The Giant Buddha of Leshan is a statue of Maitreya in a sitting position. The Buddha is located east of the city of Leshan, in Sichuan province(China), where three rivers converge: the Min River, the Qingi River and the Dadu River. The statue is the most famous point of interest in the city. In December 1996 the site of the Buddha was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Begun in the year 713 during the Tang dynasty and finished in 803, it took more than ninety years to carve this statue. During these years, thousands of workers have invested their efforts and wisdom in the project. The Giant Buddha, considered the largest carved stone Buddha in the world, is mentioned in poems, songs and stories.
Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and appearance that have been wonderfully captured in their solemn stillness. It stands 71 meters (about 233 feet) tall and has 8.3 meters (about 27 feet) long toes. Its 9-meter (about 30 feet) wide instep is large enough to seat 100 people, and its 24-meter (about 79 feet) wide shoulders are wide enough to accommodate a basketball court.