Leshan Giant Buddha

Nora Zheng
1476 Words/6 Minutes, By Nora Zheng, Updated February 17, 2023

The Leshan Giant Buddha, also known as the Lingyun Giant Buddha, is located at the side of Lingyun Temple on the east bank of the Nanmin River in Leshan City, Sichuan Province. It is at the confluence of Dadu River, Qingyi River and Minjiang River and faces Leshan City across the river. The Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot includes Leshan Giant Buddha, Lingyun Temple, Lingbao Pagoda, Haishi Cave, Jiuqu Plank Road, Lingyun Plank Road and Mahao Cliff Tomb, etc. It is a national 5A-level tourist attraction and is a part of the world cultural and natural dual heritage Emei Mountain-Leshan Giant Buddha.

How big is the giant Buddha?

The Giant Buddha is a seated statue of Maitreya Buddha, with a height of 71 meters, a shoulder width of 24 meters, a finger length of 8.3 meters, and a width of 8.5 meters in the instep. More than 100 people can sit around the feet, and it is the world's largest statue carved on a cliff. The head of the Giant Buddha is in line with the mountain, with feet stepping on the river, hands on the knees, well-proportioned posture and solemn demeanor. It is hewn along the mountain and seated near the river. On the cliffs along the river on the left and right sides of the Big Buddha, there are also two stone carvings of Dharma King with a height of more than 16 meters, which together with the Giant Buddha form a pattern of one Buddha and two kings. There are also hundreds of niches and thousands of stone statues coexisting with the kings, which are assembled into a huge Buddhist stone carving art group.

What is the construction history?

The Giant Buddha was excavated in the first year of Kaiyuan (713) in the Tang Dynasty and completed in the nineteenth year of Zhenyuan (803), which took 90 years to complete the whole construction. At the confluence of the three rivers (Minjiang, Qingyi and Dadu) in ancient Leshan, the deep and rapid water and the turbulent waves, often engulfs boats and endanger the people. Zen Master Haitong was very unbearable when he saw the ship crashing and people dying. In order to reduce flood damage and purify all living beings, he decided to carve a statue by the river, hoping that the Buddha could control the water monster. After 20 years of begging, he recruited manpower and material resources to build and chisel the Buddha. When building the shoulders of Great Buddha, Zen Master Haitong passed away. After Haitong's death, the chiseling work was interrupted for a time. Years later, thanks to donations from several government officials and taxes ordered by the court, Haitong's apprentices led craftsmen to continue building the Buddha. With the efforts of three generations of craftsmen, it took 90 years to complete the construction of the Giant Buddha.

What are the design features?

The Leshan Giant Buddha has a cleverly designed and invisible drainage system, which plays an important role in protecting the Giant Buddha. Among the 18 layers of buns on the head of the Buddha, there is a horizontal drainage ditch on the 4th, 9th and 18th layers, and there is also a ditch on the left side of the chest to connect with the ditch on the back of the right arm. There are caves connected to the left and right at the back of the two ears against the cliff; there is a hole at each end of the back of the chest, but it is not drilled. These ditches and caves form a scientific drainage, moisture barrier and ventilation system to prevent the erosive weathering of the Buddha.

Along the 500-meter-long Lingyun plank road on the left side of the Buddha, you can directly reach the bottom of the Buddha. Looking up at the Buddha here, it seems that the Buddha is much higher. On the right side of the Giant Buddha is the construction and Buddha worship channel left when excavating the Buddha in Tang Dynasty, the Jiuqu Plank Road. The plank road is excavated along the cliff on the right side of the Buddha statue. It is extremely steep and twists nine times before you can climb to the top of the plank road and watch the carving art of the Buddha's head.

There are total 1021 buns of hair on the top of the Buddha. From a distance, the bun and the head are completely integrated, but in fact they are embedded one by one with stones. The big 7-meter-long ears of the Buddha are made of wood and decorated with mud on the surface. It was not easy for the craftsmen to fasten them to the stone thousands of years ago.

How to tour

Recommended hiking route: North Gate (enter) - Lingyun Plank Road (down) - Giant Buddha - Jiuqu Plank Road (up) - Haishi Cave - Lingyun Temple - Lingbao Pagoda - East Gate (exit)

Tips: If you want to take a cruise to see the Leshan Giant Buddha, you usually take the river cruise first, and then enter the scenic spot to see the Giant Buddha in a close distance.

One/Two day tour suggestion

  • One Day Tour: Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Two Day Tour: Leshan Giant Buddha + Mount Emei

If there is no suitable tour for you, contact us and create your own Chengdu tour!

How to get to

Chengdu to Leshan Giant Buddha

Shuttle Bus: Take the shuttle bus to Leshan at Chengdu Xinnanmen Passenger Station or Chengdu Shuangliu Airport Passenger Station, and the journey takes about 2 hours.

Train: There are Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan intercity express to Leshan at Chengdu East Railway Station. There are more than 10 trains run in turns between 06:32 and 21:46 every day. The journey takes about 1 hour and the second-class ticket is RMB54. After arriving in Leshan, take bus No. 3 or take a taxi to the scenic spot.

Leshan City to Leshan Giant Buddha

Bus: Take bus No.13 and get off at Giant Buddhist Temple Station.


  • Take ferry from Leshan Port to Giant Buddha, the ferry fee is RMB1 pp.
  • At Leshan Port, you can take a cruise to watch the Leshan Giant Buddha, which costs RMB50-70 pp each time, and the tour time is about 15 minutes. Since there is no port in the scenic spot, tourists can only appreciate the Leshan Giant Buddha on the boat.

Useful Info

  • Admission Ticket: RMB80
  • Half-price Ticket: Juveniles between 6 (exclusive) years old and 18 (exclusive) years old.
  • Free Ticket: Children under 1.2 meters (inclusive) in height or under 6 years old (inclusive); seniors over 65 years old (inclusive)
  • Cruise Ticket: RMB70 (You can see the panoramic view of the Leshan Giant Buddha, Sleeping Buddha, Sanjiang River by taking the boat cruise)
  • Where: Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot, Bizi Street, Central District, Leshan City, Sichuan Province
  • Tel: 0833-2302296; 2302048
  • When is it opened: 1st April to 7th October (peak season): 07:30-18:30; 8th October to 31st March (slack season): 08:00-17:30
  • Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours. If you take a day trip from Chengdu, a whole day is suggested.
  • Recommended Seasons: All seasons, but spring and autumn are the best

Recommended restaurants nearby

  • Granny Yeh Bo Bo Chicken (snack; average cost: RMB50 pp): Add: No. 43, East Street, Shizhong District, Leshan City. Tel: 0833-2125869
  • Soup foot beef (Head Office) (Sichuan cuisine; average cost: RMB40 pp): Add: No. 19, Yanwu Road, Shizhong District, Leshan City. Tel: 15082213330

Recommended hotels nearby

  • Ride a Thousand Miles Alone Hostel: Add: Building 36, No.2 Building, Wuyouba, Shizhong District, Leshan City. Tel: 0833-2177770
  • Holiday Inn Express Leshan Square: Add: No. 399, Baiyang West Road, Central District, Leshan City. Tel: 0833-2401888
  • Haiyun International Youth Hostel: Add: No. 59, Renmin South Road, Shizhong District, Leshan City. Tel: 0833 -2352222

Nearby Attractions

  • Wuyou Temple: 1.5km
  • Oriental Buddha Capital: 11.6km
  • Baoguo Temple at Mount Emei
Nora Zheng

Hi, I’m Nora Zheng, if you like my article, please share it with your friends. Any sugguestions on this aritcle, please contact me. Thanks!

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