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Big Buddah!

Leshan, China


Immediately after arriving in Chengdu we jumped into a minivan a drove south to Leshan to see the biggest seated Buddha in the world.
Somewhat stupidly we went on May the first, a national holiday, to one of the most important and popular tourist destinations in China. Thought we'd got away with it at first as we only had to queue 5 minutes to get tickets but then after wandering up the hill to the top of the big fella I saw the queue. It was like Alton Towers on a bad day as the queue went on for 6 or 7 25 meter long sections before heading round a corner and up some stairs for yet more lines. First instinct was to give it a miss but this Buddha was the biggest in the world and it wasn't like i was ever going to come back. So we joined the line and 3 hours and a couple of ice creams later got to the front and descended the cliff to the feet of the chap. He's massive (71 meters tall) and he's sitting down! Carved into the cliff face over looking the river he took 90 years to complete and was started in 713 AD by a Buddhist monk who wanted to calm the river waters and protect the local fishermen. Apparently the surplus rock from the carving was thrown into the river so it did slow down but locals say its the Grand Buddha, or Dafo, that is the cause.

Despite the madness it was an incredible experience especially standing at the bottom and looking up, it defies comprehension as to how they managed to do it especially when you consider that they included a water drainage system inside of the body to prevent erosion!


We returned to Chengdu that evening shattered and promptly booked ourselves on to a panda tour for the next morning.

permalink written by  Dan on May 1, 2008 from Leshan, China
from the travel blog: Been there, Dan that!
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