The Leshan Giant Buddha is the world's largest stone Buddha statue located in the Sichuan province of China, near the city of Leshan. The monumental structure was first carved out of a cliff where the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi rivers meet during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) and continues to stand tall today, proving to be a tourist attraction for spiritual followers and art enthusiasts.
Despite the fact that the seated Maitreya Buddha remains embedded in the natural environment, centuries since its initial construction, it has inevitably weathered down over the years. In fact, the giant figure was originally adorned with a thirteen-story, gold-plated, wooden structure meant to serve as a sort of shelter from extreme weather conditions. It has since been destroyed, leaving the 233-foot-tall Buddha to fend for itself. It is now as much a part of the environment as the mountain it is carved into. Locals even say, “The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain.”
Top photo: jbweasle
via [Curious History]