Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
#iDiscoverChina
A taste of China
A taste of China
Adventures
Ancient Places
City Guides
Cultural Heritage
Food & Drink
Guides
Itineraries
Modern China
Natural Attractions
Street Food
Tradition
Trip Ideas
Video
What to eat

Ancient Places / Trip Ideas

Best known giant Buddha statues in China

By Yuewei Yang

May 5

Solemn and awe-inspiring, Buddha statues are more than just symbols of a religion. They have become celebrated works of art and stand witness to thousands of years of civilization. Here are some of China’s most famous.

Solemn and awe-inspiring, Buddha statues are more than just symbols of a religion. They have become celebrated works of art and stand witness to thousands of years of civilization. Here are some of China’s most famous.

Solemn and awe-inspiring, Buddha statues are more than just symbols of a religion. They have become celebrated works of art and stand witness to thousands of years of civilization. Here are some of the most famous giant Buddha statues in China.

1. Leshan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

Leshan Giant Buddha [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Tingquan]
Leshan Giant Buddha [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Tingquan]
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-meter stone statue on the east bank of the Minjiang River, in the city of Leshan, Sichuan Province. It is the world’s largest Maitreya Buddha statue carved out of a steep cliff. Construction began in the year 713 AD (Tang Dynasty), and was completed 90 years later in the year 803. The saying “the mountain is the Buddha; the Buddha is the mountain” evidences the sheer size of this magnificent feat.

Tips: best times to visit are spring and autumn; a tour takes 4 hours

Admission: 90 yuan/person

2. Reclining Buddha, Dazu Rock Carvings 大足石刻卧佛

Reclining Buddha, Dazu Rock Carvings [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Qiong ]
Reclining Buddha, Dazu Rock Carvings [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Wang Qiong ]
The Reclining Buddha at Dazu Carvings, also known as Sakyamuni Entering Nirvana, is on Mount Baoding (宝顶山), Dazu County of Chongqing. The Buddha, lying on its 31 meter long side, is the largest statue among all the works in Dazu Rock Carvings. It is also the only reclining Buddha bust in China. The lower limbs of the Buddha are concealed in the mountain, only to stir up your imagination. The Reclining Buddha on Baoding Mountain has long been known to have its “body in Dazu, arms reaching Ba County, feet on Lu Prefecture.”

Tips: best visit times are spring and winter

Admission: 90 yuan/person

3. Buddha Statues in Longmen Grottoes 龙门石窟

Buddha Statues in Longmen Grottoes [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Hanbo]
Buddha Statues in Longmen Grottoes [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Hanbo]
The Longmen Grottoes are a treasure trove for rock carvings in China. The earliest grottoes there were carved around 493 AD, and continued to be made over the next 4 centuries. Today, there are 100,000 statues in the 2345 grottoes along the steep cliffs on both sides of the Yi River (伊河). The largest statue here is the Vairocana Buddha statue, which stands at 17.4 meters tall, with a 4-meter head and 1.9-meter ears; the smallest are the miniature Buddhas in Lianhua grotto, with the smallest just 2 centimeters tall. In 2000, the Longmen Grottoes were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tips: the massive cliff carvings in Fengxian Temple epitomize China’s stone carving art for their enormous scale and consummate craftsmanship.

Admission: 120 yuan/person

4. Yungang Grottoes 云冈石窟

Buddha Statues in Yungang Grottoes [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Zhang Xuesheng]
Buddha Statues in Yungang Grottoes [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/ Zhang Xuesheng]
Mount Wuzhou (武周山) in Datong, Shanxi Province in North China, is home to the famous Yungang Grottoes, one of China’s largest collections of ancient cave structures: 45 main caves, 252 grottoes of various sizes and over 51,000 statues. The main statues on the north wall of Cave 5, the Trikaya, are as tall as 17 meters in the center. This is Yungang’s largest statue. Cave 15 houses over 10,000 Buddha Statuettes, and is fittingly called Ten Thousand Buddha Cave. The 13.7-meter statue of Sakyamuni in cave 20 is another masterpiece among Yungang’s rock carvings.

Tips: an attraction for all seasons; a tour takes half a day

Admission: 150 yuan/person

  • Share this
  • Send this

Follow Discover China

Recommended

Related Articles