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Lingshan Buddha

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Lingshan Giant Buddha (灵山大佛, 无锡)

Brief Introduction
The Lingshan Grand Buddha is one of the largest, tallest and most representative collections of Buddhism architecture and art in China, which is an 71-meter-high bronze statue of Sakyamuni in the open air, 17 meters higher than the Grand Buddha at Leshan. Lingshan Buddha was built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang Dynasty), depicting Maitreya. It forms up the pattern of "Five Buddha in Five Directions" together with the Big Buddha to the south, the Grand Buddha at Leshan Mountain to the west, the Grand Buddha in Yungang Grottoes to the north and the Grand Buddha at the Longmen Grottoes in the central area. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. At the feet of the Grand Buddha, you can feelthe loftiness and solemnity of Buddhism.

During Spring Festival, travelers from all over China come to Xiangfu Temple to listen to the bell toll, which is said to bring good luck to people. The bell is 3.5 metres high and weighs 12 tons, making it the biggest bell in South China. The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

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History of Lingshan Giant Buddha
Construction on the Giant Buddha began in 713 AD. It was the idea of a Chinese monk named Haitong, who hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. His plans were not just supernatural - the enormous amount of rubble carved away from the cliff would be deposited in the river, altering the currents and calming the waters.

When government funding for the project was threatened, the monk is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. The construction project was continued by his disciples and finally completed by the local governor in 803.

Today, there are still some strong currents where the three rivers meet - but none that threaten the tourist ferries. The "Mount Emei Scenic Area with Leshan Giant Buddha" was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

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Highlights:

Lingshan Giant Buddha
Several drainage passages hidden in the Buddha's hair, collar, chest, and holes in the back of his ears preventing the Buddha from serious erosion and weathering. He has been lovingly maintained on a regular basis throughout his 1,200-year history, but is still a bit mossy. Visitors stare in awe at the Buddha from the tourist ferries and from a terrace next to his ear. On one side of the terrace is a modern statue of the monk Haitong, and behind is the Lingyun Temple Museum with exhibits on the construction and renovations of Dafo.

There is a Wuyou si, also named Wuyou Temple, located at the South of the Giant Buddha, which visitors pass on the way from the ferry to the Buddha. A pink-walled monastery founded in 742 AD, it has impressive decorations including splendid gate guardians, painted scenes from the Journey to the West (on the second hall) and amusing sculptures of arhats (inside the Louhan Hall).

On the other side of the gully on Lingyun Shan, there are signs for Han-dynasty tomb chambers, which suggest this site was sacred before the Buddha was carved.

The Nine-Dragon Fountain
The Nine-Dragon Fountain in front of the giant Buddha will startto play the music of trombones and the song of The Birth of Buddha at 10:00 am everyday. Huge lotus’ slowly bloom with six petals, and a 7.2-meter gold-gilt prince statue of Buddha rise from the lotus, with one hand pointing to the sky and one hand pointing at the earth, symbolizing Buddha appearing from the blooming flower and Buddha's light shining on all things.

The Brahma Palace
The construction of the Brahma Palace on Lingshan Mountain lasted for two years.Open to public in 2008, its splendid and marvellous design surprised every visitor.

The whole palace shows the integration of the traditional cultural elements with western architectural features, embodying the extension, profoundness and loftiness of Buddhism. Many cultural heritage and art works can be found here.

Wuyin Mandala
Wuyin Mandala, surround by the "fragrant ocean", covers a land area of about 5,000 square meters. It demonstrates the well-known concept of Borobudur. You may feel the fortitude of the snow-covered plateau when you throw yourself down on the land at your feet in admiration. The restlessness in your heart will disappear when you put your palms together devoutly after hanging on a prayer flag.

Transportation
Bus Routes:
Line 88: From Wuxi Railway Station to Lingshan Scenic Area
Line 89: From Wuxi Central Railway Station to Lingshan Scenic Area

Travel Guide:
Address: Lingshan Road, Mashan, Binhu District, Wuxi
Admission Fee: CNY 210
Opening Time:  Lingshan Mountain:   7:00--17:00
                      Brahma Palace:      9:00--18:00         

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