Buddhist scriptures give significance to simplicity, leaving behind all the negativity and ill thoughts. Buddhism follows the teachings of Gautama Buddha, who took birth as Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini in 567BCE. Born into a royal family, he had all the luxuries of life but the experiences made him realise spirituality and the essence of true happiness that lies away from materialistic objects. The Prince then gave away all his wealth and went out to seek what he truly wanted. Buddhism is about Buddha’s ideologies; karma, compassion and wisdom, and enlightenment. Buddhist temples have a peaceful environment with prayer bells, Buddhist paintings depicting tales, Buddhist literature and holy chants. Unlike other religion, Buddhism does not necessarily believe is worshipping the statue. Rather, the Buddhists sit barefoot in front of the statue and offer prayer. Here is a list of Buddha Statues that you must see once in your life.
1. SPRING TEMPLE BUDDHA, HENAN, CHINA
Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China definitely tops the list. And it will truly amaze your sight. Standing tall at a height of 420 feet, above a lotus-shaped pedestal of 66 feet, this statue has been placed in the Guinness Book of World records for being the largest statue in the world. The enormous Buddha statue is built with 108kg of gold, 3,300 tonnes of copper alloy and 15,000 tonnes of steel. The diamond seat below the pedestal contains 6,666 small Buddha statues. Visitors can climb up and touch the toes of the Spring Temple Buddha.
2. MONYWA BUDDHA, MONYWA, MYANMAR
The Monywa Township is a place of spiritual interaction. Monywa Buddha is a second tallest statue. Wrapped in a golden rope, the towering tall standing Buddha statue can be seen from far away. Built in 2008, the statue is 423 feet tall. It comprises 31 storeys that represent 31 planes of existence. The beauty and divinity of the statue can’t be described in mere words. Below it lays the reclining statue that is 312 feet long. That’s not all; the garden is filled with numerous Buddha statues sitting in the same position.
Image Source: Wikimedia
3. LESHAN GIANT BUDDHA, CHINA
Leshan Giant Buddha is 232.94 feet tall and has been honoured as the largest Maitreya Buddha statue in ten worlds. It is also a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO. The giant Buddha was carved from the mountain and faces the Leshan City. The river below its feet appears as a part holy ritual to wash Buddha’s feet. Completed in 803 AD, the statue in China is well maintained due to the dynamic design and structure.
4. DAIBUTSU AT TODAI-JI, NARA, JAPAN
Todai-Ji holds an integral part in the history of Japanese culture and history. And Daibutsu in its complexity is the World’s largest bronze statue. The statue 49.29 feet tall sits in a position that represents Vairocana. There are many other attractions, like a pillar that has a hole in its base which is as big as the nostril of Daibutsu. Sika deer that are considered to be the messengers of God move here freely. You can also visit the Todaiji Museum, Hokkedo Hall, Kaidanin Temple, and etcetera.
Image Source: Wikimedia
5. WAT PHO, BANGKOK
Wat Pho, the oldest temple in Bangkok has the magnificent statue of the reclining Buddha. Build during the rule of King Rama III, the statue represents Gautama Buddha lying down before entering parinirvana. The gold plated Reclining statue is 46 metres long and 15 metres high. The feet are 5 metres long and delicately decorated. That’s not all, the temple complex and hundreds of Buddha statues.
6. TEMPLE OF EMERALD BUDDHA, THAILAND
The most sacred Buddha temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew or The temple of Emerald Buddha is truly mesmerising. Situated in Phra Nakhon district, the temple is within the premises of Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha statue is in the colour dark green and measures 66 centimetres tall. Sitting in a meditation position, the Buddha statue is made from a single dark green jade. Every season, the attire of Buddha is changed by the Prince.
7. GREAT BUDDHA OF KAMAKURA, JAPAN
Dating back to 1252, The Great Buddha of Kamakura was once inside a temple until a Tsunami destroyed it and then the statue was housed in the open air. Back then, it was entirely gold plated, but as centuries have passed by, the shine has also faded, except graces of gold near its ears. There were also 32 bronze lotus petals at the base, 4 out of which remain today. The huge bronze statue (now) representing the Amida Buddha weighs 93 tons and is 13.35 metres tall. Well, visitors can even enter inside the Buddha statue.
8. AYUTTHAYA BUDDHA HEAD, THAILAND
Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya is a famous Buddhist site in Thailand. But what makes it more interesting is its rich history. Once a temple, Ayutthaya was attacked by Burmese Army in 1767 and it came down to nothing but ruins. It was in the 1950s when the restoration work began. Even if the temple was entirely damaged, the stone Buddha head was there, tangled by a huge tree. The theory still lies undiscovered but the site is a major tourist attraction.
9. GAL VIHARA, SRI LANKA
The UNESCO World Heritage site at Polonnaruwa presents you the sight of Gal Vihara’s four cave shrines. Apparently, all of the Buddha statues were cut from a single slab of granite. Cave of Vijjadharas, The Excavated Cave, The cave of Standing Image and The cave of reclining image. The 7m tall statue of Buddha that is in the “Cave of Standing Image” and the 14 m long reclining Buddha are the most magnificent out of all.
Image Source: Wikimedia
10. USHIKU DAIBUTSU, USHIKU, JAPAN
Situated in the city of Tsukuba, Ushiku Daibutsu is a major attraction. The former tallest Buddhist statue in the world, Ushiku Daibutsu is 120m tall. And if you think that’s all then you must reconsider. The bronze statue weighs 4000 tons. The Ushiku Daibutsu tour includes visitors going into the various exhibition halls on the first and second floor. The most fascinating one being the ‘World of the Lotus Sanctuary’ that has over 3000 gold Buddha statues.
These are the top 10 Buddha Statues in the world. They are not only great tourist attractions but also a hub of spirituality and intellectuality.