Tian Tan Buddha


Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue of the Buddha, located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. Also known as the Big Buddha, as it is the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. It is a major center of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction.

The statue is named Tian Tan Buddha because its base is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It is one of the five large Buddha statues in China. The Buddha statue sits peacefully on a lotus throne on top of a three-platform altar. It is surrounded by eight smaller bronze statues representing gods or immortals.

The Buddha is 34 meters high, weighs 250 tonnes, and was the world's tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha prior to 2007. It can even be seen as far away as Macau on a clear day. Visitors have to climb 268 steps in order to reach the Buddha, though the site also features a small winding road to the Buddha for vehicles to accommodate the physically challenged.

The Tian Tan Buddha appears serene and dignified. His right hand is raised, representing the removal of affliction. His left hand rests on his lap in a gesture of giving. The Buddha faces north which is unique among the great Buddha statues (all others face south).

The Tian Tan Buddha was constructed beginning in 1990, and was finished on December 29, 1993. The construction costs of the giant Buddha were estimated to be up to $68 million. It was formed out of 202 separate pieces of bronze. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside the statue to support the heavy load and wind pressure.

If you are travelling through the Hong Kong airport and get the opportunity, it is well worth the effort to travel up to experience the Big Buddha.


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