Friday, May 17, 2013

In Search of the Biggest Buddhas (photos)

Amber Dorrian and Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
The capstone peak on the Big Buddha's head in Leshan, China (Joegwolf/

The Big Buddha Tian Tan (Fiendbyname/flickr)
Big Buddha, Thailand (Micky75017/flickr)
The largest sitting-Buddha in Southeast Asia, interestingly, is not in Buddhist Bangkok.

Thailand, with a Buddhist population of 95%. Certainly might want that distinction, but where is the statue?
The former Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, one sitting (
Maitreya Heart Shrine (facebook)
It may be in Afghanistan, as yet uncovered in the archeological remains of an ancient Buddhist land west of India -- which influenced the development of Buddhism in ancient Greece (Greco-Buddhism, see video) before the Dharma traveled to the land protected from barbarians behind its Great Wall.
Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong (Vicma Lee/
Relics to stop on Lu Mountain (Anibal Ortiz)
It is not in India (at least not yet). Tibetan Buddhists are working on that near the possible site of the historical Buddha's reclining into final-nirvana, Kusinagar, not far from the border with Nepal.  
THE RELICS TOUR, which continues in east suburban Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley city of Rosemead (Lu Mountain Temple).
The center of the former Khmer empire in the jungles of Southeast Asia, Angkor (Alexey Stiop/
Smiling stone face, Angkor (Photox0906/flickr)
Nor is it in the world's largest Buddhist temple complex -- the fabled Khmer city-state discovered in the dense jungles of Southeast Asia, the amazing world heritage site of Angkor, Cambodia, built around Angkor Wat.
Might it be in Bhutan? There, high in the Himalayas of the world's last Himalayan Buddhist kingdom, is a magnificent new structure of staggering proportions in Thimphu.
Giant Buddha of Thimphu, Bhutan -- expensive tourism gets more expensive (
Biggest sitting is SE Asia? (Andrew Tan 2011)
It is not on Ellis Island, New York, USA, a site renowned the world over for it big statues, thanks to France.
Rather it is a foreign Thai temple, Wat Machimmaram, located in Tumpat town, in the state Kelantan, Malaysia.
Big Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong (Ak_phuong/flickr)
Despite being a Muslim-dominated state, a little known fact is that it is home to 200 or more Buddhist temples, most of them concentrated in this town.

Malaysia has indigenous Buddhists and a sizable Chinese population of at least 30%, many of them Buddhist by tradition.

World's biggest? The massive mountainside Buddha of Leshan, China (H2ooo2h/

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