A. The Giant Buddha of Leshan
The Buddha of Leshan is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, carved out of a cliff face by an 8th-century monk in southern Szechuan province, China. The Buddha overlooks the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers and faces the sacred Mount Emei
The locals say "The Mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain."
The statue depicts a sitting Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees, gazing across the river - Maitreya is the representation of the future Buddha who will appear when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have been forgotten. He was popular from approximately 300 to 600 AD with his images found throughout the Buddhist world.
Construction began in 713 AD by a Chinese monk named Haitong, wishing that the Buddha would calm the turbulent powers that troubled the shipping vessels travelling down the river.
In order to calm the waters and save lives, Master Haitong, a Buddhist abbot of the Lingyun Monastery, raised the funds and commenced the construction of the Giant Buddha.
On December 6th, 1996, Leshan Giant Buddha was approved by the UNESCO as the Heritage of World Culture and Nature and was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List.