11. Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a splendid and awe-inspiring 233 feet tall statue depicting Maitreya, a form of future Buddha. The statue is carved out of a cliff face, and lies at the confluence of three rivers in China’s Sichuan province. The Leshan Giant Buddha was built between the years 713 and 803 and continues to draw tourists to this date. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and archeological significance. Legend says that the construction of the Leshan Giant Buddha was initiated by Chine monk, Hai Tong who believed that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters of the river and thus protect the vessels traveling down it. It is even claimed that to ensure funding for the project, he even gouged out his own eyes to exhibit his dedication to the Buddha. However, the construction was still stalled due to a paucity of funds till 7- years later, the project was completed by one of Hai Tong’s disciples. The construction of the Leshan Giant Buddha actually did help achieve Hai Tong's original goals as so much stone was removed from the cliff face and deposited in the river during the construction of the statue that the currents of the river were curbed and the movement of vessels on the river became safer.
10. Gifu Great Buddha
The Gifu Great Buddha is a monumental statue of Buddha located in Shōhō-ji in Gifu City, Japan. The idea of constructing the statue was conceived in 1790 by the Kinpouzan, Shōhō temple’s 11th head priest. He believed it would help avert famine and earthquakes common in the region. However, the statue was not completed in his lifetime and the project was completed by his successor on April 1832. Ginkgo tree wood, bamboo lattices, clay, lacquer, and gold leaf were some of the raw materials used to build the Gifu Great Buddha.
9. Spring Temple Buddha
The Spring Temple Buddha is a statue of the Vairocana Buddha that is located in China’s Zhaocun township, Lushan County. The statue is based near the National Freeway no. 311 within the boundaries of the Fodushan Scenic Area. The statue was built between 1997 and 2008. The 420 feet statue (including the 66 feet lotus throne) is the world’s second tallest statue. A Buddhist monastery lies beneath the statue of the Spring Temple Buddha. The execution of the project cost around $55 million USD.
8. Buddha Park Of Ravangla
Also known as the Tathagata Tsal, the Buddha Park of Ravangla is located in the Indian state of Sikkim. The 130-foot high statue is the central feature of the park and was constructed between 2006 and 2013. The site of Buddha Park is within the periphery of a centuries-old Buddhist pilgrimage site, the Rabong Gompa (Monastery). The 14th Dalai Lama himself consecrated the statue of March 25, 2013.
The Buduruwagala is an ancient Sri Lankan Buddhist temple that houses seven statues dating back to the 10th century. The largest among these statues still exhibits the traces of its original stuccoed robe. The fact that the statue was once painted bright orange can be easily figured out by a long streak of orange on the body. The largest statue is 51 feet tall. A mystery surrounds the Buduruwagala rock sculpture complex. The same rock where the statues are carved also hosts a flame-shaped carving that is always wet of an oil with no explainable source.
6. Maligawila Buddha Statue
The Maligawila Buddha statue is a standing Buddha figure carved out of a massive limestone rock. The statue was commissioned during the 7th century by prince Aggabodhi and is located in Sri Lanka. The statue was discovered in 1951 in several broken pieces and was reconstructed and raised again in 1980. The 37 feet tall Maligawila Buddha statue is Sri Lanka’s tallest ancient free-standing statue.
5. The Avukana Statue
The Avukana Statue is a majestic Buddha statue near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The over 40 feet tall statue was carved out of a massive granite rock face during the 5th century. The statue now serves as a tourist magnet in Sri Lanka. The architecture of the Avukana statue represents a unique blend of the Amaravati school of art and the Gandhara school of art.
4. Buddhas of Bamiyan
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were monumental standing Buddha statues carved into a cliff-side in central Afghanistan’s Bamyan Valley. The smaller statue was built in 507 CE and the larger one in 554 CE. The two statues were 35 and 53 meters tall, respectively. The main bodies of the sculptures were carved directly into the sandstone cliffs while a mixture of mud and straw coated with stucco was used to fill in the details. Unfortunately, the Taliban dynamited and destroyed the statues on March 2001 amidst widespread international protest. However, the future rebuilding of the statues is a possibility.
3. The Grand Buddha At Ling Shan
The Grand Buddha is located south of the Longshan Mountain in China’s Jiangsu Province. The Buddha statue at the site is one of the largest Buddha statues in the country and also in the world. The 88 meters tall and 700 tons heavy statue is a bronze Amitabha standing Buddha which was constructed by late 1996. To the east of the statue lies a Brahma Palace and a "Five-signets" Palace.
2. Tian Tan Buddha
Also known as the Big Buddha, the Tian Tan Buddha is a gigantic bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni located in Hong Kong’s Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. The statue was completed in 1993 and represents the harmonious connection between man and nature, and people and their faith. The Tian Tan Buddha is a popular tourist attraction in the region. The statue of the Buddha rests atop a lotus on a three-tiered platform serving as the altar. Six smaller statues surround the larger one and are depicted offering the Buddha flowers, ointment, music, fruit, lamp, and incense. All these objects have their own symbolism in Buddhism and are categorized as the “Six Perfections.” The main statue itself is 112 feet tall, weighs more than 250 metric tons, and is made of 202 bronze pieces. Visitors to the Tian Tan Buddha need to climb 268 steps to reach the statue. Nearby attractions include the Po Lin Monastery, Lantau South Country Park, Ngong Ping 360, the Lantau Trail, and several others.
1. Great Buddha Dordenma
The Great Buddha Dordenma is a colossal statue of Shakyamuni Buddha nestled in the mountains of Bhutan. The statue was built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan. Over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues made of bronze and gilded in gold are located inside the colossal statue. The Great Buddha Dordenma is housed within the ruins of the former palatial building of Kuensel Phodrang. The construction of the giant statue was initialized in October 2010. However, construction was completed only on September 25, 2015. The statue, one of the most gigantic in the world, is 169 feet tall. A cost of US$47 million was incurred during the construction of the statue. The statue is surrounded by the Kuensel Phodrang nature park which conserves 943.4 acres of forest area and includes two public outdoor gymnasiums within its limits.
Where is the Tallest Buddha Structure in the World?
The Spring Temple Buddha is the world's tallest buddha statue. The Spring Temple Buddha is a statue of the Vairocana Buddha that is located in China’s Zhaocun township, Lushan County. It stands 420 feet in the air.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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