Leshan City is in the middle-south part of Sichuan Province, and 162 km away from Chengdu city. Covering an area of 12826 sq.km, Leshan is one of the most developed areas in Sichuan in terms of culture: the Han cliff tombs excavated reflected how high the technology and culture of Leshan owned at that time; Buddhism frescos and grottos show the high level of Buddhism development in Sichuan; ,famous historical figures are from this area…
Leshan is the home of the Giant Buddha at the confluence of the Min, Dadu and Qingyi rivers, which is the most impressive and popular sightseeing in Leshan. It qualifies as the largest Buddha in a sitting posture in the world .You must board a riverboat for the best view of the Giant Buddha. The massive Buddha was carved out of a cliff face more than a thousand years ago, but now it is still well preserved in good shape, with his full and serene face.
The Buddha is the largest Buddha in China, towering to 71m, with his 14.7m head, and 24m shoulders. The Buddha's ears are 6.72m long, insteps 8.5m broad, and a picnic could be conducted on the nail of his big toe, which is 1.5m long.
This carving project was begun in 713. Each summer at that time the Min, Dadu and Qingyi rivers flowed down. As the three rivers met, turbulent waves struck each other hard, boats capsized and boatmen vanished. There was a Buddhist monk by the name of Haitong in Lingyun Hill, who saw the situation and was determined to carve a giant Buddha out of the cliff face, hoping that the Buddha's presence would subdue the swift currents and protect the boatmen. Monk Haitong started traveling along the Yangtze River and other areas in China to collect funds for the gigantic carving. Once, an evil official attempted to obtain the money collected by Haitong. The monk Haitong refused him in strong terms. He said", I'd rather gouge out my eyes than give a penny to you, "The official shouted in anger", gouge your eye out now"! Monk Haitong resolutely dug out one of his eyes.
The monk's behavior in protecting the funding so greatly encouraged sculptors and other construction workers that the carving work went on smoothly. Unfortunately Haitong died before the completion of his life's work .However, this work continued due to the support of the local people as well as Weigao and Zhangchou Jianqing, the local top military commanders. The word took up 90 years until 803 when it was completed. Since then the Buddha has watched over the river traffic for more than a thousand years to offset the large number of serious accidents in the river. Modern Chinese question whether safer boat gravel is due to his presence or to sime later-day dredging.
As you get close to the Buddha, we can find out some scattered holes im rows around the Buddha. They are remains of so called the Giant Buddha Pavilion. It was a nine-storied building set up during the Tang Dynasty to shelter the Buddha. It was renamed as the Lingyun Pavilion with 13 stories during the Song Dynasty. Unfortunately it was destroyed by a war during the Ming Dynasty. Since then the Buddha remains outside in the open space.
Boat city—Luocheng ancient town is another feature of Leshan. Located on top of a mountain, with a length of 2000m and width of 650m, the shape of the town is just like a sailing boat. The design comes from the legend that: in the Ming Dynasty, a scholar came to this town and found it lack of water and people here suffered from drought very much. He said: to solve this problem, it's supposed to redesign this town into a boat shape place; As the boat sails on water, thus where's boat, there must be water…So the people followed his words and have this special featured town set up.
Besides, there is other worth visiting places here in Leshan, like Giant Sleeping Buddha, Lingyunshan ancient cliff carvings, lesser west lake-Wutong Bridge etc. All of these made Leshan famous and special among all the Chinese and travelers from home and aboard.