The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. It is carved into the cliffs of Mt. Lingyun. A local saying describes the Buddha like this: ‘The Mountain unveils a Buddha, while the Buddha fades into the mountain.’
The huge figure takes the shape of a Maitreya Buddha, a disciple of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. The figure occupies the entire hillside. Its head reaches the top of the cliffs, his hands rest on his knees and his face has a serene expression as it gazes at Leshan city across the river, which rushes past its feet.
The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha’s coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole.