“As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgements but rain your kindness equally on all. ” ― Gautama Buddha
- Leshan Grand Buddha
August 6, 2012
A 2-hour drive through heavy traffic and rain brought us to the city of Leshan (乐山, meaning “Happy Mountain”)—modernized town with skyscrapers and buildings that is less than 71 meters out of respect for the Buddha. We had a warm local lunch of chili beef with peppers, potato slices, fried pancakes, deep-fried fish in sweet sauce, algae soup, and ham and chicken in gravy sauce. The meal was quite refreshing, especially during the humid rain.
After lunch, we took a 30-minute cruise along the junction of the three rivers: Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River to get a view of the Leshan Grand Buddha from the cruise boat. The Buddha is a portrait of the sitting Maitreya built during the Tang dynasty (713-803) during Empress Wu’s reign, a period when Buddhism flourished.
Upon returning to the city, we had the option of walking down the winding steps leading down to the Buddha’s feet, which can hold a 12-person table! It is highly recommended to see a better view of the sculpture! The way down is often filled with people.
Although people tend to squeeze through any gap like a school of fish, they are considerate if you stop temporarily to take photographs of the Buddha as you go down. The coiled hair of the Buddha contains several buns and the hands are skillfully carved giving a serene expression to the sculpture.
Trivia: The Buddha is an architectural masterpiece for its unique drainage system of hidden gutters and channels located in the head, arms, ears, and clothes. The displaced rainwater is guided away from the inner part of the sculpture, keeping it dry—an important aspect of protecting the Buddha’s structure.
In the gloom of the rain, we gazed up at the Buddha at the last step and prayed for good luck.
Afterwards, we headed to Mount Emei, where we stayed overnight and had a dinner.
Credit to B.M.C.L. for his high-quality photos of the Leshan Grand Buddha as we headed down the stairs. My camera lens had too much moisture to take pictures.
Travel China Guide. (2012, December 30). Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan. Retrieved by http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/leshan/buddha_statue.htm