With fingernails larger than the average human, the world’s largest ancient Buddha draws plenty of tourists to the relaxed riverside town of Leshan (乐山，translates to happy mountain). The 1,200 year old grand Buddha sits in repose, carved from a cliff face overlooking the confluence of three busy rivers: the Dadu, Min and Qingyi.
The Buddhist monk Haitong conceived the project in AD 713, hoping that Buddha would protect the boats and calm the lethal currents. It was 90 years after Haitong’s death that the project was completed.
At 71m tall, he’s indeed grand. His shoulders span 28m and each of his big toes is 8.5m long. His ears are 7m. Their length symbolises wisdom and the conscious abandonment of materialism. Inside the body, hidden from the view, is a water-drainage system to prevent weathering, although he is showing age and soil erosion.
Before you get to Buddha, you need to climb 333 stairs, because 3 is a holy number in Buddhism (Buddha has 3 states of being for example). Then you get to the head of the Buddha, and the tour guide told me, you can take photos of the Buddha (which is not common in Buddhism) and every pose you make, will have a certain and deeper meaning. Whichever part of the head you imaginably touch will influence your life. Such as bring you wisdom (ears), long life or peace. I forgot which part will bring which future, but just to make sure my life will be long, peaceful and full of wisdom, I had a try:
Then, I climbed down steep ladders to get down to the huge feet of the Buddha.
I’m still working in my jump picture faces. Still a lot to improve.
One special dish in Leshan is the sweet skin duck, which is highly recommendable!
In the evening I enjoyed a hotpot with my friend. This one is the foreigner friendly yin and yang version: Spicy and tomato flavor.
To enhance my wisdom, some brain shouldn’t be missing for dinner.