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The Great Buddha at Leshan

This colossal statue was carved on a cliff on Soaring to the Clouds Hill facing the three rivers. On the rock face to the left of the statue, a twisting path leads down to the base of the statue from the top of the hill. The huge seated figure measures 71 meters from top to bottom, has a head to meters wide, a nose 5.6 meters high, ears 7 meters long, and legs 28 meters from knee to foot. The foot can seat more than a hundred people on its flat instep. With his eyes half-closed, his facial expression kind and dignified, this Buddha has a majestic bearing. The statue, flanked by two armed warriors, represents a highlight in the development of sculpture in ancient China.
According to historical records, the statue took ninety years to complete, from 713 to 803 during the Tang Dynasty. A monk called Hai Tong from Lingyun Temple is said to have sponsored the construction of the Buddha at the confluence of the rivers to protect boats and passengers from the violent currents there.


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