I am not the first Buddha who came upon Earth, nor shall I be the last.
In due time, another Buddha will arise in the world – a Holy One, a supremely enlightened One,
endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals.
One of the most incredible Buddhist artworks is the figure of the Buddha himself. The statues of Buddha have always been a mark of historic importance. Right from the larger than life Buddha statues to intricately embellished ones, all have something or the other peculiarity to turn the heads. These statues are not only important from the religious perspective, but also artistically and socially talked about.
Here is a list of 13 incredible Buddha statues that will leave you awestruck:
1 – Daibutsu At Todai-Ji, Japan
In the Buddhist temple Todai-Ji in Nara, Japan, is a sculpture that is the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha, its height reaching nearly 15 meters and the head adorned with 960 individual six curls.
2 – Grand Buddha At Ling Shan, China
The enormous Buddha statue in China’s Jiangsu Province close to Xiangfu Temple, near Lake Taihu, is 88 meters tall, and made of bronze, which weighs over 700 tons. It was built in 1996.
3 – Leshan Giant Buddha, China
The Leshan Giant Buddha is located in Sichuan Province in China, and is a 77 meters tall seated figure carved into a red rock cliff face, which is the largest stone statue in the world. It begun to be built in 713 AD and finished in 803 AD on the juncture of three rivers hoping that it would tame the dangerous currents downstream.
4 – Monywa Buddha, Myanmar
Located in Monywa, Myanmar, the Monywa Buddha measuring over 90 meters in length with a hollow interior and gold and white exterior is the largest statue of a reclining Buddha in the world. The reclining pose of the Buddha depicts his death and passing to nirvana.
5 – Phutthamonthon Buddha, Thailand
The Phutthamonthon Buddha, located in the Nakhom Pathom district of Thailand, was made by Corrado Feroci, an Italian-born artist. The sculpture is the highest free-standing depiction of the Buddha, which stands with an arm outstretched, and four sites surrounding the base of the sculpture recall his birth, enlightenment, first sermon, and death.
6 – Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Hong Kong
Constructed in 1993, in Hong Kong the Tian Tan Buddha, made from bronze with a steel frame, 34 meters tall and 250 tons in weight, is surrounded by smaller statues with offerings to the Buddha representing generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom.
7 – Buddha Statue Of Hyderabad, India
Inspired by the Statue of Liberty, N.T. Rama Rao commissioned the giant Buddha, pedestaled on Lake Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad, in Telangana, India. It is made out of solid white granite and wears cloth robes with one hand raised, and palm facing forward. 10 people were killed when the statue fell sideways in efforts to erect it.
8 – Ayutthaya Buddha Head, Thailand
Once part of a temple that was destroyed in 1767 when the Burmese army invaded Ayutthaya, this is a marker of Buddhist history. The head of the Buddha is now enveloped in the roots of a large tree, recalling the symbol of the Bodhi tree, where Siddartha Gautama attained enlightenment.
9 – Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka
Constructed in the 12th century, in Sri Lanka, with carved rock relief sculptures, these granite sculptures depict a seated, standing, and reclining Buddha, and are also considered as some of the most important examples of ancient Sinhalese art.
10 – Wat Pho, Thailand
Wat Pho is a temple in Bangkok, Thailand, dating back to the 16th century, which is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Primarily made from brick and plaster, adorned with gold and inlays of mother-of-pearl, the figure’s posture is traditionally likened to a sleeping lion and refers to Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.
11 – Temple Of The Emerald Buddha, Thailand
Dating back to 14th century, carved from jade, the 66 cm tall Emerald Buddha is a national treasure in Thailand. Clothed in gold robes, the King of Thailand himself does the seasonal changing of Buddha’s gold clothing that is housed at the temple at the Grand Palace.
12 – Great Buddha Of Kamakura, Japan
Made during the 13th century, the enormous bronze statue of the seated Buddha in Japan’s Kamakura, is one of the country’s most recognized symbols. The hollow statue depicts the Buddha in the lotus position, with legs folded and hands just touching while resting on his lap.
13 – Unusual Buddha Sculpture Made Of Beetles, Japan
A man named Yoneji Inamura sculptured a piece of a Buddhist deity named senju kannon bosatsu, well known in Japan, apparently having 1,000 arms. It took 6 years to make this piece, rendered in thousands of beetle bodies most of which, are rhinoceros, winged jewel, drone, and longhorn beetles. The piece is hidden away behind glass in the Itakura Town Hall, which has a free entry.