bigger statues in the world are built during the last 20-30 years, is the 71-metre (233 ft) tall Leshan Buddha built more than 1200 years ago.
If are travelling towards the east and Shanghai, and you want to stop along the way to do a hike? Visit Huangshan the Yellow Mountain.
The construction for the Leshan Buddha started in the year 713, by a monk named Haitong.
It´s said that he decided to build the Buddha statue at the spot so the waters in “Dadu River” that are passing trough Leshan would calm down. The turbulent waters that plagued the shipping boats passing by on the river.
If looking for some tips for a 30day trip around China, click here to read Backpacking China itinerary guide: 30 days of wonders.
The construction got stopped for about 70 years when Haitong died, and it wasn’t completed before about 70 years later. It still seems faster than the construction of the new “Berlin Brandenburg” airport:)
Leshan is today connected with a high-speed train to Chengdu, that only takes about 1 hour.
So it´s an easy day trip to do from the capital in the Sichuan province.
The Leshan Buddha is located inside a bigger park to the east outside of Leshan City itself. The Giant Buddha is far from the only Buddha statue inside the park; the park consists of numerous smaller carvings of various Buddhas on the Grand Buddha Cliff Road.
Other than the smaller Buddha carvings, also various temples, pavilions, shrines a beautiful bridge, and some wonderful small waterfalls. It´s a nice and quiet area IF you arrive before or after the big hoards of Chinese tour groups that are visiting the park every day.
But I have to admit that most of the other carvings around in the park are pretty uninteresting compared to the star itself the Giant Leshan Buddha statue, that’s the reason why you are here in the beginning.
Just to put in perspective how big it is: while the full statue is 71-metre (233 ft) tall and 24 meters (78 ft ) wide, the fingers are 8.3-meter(27 ft) long, the head is 14.7 meters (48 ft) long and 10 (33 ft) meters wide with total 1021 buns of hair. You can even accommodate 100 people on the statue’s instep.
Unfortunately one thing the monks that constructed the Leshan Giant Buddha didn’t think of back in the day was that the statue is almost impossible to get into one photo from the place it’s seated, it’s possible to go on a river cruise past the statue to get an overview look on it, but the water is Leshan is often way too polluted and foggy for that to be possible.
Some of the photos in this post have I borrowed from my good friend Thomas.
Additional Information about Leshan Giant Buddha.
90 RMB, No student discount.
09:00 to 16:50
There are nine high-speed trains from Chengdu to Leshan a day; they take about 1 hour. The first train leaves from Chengdu East train station at 7.36. A seat in second class cost 56 RMB, First Class seat will cost you 65 RMB and Business Class Seat 125Rmb. From Leshan, Train station take bus nr 3 to reach the park.
Every Hostel can arrange a trip to the park as well with a private driver for about.
Is it worth it:
8/10. It´s definitely worth it; you can’t visit Chengdu and not doing a day trip to see the Leshan Giant Buddha.