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The Giant Buddha of Leshan is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. 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.
The statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees. Maitreya is the future Buddha, who will appear to preach the dharma when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have faded away. Maitreya was especially popular during the 4th to 7th centuries.
The Giant Buddha of Leshan sits impassively against the mountain, hands on his knees and looking across the river with heavy-lidded eyes. Standing 71 meters (233 feet) tall, his shoulders are 28 meters (92 feet) wide and his smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person. Each eyebrow is 18 feet long.
Learn more: Giant Buddha of Leshan