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10 Magnificent Statues of Buddha in the World
Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world. Though originated in eastern part of India after Siddhartha Gautama, the young Indian Prince attained enlightenment following his meditation, it spread to Asia and later to other parts of the world, Surprisingly, the following has dwindled in India substantially but continues significantly in many Asian and other countries.
Philosophy of Buddha is still relevant to this world for maintaining peace and harmony. Statues of Buddha have been placed in monasteries for worshiping. Also, many statues of Buddha have been placed in parks and public places as a mark of respect. The recent attempts have resulted in placing quite spectacular statues of Buddha in different part of the world.
This Hub presents 10 splendid statues in as many countries.
I will start with Bodhgaya, the place of enlightenment of Buddha in India. This will be followed by statues one each from the following countries:
Japan, Mongolia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and South Korea. The statue shown in the intro image is from Myanmar and is in addition to the 10 magnificent statues.
#1. Śākyamuni Buddha, Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, Bihar, India
Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya district of Bihar State in India marks the location where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment after meditating under a peepul tree about two thousand five hundred years ago. A structure entirely in bricks dating back to fifth to seventh century AD (Exact date not known) is now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a gilded sitting statue of Buddha in 'touching the ground' Mudra.
#2. Sleeping Buddha at Anao-ji Temple, Japan
Reclining Buddha with a blanket and lotus shaped pillow under head is located inside the famous Anao-ji Temple in Japan. It is famous on two counts. Firstly, on January 3rd, Fukutabae is held at this temple. In this good luck event monks throw cards from the roof top of the Temple. These cards can bring happiness. If one is lucky to catch red coloured card then it is considered to bring good luck. Those who catch three pieces are ensured lifetime happiness and wealth.
Secondly, the touch of the paining part of the body with statue of Buddha brings in relief from the ailment.
#3. Avalokiteśvara, Buddha at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Gandan Monastery at Ulan Bator in Mongolia has a unique 26.5 feet high statue of Buddha called Migjid Janraisig and is known to be the tallest indoor statue. Having escaped destruction in 30s due to socialistic political change, it was closed but reopened in 1944. The Lord here is looking in every direction and has many precious stones around.
#4. Leshan Giant Buddha, China
The uniqueness lies in the size and its location. World's largest statue of Buddha in stone, 71 meters high and 28 meters wide, Giant Maitreya Buddha is in a sitting posture with both hands on the knees and it has been carved out of a cliff near the city of Leshan. There is a river flowing below the feet.
#5. Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Erected in 1993, the Big Buddha or Tian Tan Buddha is a huge bronze statue reported to be sitting the same way as Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree. Po Lin Monastery got a big boost after erection of 34 meters high impressive structure on a lotus-shaped throne. Facing Mainland China a visitor has to climb up 268 steps to see and appreciate the magnificence of this enormous statue.
#6. Golden Buddha statue at Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand
Temple of Wat Traimit at Bangkok has a unique statue of Buddha, known as the largest solid gold statue in the world weighing nearly five and a half tons. This spectacular statue with reflective surface stands quite bright and it was moved to a building called Phra Maha Mondop in 2010. There is a museum where visitors can get the story of Golden Buddha and a proper dress during visit is considered a sign of respect.
#7. Buddha Statue at Van Hanh Zen Temple, Vietnam
Located at Van Hanh Zen Monastery at Da Lat, a 24 meter high and 20 meter wide Golden statue of Sakyamuni Buddha with a lotus in his right hand is the main attraction for tourists. The Pagoda behind exhibits specific characteristics of Buddhist architecture.
#8. Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka
Dambulla in Sri Lanka is full of caves and five of these have many olden era statues and paintings related to Buddha. A well preserved World Heritage Site, Golden Temple here is the largest cave temple in Sri Lanka and it serves as the main access to the Royal Rock Temple.
#9. Amitabha Buddha in Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Taiwan
Placed in the biggest Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Taiwan is an over 36 meter high statue of Buddha. Special noteworthy is the position of hands in this statue. The right hand symbolises guidance and the lowered position of left hand is for receiving. This tall standing statue of Buddha is surrounded by 480 smaller Buddha statues and the Monastery has come up as a great educational centre.
#10. Nirvana Statue of Buddha, Manbulsa, South Korea
The Nirvana statue located at Manbulsa is about 15 metres long and 4.5 high brass statue in the Manbul mountains. Manbulsa is a Temple of 10 thousand Buddhas including many statues of Baby Buddhas with hats on their heads and lanterns.
The above two images are the beautiful head and ornamental feet to depict the magnificence of this Statue. Special meaning is attached to Buddha's feet and It s believed that rubbing the feet brings good luck.