In the hills not far from Wuxi stands 88-meter tall Liang Shan Buddha:
To get a sense of just how immense this statue is, consider the people on the staircase in the photo.
Looking down from the base of the Buddha, one can see the expanse of the valley and temple complex below:
In the temple courtyard, there is a scale replica, which one can view in alignment:
There is also a full-size copy of the Buddha’s hand. One is supposed to walk a full circuit while remaining in contact with the hand for good luck, and the wear from countless visitors is clearly visible.
I did the full circuit around the hand, and we’ll see how that works out…
The Liang Shan Buddha is not an ancient construction, but rather recent project sponsored by the Chinese government with some private donations. There is a certain over-the-top feel to the entire complex, almost like a Buddhist amusement park, with a huge parking lot, busses, etc. They have also built a large “palace” with rather gaudy devotional art. The huge circular meditation hall in the center was less ornate, with it’s arrangement of seats and geometric design, though they did have a constantly changing light show in the domed ceiling:
Not being a Buddhist, I don’t really have much interpretation of these aspects of the center. But certainly, the giant Buddha itself is impressive.