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10 Biggest Buddhas on Earth


The image of the Buddha is one of the world’s most familiar icons, representing wisdom and compassion. From time to time, people have been moved to erect really big buddhas. Some of these are among the largest statues in the world.

Which of the giant buddhas of Asia is the biggest? Some say it’s the Leshan Buddha of Sichuan Province, China, a seated stone giant 233 feet (71 meters) tall.

But what about the Monywa Buddha of Burma, a reclining image stretching 294 feet (90 meters)?

Or the bronze Ushiku Buddha of Japan, which stands 394 feet (120 meters)?

A 502-foot (153 meters) standing buddha is being erected in Lushan, Henan, China. In Guifeng, China, stonemasons are working on a reclining buddha statue that will be 1,365 feet (416 meters) long.

There are plans to build a 500-foot (152 meters) bronze seated Maitreya Buddha at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

At the moment, the Ushiku Buddha may still be the world’s biggest buddha. Or maybe not.

Bigger, better, heavier – that seems to be the motto of Asia’s amazing Buddha statues. Our list features actual statues as well as destroyed and planned ones but all have to be taller than 50 m (165 ft).

Where does that leave the most famous and sadly destroyed ones, the Buddhas of Bamyan? At 180 ft, they are some of the shortest! Read on to discover which one tops the list. A hint: it’s a good 500 ft!

Have you ever wondered why some Buddhas are depicted standing, some seated and some even lying down?

And why they all pose their hands in unique gestures? Not to forget the sheer number of gigantic statues.

Well, according to tradition, Buddha images must be high enough so that their feet are above people’s eye level to avoid any accidental soiling.

The elevation is also meant as a reminder for devotees to refrain from pride and ego. While attaining enlightenment, Buddha was in a seated position, therefore this is a favourite position.

The hand postures are called mudras and have different meanings, for example fearlessness, instruction, meditation, wish granting and others. Regardless of which giant Buddha you may visit, they are all great tourist attractions that easily take a whole day to explore. Here’s the countdown:

10. Great Standing Maitreya Buddha, Taiwan – 72 m (236 ft) :


The Maitreya or Buddha of the Future is also called the Laughing Buddha because of the large smile that seems to shake even his protruding belly.

Maitreya worship is not particularly widespread in China or Taiwan and was even forbidden during the Qing period from 1644-1911.

Only four Maitreya Buddhas can be found in Taiwan of which the Great Standing Maitreya Buddha near Beipu at Emei Lake in Xinzhu County is the tallest at 72 m.

9. Awaji Kannon, Awaji Island, Hyago, Japan – 80 m (262 ft) :


The Awaji statue might not win a prize for being the most beautiful one portrayed here but it is located on Awaji Island, one of Japan’s oldest settlements. The statue stands on a 20 m (66 ft) pedestal, bringing the total height up to 100 m (328 ft).

8. Ling Shan Great Buddha, Mashan, China – 88 m (289 ft) :


Exactly 99 steps lead to the Grand Buddha, an impressive, 88 m bronze statue in Ling Shan, south of China’s Longshan Mountains.

The statue weighs over 700 tons and was completed in 1996.

Since 2008, visitors can also wander around the new Five Signet or Brahma Palace that were built close by.

7. Dai Kannon at Kita no Miyako Park, Hokkaido, Japan – 88 m (289 ft) :


This particular Kannon is another depiction of Avalokitesvara, literally “the Lord who looks down”.

Like a Goddess of Mercy, the female form means to embody the compassion of all Buddhas.

This Kannon in Ashibetsu, located in the Kita no Miyako Park in Hokkaido, was completed in 1989. Visitors can climb up the statue to enjoy the panoramic views or use one of the eight places dedicated to prayers between the 6th and 20th floor.

6. Great Reclining Buddha and Standing Buddha near Monywa, Myanmar – 90 m & 116 m :


In Monywa, close to the Po Khaung Taung mountain range, visitors are in for a treat as not one but two gigantic Buddha statues wait to be explored.

The Monywa Buddha is the largest Reclining Buddha statue in the world. Don’t be fooled by the length – the statue is also 60 ft tall!

It was constructed in 1991 and is like a building inside that visitors enter through the Buddha’s, er, rear.

They can then walk from the Buddha’s head to his toes, guided by 9,000 metal images of the Buddha, events in his life and his disciples.


But there’s more; the complex also boasts of one of the tallest standing Buddha statues, called Laykyun Setkyar. Though it is often billed at 132 m (433 ft), the height of the statue is 116 m (380 ft). Since its opening in February 2008, the statue has become one of Myanmar’s main tourist attractions.

5. Guanyin Buddha, Sanya, Hainan province, China – 108 m (354 ft) :


As mentioned earlier, guanyin statues depict the bodhisattva Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The one in Sanya is located on the tropical island of Hainan, a popular seaside resort.

Not unlike the Statue of Liberty, it rests on a specially designed island platform, this one surrounded by the South China Sea.

Also noteworthy are the statue’s three sides – one facing inland and two facing the sea so that blessings and protection can be directed everywhere.

4. Dai Kannon of Sendai, Japan – 100 m (328 ft) :


Here’s another depiction of Avalokitesvara in Sendai, the capital of the Miyagi prefecture.

It was built by a once flush and now defunct company in the 1980s to avoid taxes rather than show devotion, a reason why it is loathed by many locals.
Visitors enjoy the elevator ride to the top though and admire the spectacular views of the city.

3. Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan – 120 m (394 ft) :


At 120 m, the huge Buddha statue in Ushiku, Japan is one of the world’s tallest.

But that’s not all; the gently smiling Buddha with the upward facing right palm and downward facing left palm has a secret – a four-level museum related to Buddhism inside and an observation platform at 85 m.

2. Spring Temple Buddha, Henan, China – 128 m (420 ft) :


The Spring Temple Buddha, named after the nearby Tianrui hot spring, was built in response to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan, an act the Chinese government condemned.

The project was completed in 2002 and tops the Ushiku Daibutsu by 8 m, making it the tallest completed statue in the world.

Part of the statue is a 20 m high lotus throne but it also stands on a 25 m high building, raising its height to 153 m if taken into account.

Since 2008, the hill the Buddha is placed upon is also being reshaped into two pedestals, really letting the statue reach for the sky with an expected height of 208 m. Bigger is better? We don’t know yet.

1. Maitreya Buddha, Uttar Pradesh, India – 152 m (500 ft) – planned :


Finally, speaking of ambitious projects, the Maitreya Project is an international organisation that aims to build the world’s tallest Buddha statue in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Planned is a steel-truss construction covered by around 6,000 aluminium-bronze panels.

Part of the project will be education and healthcare facilities for the local population.

One aim is also to develop the area for tourism, which is why an accompanying park, cathedral, monastery, convent, guesthouse, library and food facilities are also planned.

If all those tall Buddha statues remind you of the Tower of Babel or you think that the astronomical building costs could better be used for housing for a nation’s poor, here what His Eminence Trizin Tsering Rinpoche, chairman of the Buddha Dordenma project, has to say:

“By building Buddha statues limitless people can pray and offer for thousands of years, thus by receiving blessings, clearing negativities and building virtues, this life will be happy, next life will be better at a higher level then finally everybody will be enlightened. The well being of future generations is dependent on the kindness and compassion of the present sponsors, Buddha makers and those who participate in this activity. This project brings benefit to self and all beings.”

If you know of any tall Buddha statues we have missed, let us know by writing a commentary below this article :

Source : www.environmentalgraffiti.com

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