UNESCO World Heritage-listed Giant Buddha at Leshan
The world-beating, 1300 year-old Giant Buddha carved into the sheer-cliff banks at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers near Leshan, was crafted in the hope it would calm the turbulent waters running by its feet and aid the comfort of river-bound travellers. When funding for the project was threatened, Haitong, the monk who started the project, gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. Construction ceased upon his death, but was completed by the monk’s disciples seventy years later. You’ll get a less painful eye-full walking the path beneath, beside and upon the massive Buddha’s head, and wonder at the knowledge that the removal of so much carved-up rock and its subsequent deposition in the river altered the currents around the statue and finally made the waters safe for passing.