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The Leshan Giant Buddha, 160 kilometers from Cnengdu, is situated where the Minjiang River, the Qingyijiang River and the
Daduhe River converge.
2. Status and Reputation
* It is the greatest stone statue of Maitreya Buddha in the world.
~ It was ratified as a China Key Cultural Relic Unit Under Protection by the State Council in 1982.
~ It was inscribed on the List of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1996.
3. Scenic Features
The Leshan Giant Buddha, carved out of the cliff in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is globally recognized as the laureate of
Maitreya Buddha statues. Seated against the cliff with a solemn look, the Buddha is equal in height to the mountaintop, and has water
rushing at its feet. The Statue is a well known tourist attraction of China and the most magnificent scenic spot in Leshan. The local folks "The hill unveils a Buddha, while the
describe the Statue with a line: Buddha fades into a hill." When Mr. Sancerre, an expert from the

World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, took an inspection tour of Leshan City, he exclaimed that the Leshan Giant Buddha is such a fine masterpiece that it "can rival the best stone sculptures everywhere, including the Sphinx in Egypt ". The
Leshan Giant Buddha boasts great historical significance and profound cultural implications, in addition to its sightseeing value.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is situated on the west side of the Xi-luan Peak ( Phoenix-Perched Peak, ) of Mt. Lingyun , overlooking the confluence of the Minjang, Daduhe and Qingyijiang rivers. Around it you will find a huge cultural treasure
trove: two China Key Cultural Relic Units Under Protection; five Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relic Units Under Protection; 20 ancient buildings built over an extended period of time; and more than 30 stone sculptures and inscriptions carved on the precipices. The Mahao Cliff Tombs , another China Key Cultural Relic Unit Under Protection, disclose a myriad of unearthed antiques dated back nearly two thousand years ago. Among these relics is a relief Buddha statue which is claimed to be the earliest Buddha statue ever found in China, an embodiment of the blend of Chinese culture and Hindu Buddhist culture of early times. Moreover, you will be fascinated by scenic spots such as the zigzag stone walkway hugging the cliff, the towering Lingyun Temple , the erect Lingbao Pagoda (Deity Pagoda, , the elegant and tranquil Dongpo Pavilion , and the lifelike Giant Sleeping Buddha.
As the premiere stone statue of its kind in the world, the Leshan Giant Buddha, 71 meters in height, facing west, is located on the
mountainside with its back to the east. Three rivers rushing under its feet and 9 peaks standing behind it, the Giant Buddha overlooks Mt. Emei and Leshan City proper. As a colossal statue, the Buddha has such an awe-inspiring aura and bearing that every pious Buddhist believer feels compelled to fall to his knees and to pray for blessings and for a long peaceful life.
Four dynasties experienced the hardships of carving the Giant Buddha out of the mountain. According to certain ancient chronicles,
the huge project lasted 90 years, starting in the first year of Emperor Xuanzong's reign (713) and completed in the nineteenth
year of Emperor Dezong's reign in the Tang Dynasty (803). It is generally believed that the excavation of the statue was
commenced by the venerable monk Haitong of the Lingyun Temple. The imposing statue was carved to the following specifications:
71 meters in height with a head measuring 14. 7 meters in length and 10 meters in width. On its head are clustered 1,021 hair curls, each of which is as big as a huge round table. Each ear is 7 meters long, and could accommodate 2 men; over 100 men could be seated on one of its 8. 5 meter-wide insteps. The colossal statue is three times higher than
the biggest Buddha in the Yungang Grottoes of Datong, Shanxi Province. It is even higher than the standing Bamyan Buddha in
Afghanistan , which was formerly considered the highest in the world. Standing in front of the Giant Buddha, no tourists
will not stand in awe of the unrivalled audacity of the ancient sculptors for their contributions to such a magnificent masterpiece.
To the right of the Buddha is a precipitous passageway, with 250 steps downward, zigzagging with 9 turns. This is the famous Nine-
Turn Plank Walkway. As you descend it, you may be overwhelmed with dizziness, feeling as if you perched on a perilous abyss. At the
top of the cliff, level with the head of the Buddha is a veranda where tourists may relax. Alongside the paths of the cliffs are enshrined two notable statuettes, engraved in the Tang Dynasty and still intact, the best examples among thousands of statuettes on both sides. At the first turn, tourists can see a host of rock sculptures suggestive of fairy figures, pavilions and pagodas in meticulous detail and design. This example illustrates the sophistication and skill of the building and carving techniques of the Tang Dynasty. Facing the confluence of the three rivers and backed by Mt. Lingyun, the Leshan Giant Buddha towers above his awestruck
visitors. Even though it is the highest one among the nine peaks of the mountains. Mt. Lingyun is no more than 140 meters high. It has enjoyed the fame for centuries due to layer upon layer of rolling peaks and ridges, luxuriant vegetation, and the many temples, from which you can survey the rivers surging below your feet and view Mt. Emei from a distance. Lingyun Temple on the Xiluan Peak and the Lingbao Pagoda on the Lingbao Peak are the only remaining structures on the
nine peaks. Lingyun Temple is a complex on a grand scale, not far from which stands the Giant Buddha. From the cliff nearby you can
see every detail of the Buddha's head. Descending the breathtaking plank passageway you can walk to the feet of the Giant Buddha. Since the Giant Buddha is located in front of Lingyun Temple, it is also called the Giant Lingyun Buddha. The Temple is otherwise named the Giant Buddha Temple because of its proximity to the Buddha. The Dongpo Pavilion, a two-story wooden structure, another scenic sight at the Xiluan Peak, is behind the statue