The Dafu (Giant Buddha) comes under the 100 places to see before you die. Buddhism is china’s oldest foreign religion and was spread through India. It got intermingled with Taoism & other religions of China as was accepted as a Chinese Buddhism. It created a major impact in modern day China you can see the essence of Buddhism in everyday walk of life.
The next morning from Chengdu, we set out on a local bus to see the Leshan Gaint Buddha, which is the tallest Buddha in the World ,sadly after the Giant Buddha’s of the Afghanistan were bombed and bought down.We took a bus from the Xiannanmen Bus Station and in almost two hours we were there at the entrance gate of the giant Buddha.
We bought the tickets for the Giant Buddha but we discovered ,we would need to climb a massive cliff with thousands of steps. Naah , we had enough of long marathons in China, with no mood of a trek, we decided to see it through the ferry which will take you through the river and you so can see the massive huge Buddha from the front.So we sold our tickets to the other visitors who wanted to climb the cliff and see the Dafu (The Giant Buddha), and instead bought ferry tickets .
Dafu / Leshan Giant Buddha is the proof of the wisdom and the perseverance of the ancient people. The 71 Metre high Buddha statue was carved out of a cliff on the confluence of Minjiang River,Dadu River and Qingyi River. As in the old times the water at the confluence of the three rivers was firce and boats were often drowned here. In 713 AD, Monk Haitong recruited some craftsmen to build the Gaint Buddha. The work was suspended as, Haitong passed away and it was only completed in AD 803.
The Giant Buddha of Leshan depicts the Maitreya, which means or the Buddha who will appear on earth in the future and achieve complete enlightment and who will be a successor of the present Buddha.
The port for the ferry is a 10 minutes walk in the opposite direction of the entrance gate. So we bought the tickets for the ferry and waited in the queue for the more passengers to arrive. It was a beautiful sailing experience for us as we will be able to climb the roof of the boat from where you can see the Giant Buddha Clearly. It is a very beautiful sight and is worth going there and see it by either ways. Giant Buddha is 71 meters long and 24 meters wide. The head is almost 15 meters long and 10 meters wide and the toenail of the Giant Buddha can accommodate one seated person. The toe is big enough to accommodate a dinner table. Each eyebrow is 18 feet long. It’s such a massive piece of Art which so many of us have never seen in their life. After admiring the beauty of the sculpture, we were back on the port and had some fresh watermelon.
We took a bus to the Bullet train station to go to our next destination which was chonquing.
How to reach Leshan
As there is no direct flight for Leshan Giant Buddha, you need to come to Chengdu and from there you can take a high speed intercity train, public bus or hire a cab to reach here.
By Train :-
You can take Chengdu - Leshan – Emeishan Intercity High Speed Train to Leshan and then you can take bus no. 3 to reach the site.
By Bus :-
From Chengdu’s Xinnanmen Bus Station you can take bus no. 3,7,8 &13.
By Air :-
You can arrive at the Chengdu international Airport from where you can take the route by the above mentioned buses or Intercity Fast Train.
Places to stay
Like Majority of Chinese destination , you can stay both in costly hotels as well as cheaper hostels .
Xingfuli Hostel Xijiang - Its a beautiful hostel with ~20 USD per night charges .
Miaoyuantang Inn - Under ~20 USD this hotel provides a host of amenities like single bed room , private desk , good wifi and a breakfast
Cottage Coffee Hotel Yododo Inn : You need not splurge for hotels in Leishan good hotels like Cottage coffee can be booked under 100 USD with all amenities.
Indian Alert :-
Indian restaurants in Leshan is hard to find but you can always have the options for the Vegetarian restaurants. Always carry your Spices (masala) with you. It will help you in overcoming the craving for the Indian food .