The World’s Largest, Longest and Highest Buddhist Statues, Temples and Structures
"There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed." The Buddha
1. The Largest Carved Stone Buddha Statue in the World
The Buddha statue 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 statue 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 and statues being found throughout the Buddhist world.
Construction of the mammoth statue 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 statue was approved by the UNESCO as the Heritage of World Culture and Nature and was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List.
2. The Largest Reclining Buddha Statue in the World
The world's largest sleeping Buddha statue is being constructed in the Yiyang County of East China's Jiangxi Province. This colossus rock statue was started on May 1st, 2002 and measures 68 metres high and is 416 metres long. Prior to this the world’s longest reclining Buddha statue was a mere 97 metres long and housed in the Chaukhtatgyi Temple in Burma’s capital city Yangon.
3. The Largest Buddhist Chedi in the World (Pagoda)
The largest Chedi (pagoda) in the world is at Gorai Island in Mumbai, India, and comprises part of the Esselworld Amusement Park. It has the world’s largest man made dome coupled with the largest rock cave in the world! The project was initiated by the Global Vipassana Foundation - a religious foundation set up to advance the teachings of Buddha.
4. The Largest Buddhist Monument in the World
The largest Buddhist monument in the world is Borobudur located in Indonesia on island of Java, and took nearly a hundred years to build between 750 and 850 AD.
These magnificent structures comprises a three dimensional mandala (Buddhist diagram of the universe) and is visual representation of the teachings of the Buddha)
It was buried in ash and lost to the world after the eruption of a nearby volcano.
The temple was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who heard the tale of a large strange hill nearby and believed locally to be the site of an ancient temple called budur.
In 1835 that the site was cleared and some modest restoration was attempted. This was hampered when the Dutch colonists gave away 8 containers of relics as gifts to the King of Siam (Thailand) who was then visiting Indonesia. Between 1973 and 1984 a major programme of restoration was begun and the site is now a destination for Buddhist pilgrims. In 1991 the temple complex was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
5. The Largest Buddhist Temple in the World
Wat Phra Dhammakaya is a Buddhist temple located in Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani north of Bangkok, Thailand. It is the world's biggest Buddhist temple, which is being designed to house more than a million pilgrims and is run by the controversial Dhammakaya foundation. The main chedi looks like a golden UFO and is set in extensive landscaped gardens and grounds.
6. The Largest Wooden Buddhist Temple in the World
Is the Tōdai-ji, a Buddhist temple located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall is the largest wooden building in the world, and houses the world's largest statue of the Buddha Vairocana. The temple has UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.
7. The Tallest Standing Buddha Statue in the World
Ushiku Amida Buddha statue is located in the city of Ushiku Arcadia in Ibaraki Prefecture, 50 km NE of Tokyo. The garden is dedicated as a place celebrating Hozo Bosatsu's journey into becoming Amida Buddha.
The statues stand 100 metres tall and stands on a 10metre lotus base and a 10m platform making the combined height from ground level of 120 metres. The statue’s base and lotus flower are made of steel reinforced concrete. The statue’s body is of a steel interior with a 6 mm bronze plate consisting of over 6000 separate plates. There is an observation platform inside the statue at the 85 metre level.
It was finished in 1995 and the Ushiku Amida Buddha is the tallest statue in the world. The Buddha statue is more than three times taller and a massive thirty times larger internal volume than that of the Statue of Liberty.
The statue weighs 4000 tons and its index finger is seven metres long.
8. The Largest Jade Buddha Statue in the World
This magnificent statue named The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is 3.5 metres tall and weighs 4.7 tonnes.
The statue is based on that of the Buddha statue inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in India’s Bodh Gaya.
It was carved from an 18 tonne jade massive jade rock discovered in Canada in 2000 and thought to be the world’s largest piece of pure jade.
The inspiration for the statue was the Nepalese Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He had dreamed of a Canadian shining jade boulder in before it was discovered and persuaded an Australian Buddhist Ian Green to carve the giant boulder into a Buddha.
The rock travelled from Canada to Bangkok in Thailand and Thai sculptors took 2 years to finally complete the statue.
The statue travelled the world and was displayed in many countries
before being placed in its permanent home at the Mahabodhi Stupa of the Atisha Centre in Australia.
9. Largest Solid Gold Buddha Statue in the World
This magnificent Buddha statue is housed in the Temple of the Golden Buddha, Wat Traimit in Bangkok. The temple dates from the 13th century with the Golden Buddha statue being at least 900 years old and of the Sukhothai style.
When the Burmese were about to destroy the city of Ayutthaya the statue was covered in plaster to hide its value from the invaders. 200 years later the statue’s origins had been forgotten and it was thought to be worth of little value. In 1957 the statue was being moved to another temple and it was dropped during the moving. That morning, a temple monk had an auspicious dream about the statue and so went to see it for himself. Through a crack he saw a glint of yellow, and was surprised to discover that the Buddha statue was made of pure gold. The graceful sitting Buddha statue is over 3 metres high and weighs over 5 tons.
10. Highest Buddhist monastery in the world
Rongbuk Monastery, Tibet China. It currently houses 30 Buddhist monks and 30 nuns – however previously there were about 500 monks and nuns living there. It lies at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier and at 5,100 metres (17,000 ft) above sea level makes it the highest monastery in the world.