Travel Destinations: Leshan, Sichuan Province, China

Lian Slayford By Lian Slayford, 29th May 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>China>Sichuan & Chongqing

This article explores Leshan as a great place to visit.

Travel Destinations: Leshan, Sichuan Province, China

Travel Destinations: Leshan, Sichuan Province, China

Leshan is home to a population of 156,000 people and one massive statue of the Buddha, whose fingernail is bigger than the average human. This is the main reason for most people travelling to this town.

The town itself is set near the river with tree draped alleys and roads and is one of the most relaxed cities in China. You will see droves of Chinese tourists here and is a great place to relax after hiking up Emei Shan.

The first thing to see here is the Grand Buddha. This is the pride of the town, a place of great spiritual peace. The Grand Buddha sits peacefully, carved into a cliff face that sits at the meeting place of the Dadu River and the Min River. The Buddha here is the largest in the world at 71m high; his ears alone are 7m each, his insteps 8.50m and big toe 8.5m long.

It started with the Buddhist monk Haitong in 713 CE believing that the Buddha would be able to calm the treacherous waters that boatmen travelled up and down. The Grand Buddha itself wasn’t completely finished until 90 years after the monk died. It was the loose rocks that fell into the river that actually calmed the waters but the locals have always said it was the Buddha that really did it.

Hidden away from prying eyes inside the Buddha’s body, it actually a series of pipes and water drains to prevent the statue from weathering although it hasn’t completely prevented it. There was once a building that protected the Grand Buddha but it was destroyed during a war in the Ming Dynasty.

The thousand Buddha Cliffs is located 30km north of Leshan and are a great place to go and see. There are over 2,400 Buddhas that decorate the cliffs here. They date from as early as the Eastern Han Dynastybut despite their age, show the signs of aging well.

The cliffs are set in a lovely position along the riverbanks but do require an effort to reach them. There are many regular buses from the long distance train station in town that will take you to Jiajiang where you will then need to take a pedicab.

Other sights here includetaking a boardwalk from Dadu River and up along the Min River to Jiazhou Binguan. Here you will come across dancers, both ballroom and fan, making it an interesting place to go.

Tags

China, Chinese, Leshan, Sichuan, Trave, Travel, Travel Agency, Travel At Ease, Travel Budget, Travel By Train, Travel Nepal, Travel Tip, Travel Tips, Travelling

Meet the author

author avatar Lian Slayford
Lian is a Research Archaeologist, specialising in Religious Archaeology.

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