Why is Leshan special?
Leshan (literally meaning “happy mountain”) is a prefecture-level city located at the confluence of Dadu and Min rivers in the Sichuan province. On the southwestern fringe of the Red Basin, Leshan is particularly well known as a city of National Key Tourist Attraction due to its natural landscape and wealth of cultural relics.
Leshan City is a renowned tourist resort as it boasts the 'No.1 Buddha under Heaven' -- Leshan Giant Buddha scenic area and Mt. Emei scenic area.
Leshan Giant Buddha
Built during the Tang Dynasty, the Leshan Giant Buddha is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Min, Dadu and Qingyi rivers near the city of Leshan.
Facing Mount Emei with the rivers flowing below his feet, this stone sculpture is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world and at the time of its construction was the tallest statue in the world.
At 71 meters (233 feet) tall, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. His shoulders are 28 metres wide and his smallest toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person.
There is a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain". This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.
Chinese people have given Mount Emei many names in order to describe its beauty including “Fairy Mountain and Buddhist Kingdom”, “Botanical Kingdom”, “Paradise of Animals” and “Geological Museum”.