“When Buddha walked towards the town to gather alms, the two samanas recognized him solely by the perfection of his repose, by the calmness of his figure, in which there was no trace of seeking, desiring, imitating, or striving, only light and peace.” Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
The tranquil posture, a hallmark of the great saint who preached that desire is the root of all suffering, has been the inspiration behind the erection of many gigantic Buddha statues. Here is a list of 5 Buddha statues that are famous not only for their enormous size and architecture but also for their historical or spiritual significance. Here is the list of famous Buddha statues around the world:
Spring Temple Buddha, Henan, China 128 m
Named after Tianrui hot spring, the Spring Temple Buddha was erected after the demolition of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. The statue itself is 128 m high and stands on a 25 m high tall building bringing its total height to 153 m. Till date, it is the tallest completed Buddha monument in the world. The hill on which it stands is also being reshaped so that the statue may reach a towering height of 208 m.
The statue is that of a Vairocana Buddha, who is symbolic of the emptiness of all material things. It is a lesson in modesty indeed that such a massive statue should be of Vairocana Buddha- he who represents the wisdom of emptiness.
Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan
This tall statue of the Amida Buddha, casts a hypnotic effect on onlookers as they turn their heads to stare up to it in the glare of the day sun, while the occasional peal of the garden bell and the whoosh of aircraft taking off from the nearby Narita airport are the only sounds that can break your trance.
At 120 feet, this giant statue, enjoyed the title of the 'tallest Buddha statue' for seven years after its construction in 1995. Well, then the Spring Temple Buddha was built.
Guanyin Buddha, Sanya, China
At 108 ft tall, the Guanyin Buddha is a favorite of travelers for many reasons. In Buddha's words, “Dharma like a bird needs wings to fly, and the wing that balances wisdom is compassion.” Guanyin Buddha represents the compassionate side of Buddha, a representation of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
The Guanyin Buddha at Sanya is in the Nanshan Culture Park. The Buddha here stands on a man made island facing both towards the South China sea as well as inwards towards Nanshan, since it has three sides. The three sided position is meant to indicate that the Guanyin Buddha keeps a benevolent and alert watch over the land and its people.
The property was built in 1998 to commemorate 2000 years of the arrival of Buddhism in China and is inarguably one of the top tourist attractions in China.
Reclining Buddha and Standing Buddha near Monywa, Myanmar
The full name of this 116 m tall Buddha statue is Mahar Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Setkyar. Laykyun Setkyar means Buddha of the four island universes while Bodhi Tataung refers to the thousand of Bodhi trees that were planted here several years ago.
As you approach the site, you can see a giant Buddha statue from afar, huge yet serene, his hands by his side, and eyes gently cast down looking at passers by. The reclining Buddha is 90 m long and is the largest reclining figure of Buddha in the world. The area has over ten thousands of sculptures of sitting Buddhas and nine thousand trees,
Both the standing and reclining Buddha have entrances that lead inside the statues. The insides of the standing Buddha is embellished (if one may say so) with paintings of sufferings in hell. The reclining Buddha is more like a museum containing 9000 statues of Buddha depicting various stages in his life. News is that more gigantic Buddhas are on their way to completion in this site.
This 71 m tall statue that has been carved out of a cliff and is the biggest carved statue of Buddha. Also, perhaps, of all the large Buddha statues that are being erected the world over for a myriad of reasons, this monolith is the outcome of the most poignant saga of true devotion.
The cliff out of which the statue has been carved lies at the confluence of three rivers, which was the source of livelihood of the villagers there. Unfortunately, its untamed waters was also the source of many deaths.
A monk called Haitong collected money and started to build this massive Buddha in the hopes of appeasing the water spirit that was believed to reside in the rivers. Such was his piety that he gouged out his own eyes when construction was threatened owing to a lack of funds. After his death, his disciples carried on with the construction. After many hiccups, the statue was finally complete in 803.
The monument not only stands out due to its gigantic size and history, but is also an architectural marvel. Minute details such as the buns in Buddha's curly hair have been carved out to perfection. The architecture's foresight led to the carving of a sophisticated drainage system in the Buddha's body that carries rain water away from the statue and has preserved it well so far.