Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CD/成都/05: LeShan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛

years before I have drifted

over and over again to China

this was already in my wish-list

as I was scrolling the map

that seemed far away

 

I will leave it until the end of the post

how does it feel to be on

this sort-of-like

dream-come-true excursion

 

technically speaking

LeShan is a city on its own

and is not part of Chengdu

but since it’s only 2 hours away

it’s usually in the Chengdu itinerary

 

if  that’s the case

Mount Emei(峨眉山), 30km away

will be on the list too

 

similar to the other

main attraction nearby Chengdu, i.e.

Mt. Qing Cheng(青城山) and Dujiang Yan(都江堰)

 

Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha are

jointly declared as an

UNESCO World Heritage site

and bingo the other similarity being

the flood prevention function shared by

Dujiang Yan and LeShan Buddha

 

from the main entrance

a 20-minute walk up the hill

along the way there were loads tour groups

either to overtake or

just go slow and free-ride on the guide service

I did both, in between

 

along the way

these were within touch

wouldn’t that be kinda risky

some jokers can’t resist vandalism

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛

 

and there you are

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛P1300445Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛

 

next to the Giant Buddha

there stands the temple,

Lingyun Temple(凌雲寺)

nothing quite ancient about it

years of under-maintenance and

especially after the 2008 major earthquake

therefore everything is quite brand new

 

despite being pretty new

the work is of the finest standard

to the finest details

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

more walking-about

on the other higher side

before descending the staircase

this was considered a non-peak season

judging from the stand-by queue barriers

which go round-and-round and

the queue-time signboards

eg: you are 2 hours away..

I can kinda imagine the crowd

on a busy day

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

the entire project took around 30 years

involving 3 generations of people

the statute is Master Hai Tong(海通大師)

who initiated the project and

he actually blinded both his eyes

to shoo away local officers were

trying to take advantage

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

Can you see those holes on the wall

there are actually some saying that

those were to support pillars

in other words, the Giant Buddha was

sheltered by some form of construction

which was burnt down due to fire

i.e. imagine it as a sheltered statute

just like a temple

that’s one

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

secondly,

it was rumored that

there is actually plan to

(re)build the shelter in order to

protect the Giant Buddha

therefore after a couple of years

the Giant Buddha will no longer be

visible as it, right now

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

those fingers are simple real

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

tips to save some walking & time

the entire walking trip goes this way

1. from the North Gate climb the hill

2. on top of the hill, Buddha’s head

3. go down the ladder by the cliff

4. end up at Buddha’s “feet”

5. climb the hill on the other side

6. end up on top of the hill, again

7. go down and exit via East Gate

 

as you realize, #2 and 6#

are actually the same spot

if you are in a hurry or

just to save some walking

 

may choose to skip #3-#7 and 

after seeing the Buddha

from top at #2

proceed to exit via #7

will not miss much actually

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

that’s one

another even lazier one is

to catch a ferry side from

the other side of the bank

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

the ferry ride is even cheaper than

paying entrance ticket too

and the ferry would stop for couple of minutes

for passengers to snap photos

I am not sure how true that is

and that offers the most

strategic position to pose for a picture

with the complete head-to-toe Buddha

 

post-visit

yes.. the wish is quite fulfilled

I would say

yet…

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

but never have I imagined

the Buddha is overlooking at this one

what I had in mind was some

pristine jungle and crystal-clear water

no offence, frankly speaking

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

neither do I expect to be greeted by this

I link the Giant Buddha to some

adventurous hike through pristine jungle

again.. no offence

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

 

when reality falls apart from imagination

all you can do is

appreciate what is right in front of you

Leshan Giant Buddha 樂山大佛 / Lingyun Temple 凌雲寺

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