After staying a few days in the bigger Chinese cities like Beijing, Chengdu or Xi’an, you would want some peace and quiet and something different to do.
If this is the case then a day’s visit to Leshan, would be a perfect get- away with something different to offer – the Glorious Giant Statue of Buddha.
Leshan Giant Buddha
This giant statue of Buddha is 71 meters tall, and carved out into a mountain cliff near the confluence of two famous rivers Dadu and Qingyi in the Sichuan province of China. It is very near to Leshan; hence it is called Leshan giant Buddha, and is a World Heritage site of UNESCO.
There are many means of transport which you can take; by airlines, train or a bus from Chengdu to Leshan, You can also reach the giant Buddha by taking a ferry from Chongqing, Yibin or Luzhou.
It was some time in the year 713 AD that it was conceived by a Buddhist monk name Haitong and built with a hope that the blessings of Lord Buddha would help calming down the turbulent waters, which were a source of many a tragedy for various shipping vessels in these rivers.
What makes this Buddha unique is not just its enormous size, but also is architectural beauty. A lot of effort has obviously been put into this almost perfect statue and you can see each bun carved individually and placed in Buddha’s coiled hair.
Also, the statue has been made in such a way that it has a drainage system within itself that takes away excessive moisture and water so that it remains dry from inside even when there is a lot of rain water.
Generally during the daytime there will be lot of people around and you may not be able to enjoy as much therefore, if you want to really enjoy your visit, you should go in the evening when there are the least tourists.
One of best way to do this would be to take a Sunset Cruise. It does not cost too much and you can easily bargain and avail the lowest rates at almost one third the price that is quoted.
The cruise takes about 45 minutes and since evening is one of the best times you would enjoy your trip in the calm quiet as the boat passes the local scenic spots. You will also see a number of riverside retreats and small restaurants scattered all around playing loud music that adds to the festivity.
The Statue of Buddha itself is amazing, standing tall at 71 meters it is one of the highest structures that you would see and might wonder how it was made. However, it is indeed very sad to see that a lot of degradation of this as well as many other Chinese monuments and around the area has taken place because of the unchecked pollution as well as the severe weather conditions. Some efforts have been made to restore this site but it is never enough.