Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lingshan Buddha (Wuxi, China)

Lingshan Buddha (灵山大佛 língshān dàfú) is one of the biggest buddhas in the world. It is 88 m (289 ft) tall- compare that with the Statue of Liberty, which has a height of 151 ft (and that's from the feet to the torch, not feet to head).

This thing is huge. And pretty new too- it was completed in 1996. It's in a city called Wuxi (无锡 wúxī, for those of you unfamiliar with Chinese pronunciation, it's like "woo she"), about 1 hour from Shanghai by train.

Here are photos I took when I went there. First of all, it's a pretty long walk from the entrance to the actual Buddha. (There is a cute little tourist bus you can buy tickets for, if you don't want to walk.) Along the way, there is some pretty architecture, a fountain, and some kind of Buddhism-related thing where you can hang prayers I guess. (The fountain has this cool show with a lotus opening and a buddha inside. I didn't take pictures of that, but other people have posted videos on youtube.)

In the photo above, you can see some kind of rack where people hang Buddhist prayers. Hendrix says each of the little red-tassel things has a prayer written on it, and people can buy them and hang them up on those racks.
The above photo is the view from the bottom of the stairs. There are a ton of stairs you have to climb to get to the Buddha. In this photo you can see a photographer selling souvenir photos.

At the bottom of the stairs, there was also a little pad that people would come and kneel on. (I don't have it in my photos though.)

The highest you can go is the feet (see those people up there walking around by the feet?). I didn't end up going that high because the line was super long. But if you want to see photos, click here or here.
Here's the view from the base of the buddha, looking down.

In the above photo, you can see how there are tons of trees around, and Lingshan Buddha is sort of in the middle of nowhere, far from the city. I really liked seeing so many trees because I live in Shanghai, where everything is always crowded and it feels like all of China is so full of cities and so many people- but it's not. There are some places in China that have huge forests and very few people.
See that gold building in the distance? There's a theatre in there, plus some artwork related to Chinese culture.

In the above photo, you can see where people burn incense and hang prayers, around the base of the buddha.

In the base of the statue, there is a room with a ton of little buddha statues (shown in the photo above). Each one is maybe 1 foot high.

Look at how the buddha just completely towers over EVERYTHING. It's kind of freaky, when you're driving out to Lingshan and you get close and you can see this giant buddha standing there among the mountains. This thing is massive.


Related post: I Went to a Buddhist Site and Nothing Was "Sad" (my photos from Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou)

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