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Considering the size and appearance, this man-made sculpture of the Leshan Giant Buddha, is truly impressive. Those interested in Buddhism will find the structure a mesmerizing sight. This ancient statue has been on display since the 7th century AD.
There are several reasons why you should visit the Leshan Giant Buddha. Besides its stunning beauty, the giant Buddha is also home to the mystical "halo" - a multicolored ring of light around the newly rising sun. This halo is a natural phenomenon, which is formed by the diffraction and diffused reflection of sunlight on the surface of water droplets in the clouds.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is the world's largest stone statue of the Buddha. It is located in the province of Sichuan in China. Construction of the Leshan Giant Buddha began in the year 723 AD.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is located within the Mount Emei Scenic Area. This Mount Emei area was inhabited over ten thousand years ago. It has many sacred sites and a large number of endemic species. This area has been recognized as a World Heritage Site since 1996. The Leshan Giant Buddha which is located in this area, is also one of the most famous sites in this area.
The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. This 233 feet statue which depicts a seated Buddha with his hands resting on his knees is caved in the Lingyun Mountain. It is carved into a cliff near the confluence of three rivers. The entire art piece is built in stone, except for the ears that were designed in wood, covered with mud on the surface to make clay, and attached to the head.
The building of this massive statue was initiated by the monk Hai Tong, who was concerned about the safety of the local people. Hai Tong believed that by building the statue, the turbulent waters of the three nearby rivers- Minjiang, Qingyi and Dadu River, would be pacified. Unfortunately, Hai Tong did not live long enough to see the completion of the statue. However, his disciples continued the project after he died. It took effort over several years and funding from various rulers and patrons for it to be finally completed.
The main way to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha is to take a boat trip to the base of the mountain. While there are no roads leading up to the mountaintop, the boat ride will give you the best angle for taking photos of the giant Buddha.
Apart from the main attraction, there are dozens of pathways throughout the mountain that can be explored by foot. One can also climb up the several flight of stairs that have been constructed near this monument.
Though over the years the Leshan Buddha has been affected by pollution emanating from unbridled development in the region. At the current time, we see many degradations and erosion from weathering, air pollution and swarms of tourists!
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