Religions are characterised by their divine beings, and Buddhism is no exception. There are several deities that can be found throughout Asia, so if you enjoy looking at works of art while on organised trips, we can tell you where to find the most spectacular giant buddhas in the world.
The giant Buddhas that cannot be missed on a journey through Asia
Each continent has a predominant religion, and in Asia it is Buddhism. There, it is highly valued, so much so that about 95% consider themselves Buddhists. The reflection of this spirituality has been evident throughout the centuries, and in the present day there are several giant, well-preserved Buddhas that can be visited on our trips. Here, we list the most impressive for you.
The Great Buddha of Kamakura
Japan is a country with countless secrets. However, with the passage of time and harsh, unpredictable weather, some have been exposed. This is the case with one of the most famous giant Buddhas in the world: The Great Buddha or Kamakura Daibutsu. Located in this city, it used to be hidden inside a wooden temple, but in the fifteenth century, it was exposed following a tsunami.
It dates back to 1252 and rises more than 13 metres above ground. About 120 tons of molten bronze in the Kotoku-in Buddhist temple make it the second largest seated giant Buddha in the country, and its weight protects it from natural disasters. The Buddha, with his peaceful expression, is unaffected by what is happening around him.
Giant Buddhas of Monywa
Myanmar, or Burma, is another country whose existence cannot be understood without Buddhism. Therefore, there are various giant buddhas that can be visited throughout its territory. In the year 1057, King Anawratha began with the construction of these magnificent structures. As well as in the temples, they can also be found in the caves, the hills and in the cities themselves.
The largest structure is located to the east of the city of Monywa. In a reclining position, it is 90 metres long and its head is about 60 metres high. However, this construction is quite recent, and since its interior is hollow, it is possible to walk over it. Other giant Buddhas that can be visited in this country are the Zinathukha pagoda, in a forest in Mudon, and the Shwe Thalyaung, the latter being of great antiquity and value.
The Giant Buddha of Leshan
China could not be left out, and in fact, itis home not only to one of the world’s largest giant Buddhas, but also to the largest stone carving. The Leshan Giant Buddha is located on the Sichuan cliff in the west of the country.
This bodhisattva Maitreya, or being born on Earth for the enlightenment of a Buddha and the teaching of dharma, began in the year 713. Thanks to the efforts of workers and sculptors, it was completed in the year 803. It is 71 metres tall and its fingers alone are 3 metres long.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Bangkok is home to one of the oldest and largest temples in the country, which also has one of the largest giant Buddhas in Thailand. It was built approximately 200 years before the city became the capital and commemorates the death of the Buddha in Nirvana. Made of gold leaf, it is 46 metres long and 15 metres high, and thus occupies practically the entire temple.
Travelling to Sri Lanka guarantees us some of the most impressive giant Buddhas in the world, specifically in Polonnaruwa. There, we can find the temple Gal Gal Viharaya, built by Parakramabahu the Great during the 12th century. Four buddhas carved in rock are located inside, the largest of which is 14 metres long and 7 metres tall.
The artificial lake Hussain Sagar is heart-shaped and is located in the city of Hyderabad. There is a monolithic statue 17 metres high, and weighing 320 tons, making it the largest in India. It is one of the most famous giant Buddhas in the country, not only because it was carved from a single piece of stone, but also because in 1992 it fell into the lake and caused the deaths of several people. Today, it is perfectly restored in its original place.