Leshan: Buddha’s largesse

Complete set of Leshan photos

While we were in Chengdu we took a day trip to see Leshan’s Giant Buddha a couple of hours away by bus.  The statue is the tallest pre-modern statue in the world – how’s that for a claim to fame.  It has to be one of the prettiest from any era.

It is said to have been constructed to tame the confluence of the rivers at its feet, the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers.  While the waters were calmed it is thought that dumping a huge amount of rubble in the river had more effect than whatever influence Buddha’s calming forces may have had.

Chengdu had been less hot than the rest of China but we hit the heat again in a big way in Leshan which was unfortunate as there were a lot of stairs involved.  We sweated our way up and down and through the incense and crowds, peered into the statue’s ears and inspected his toe nails.  The scale is preposterous and is hard to grasp from the photos.  Suffice it to say the I’m as tall as his ear lobe.  There were other temples hidden in the lush forest but the humidity did its worst and I threw in the towel a quarter of the way up the stairs to yet another temple.  Sarah left me grumpy and covered in sweat while she went to check out the view and associated Chinglish signs.

The day ran like clockwork with all our buses connecting beautifully, as we came to expect in China.  We got the last tickets on the coach back to Chengdu but even if we didn’t there was another coach leaving at the same time anyway.  I guess it helps when there are over a billion people trying to get around.  Adding two more to the ample array of transport on offer causes not a blip.  Taxis are another story.

Complete set of Leshan photos

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