Geography of Religion Wk 13

Leshan Giant Buddha (not from my textbook)

  • Carved in the 8th century AD out of the hillside of Xijuo Peak.
  • Tallest Buddha sculpture in the world (71 meters)
  • Chinese monk called Haitong hoped that the presence of the Buddha would calm the waters of the Min, Qingyi, and Dudu Rivers to allow safer passage for shipping vessels
  • The Buddha statue’s construction began in 713 AD in the Tang Dynasty
  • Unfortunately, the monk passed away when the statue had only been carved to the shoulders.
  • Years later, after raising sufficient funding to continue, Haitong’s disciple continued the carving
  • Finally, in 803 AD the statue was finished and the rubble carved from the mountain was deposited in the rivers, altering the current and maybe calming the water.
  • 2 people can stand in each of his ears and a person can sit upon even his smallest toenail
  • The Leshan Buddha is thought to be the Maitreya Buddha, who is a Bodhisattva who will appear on Earth and achieve complete enlightenment.

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