It was the 6th day of our packaged travel to China. We left Nanjing after lunch at the jade factory and reached WuXi in 1 hour 45 mins. WuXi is our 5th and last city to visit in this travel package. The moment we passed the city boundary and took a short break at highway rest area, we knew and it was obvious that we were in WuXi’s teritory. Why? There was a big clay lady statue holding a vase and standing in the middle of the highway rest area, and WuXi is so famous of their clay arts and purple clay teapots.
However, we did not head to clay art factory as our first stop. Our first travel destination in WuXi instead was LingShan Grand Buddha or Ling Shan Da Fo (灵山大佛), a 88m high bronze Sakyamuni standing buddha statue outdoor, weighing over 700 tons. There was another local tour guide to lead us in WuXi, Xiao Xian. She was young and energetic and most importantly, friendly as opposed to Xiao Zhang of Nanjing.
It was being built and completed in 1996. Standing in front of the Longshan Mountain and facing the Taihu Lake, near Mashan of Wuxi China, it is one of the largest standing Buddha statue and best Feng Shui colossus in the world. (Look at the above photo and look for those tourists at the feet of the buddha!!)
The Grand Buddha showcases kindness in his face and appears the image of Buddha’s mercy. His eyes is widely looking at all the living creatures. The left and right hands have hand print with “wish”, wishing the world happy and welfare. The whole Buddha statue is very carefully created and very strong. When you stand before the Grand Buddha, you cannot help praising how perfect the Chinese craftmanship is!
The statue stands at the end of a long boulevard of many smaller attractions related to Buddhism and the great statue.
Right after the main entrance gate is the foyer. There is a statue of foot print symbol (being filled up with coins after all tourists threw coins in for their own reasons )
After the foyer is a passage way leading to a square of “Bathing By Nine Dragons“.
I love this shot!
Viewing the LingShan Grand Buddha from here is another perfect angle for photo shooting. My Lumix FZ28 worked very hard here as I snapped endlessly
Standing in the middle of the square there is a massive bronze pillar, topped with a huge lotus bud. Four times a day its is transformed into an extravagant celebration show of the birth of the Buddha. During the show the huge bronze leaves of the lotus bud slowly open to reveal a statue of the baby Buddha, who slowly rotates in a complete circle, while the 9 statues of dragons surrounding it become fountains, spraying jets of water from their mouths over the open lotus flower. The lotus flower is a traditional symbolic feature in Buddhism, symbolise pure and undisrupted heart of human despite growing from the mud.
“Sutra Turning” corridor surrounding the “Bathing By Nine Dragon” square. Here was where we were told to split and meet back in 45 minutes to catch the ‘bathing’ show.
After which is a square with a bronze carving buddha backdrop and pigeon feeding in front.
The suppressing bronze carving shows how the route of enlightenment of buddha through devils…
Further down the passage walkway, I found another great perspective view of the grand buddha… for photo shooting.
Come’on dear, pose for a great scene photo!
Midway to the Buddha sits an enormous bronze palm, almost 12 meters tall, identical to the palm of the statue itself. Our tour leader told us that during the building of the statue some workers left the hand sitting alongside the construction site while they worked on other parts of the statue.
However, the attention of local people was soon drawn to the massive palm, and people began burning incense to it and rubbing it to show their devotion to the Buddha. Seeing its popularity, the administrators left the palm in place, and ordered a new one to be cast for the statue. This section was then named “The First Palm of the world” (天下第一掌).
Next to the palm is a large bronze statue of a hugely obese Buddha with a wide smile – Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. Dozens of babies crawl over his recumbent form, pulling at his earlobes, poking his navel, and otherwise being naughty. The plump Buddha is popular and widely believed that couples who wish but haven’t got babies could have their dreams come true by touching the statue.
There is a temple in front of the grand buddha statue. A smaller sized buddha statue sits in the middle of the temple courtyard. Both looks the same!
Though it was only 4pm in the afternoon, it was nearly dusk with twilight onto this chinese architecture. I love twilight scenes!
The stone gravel pavement is another unique feature in Chinese architecture.
At 4 pm, all tourists including us off course gathered at the front square to watch the “Bathing By Nine Dragon” show. Watch out for the live video next upcoming post!
After the show, the sun is setting fast and the sky was turning dark. We left the place for our first dinner in WuXi which was far better than what we had in Nanjing! After the dinner, we went for night shopping before checking into our hotel in WuXi. I had a great photo travel experience in WuXi. Thanks the weather! – Travel Feeder.