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Leshan -- Home of World's Largest Stone Buddha Statue
The city of Leshan, 167 kilometers from Chengdu, is located at the confluence of three rivers -- the Minjaing, Qingyijiang, and Dadu. Dating back more than two thousand years, it has been a prosperous town with beautiful scenery attractive to common people and great writers and scholars alike. The towering Soaring to the Clouds Hill (Lingyunshan) about half a kilometer east of Leshan town is the site of many historical buildings, temples, and stone tablets with inscriptions and calligraphic works by celebrated writers over the dynasties. It is also the site of the world's largest stone statue of Buddha.

The Great Buddha at Leshan

This colossal statue was carved on a cliff on Soaring to the Clouds Hill facing the three rivers. On the rockface to the left of the statue, a twisting path leads down to the base of the statue from the top of the hill. The huge seated figure measures 71 meters from top to bottom, has a head 10 meters wide, a nose 5.6 meters high, ears 7 meters long, and legs 28 meters from knee to foot. The foot can seat more than a hundred people on its flat instep. With his eyes half closed, his facial expression kind and dignified, this Buddha has a majestic bearing. The statue, flanked by two armed warriors, represents a highlight in the development of sculpture in ancient China.

According to historical records, the statue took ninety years to complete, from 713 to 803 during the Tang Dynasty. A monk called Hai Tong from Lingyun Temple is said to have sponsored the construction of the Buddha at the confluence of the rivers to protect boats and passengers from the violent currents there.

Wuyou Temple

Originally built on top of Wuyou Hill during the Tang Dynasty, this temple was twice damaged during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Most of the remaining buildings today were constructed during modern times. The Hall of Maitreya Buddha, for example, was built in 1920; it hoses a statue of Maitreya Buddha, about five meters high, and forty-eight smaller Buddha statues. This hall, the Grand Hall, and Tathagate Hall are arranged on three levels from east to west, forming a typical Buddhist architectural grouping.

Former Residence of Guo Moruo

Located in a downtown street of Shawan by the Dadu River, not far from the city of Leshan, is an old-style courtyard surrounded by four chambers. A small side room off the front chamber is furnished with a huge, old-fashioned wooden bed and a long, narrow table with some antique china on it. The famous Chinese writer, poet, and historian of modern times, Guo Moruo was born here in 1892. Guo held many high ranking positions in China's academic institutions later in his life and was a Vice-chairman


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