Friday, May 08, 2009

Still More Big Buddhas

While we're on the subject of large Buddha images: let us not forget Hong Kong's Tian Tan Buddha, on Lantau. At 110 feet, this was once the largest seated bronze Buddha image in the world. Construction began in 1990 and was completed in December 1993, at a cost of $68 million. Next time you are in Hong Kong, just Octopus yourself to the Tung Chung MTR station and get the Ngong Ping sky gondola. Try to avoid wearing a "Buddha Is My Om Boy" t-shirt, or posing for stupid photos. They're not as strict as Thailand, but hey... know how to say "White Ghost" in Cantonese?

I love Hong Kong.

Now, over on the Mainland, they have what I believe is the largest standing Buddha image in the world, the 288 foot Lingshan Buddha, completed in 1996. You know, I keep telling people that there is a huge resurgence of interest in Buddhism in Mainland China, but few understand. The Lingshan project was state funded, not privately funded. This is in Jiangsu, near Wuxi, and definitely worth a visit.

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7 reader comments:

Fishy said...

Lingshan is definitely worth a visit. I visited in 2001 while I was teaching Internet Publishing and Statistics at South Ocean College in Wuxi, Jiangsu.
It's huge...
:)

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is huge. There is a copy of the Buddha's hand on the ground, which gives us a close feeling of how big the stature is.

BTW, on the same location the China government recently spent 1.7B RMB, namely over 200M USD, on building a cluster of buildings for Buddhism. As a native Chinese, I think it is a too big amount of money. But you know in China the government does not have to face doubt on the wisdom of spending money from tax payers...

TENPA said...

I personally feel that the Chinese people should be proud of this one. In the U.S., we have a separation of church and state prohibition against using public funds for religious purposes (never mind what it says on the money), so a project like this could never happen: it would be legally impossible.

Anonymous said...

The building cluster is partially to host the government sponsored World Buddhism Forum. The forum is partilly political since its purpose is to tell the world in China there is religious freedom. It is the government's wisdom on the huge money.

Type "梵宫" (copy it in your case) in google picture search and you will find the pictures of the building cluster.

Bill Jia

TENPA said...

Interesting architecture. Also an interesting search. I found this one which, after you let it load for a good long while, pushs out a Taiwanese pop version of the 100 syllable mantra.

Anonymous said...

This is even taller. Will be finished in the next year, but you can see the half-finished huge stature. 99 meters high.

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/p/2009-03-09/111317368002.shtml

It is located in Jiu Hua Shan (Nine Flower Mountain), about 200 miles west of Shanghai, China

Bill Jia

TENPA said...

Fantastic. Thanks so much for this.