When was the Leshan Giant Buddha built

when was the leshan giant buddha built

The Lesan Giant Buddha, also known as the Leshan Giant Buddha, is a colossal statue located in Leshan City, Sichuan Province, China. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered one of the most significant and iconic Buddhist sculptures in the world. The construction of this magnificent statue took place during the Tang Dynasty, which was one of the most prosperous periods in Chinese history.

The idea of building a giant Buddha statue in Leshan was conceived by a Chinese monk named Hai Tong, who lived during the 8th century. Hai Tong, motivated by his deep devotion to Buddhism and the belief that the statue would calm the turbulent waters of the rivers surrounding Leshan, began his ambitious project in 713 AD.

The construction of the Lesan Giant Buddha took a total of 90 years to complete. The primary purpose of the statue was to serve as a guardian and bring blessings to the local people and passing sailors. The statue was carved out of a massive cliff face situated at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi rivers. Its location was carefully chosen to ensure maximum visibility and accessibility.

To build the statue, a team of skilled craftsmen and laborers worked tirelessly, employing traditional Chinese stone-carving techniques. They meticulously chiseled away the rock, shaping it into the image of a seated Buddha, which stands an impressive 71 meters (233 feet) tall. The statue is so massive that it is the largest stone Buddha statue in the world.

The Lesan Giant Buddha’s construction involved immense challenges due to the sheer size of the project and the difficulties of carving into the cliff face. The workers had to carefully plan and execute their designs, using complex scaffolding systems and ingenious engineering methods to ensure the stability and longevity of the statue.

The completed Buddha statue depicts Maitreya, the future Buddha, in a seated position with his hands resting on his knees. The statue’s head alone measures about 14.7 meters (48 feet) in height, with its ears alone being 7 meters (23 feet) long. The sculpture’s toes are big enough to accommodate seated people and are carved with delicate details.

The Lesan Giant Buddha has withstood the test of time, surviving earthquakes and other natural disasters over the centuries. It has become an important pilgrimage site and a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its grandeur and spiritual significance.

In recognition of its historical and cultural value, the Lesan Giant Buddha was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. It continues to be a symbol of Buddhist devotion, architectural marvel, and an embodiment of China’s rich cultural heritage.

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