Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Big Buddha

15 December 2015. Hong Kong.

I relied on the Discover Hong Kong site for my basic information regarding this attraction that I so wanted to see. The head was modeled after the statues in the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site found in Henan, China. The body is said to be made up of 160 bronze pieces. The legs of the Buddha sits in the same position assumed by Sakyamuni Buddha when he attained enlightenment. The altar on which the Buddha sits is modeled after the base structure found in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) in Beijing, China; hence, the name Tian Tan Giant Buddha.

268 steps need to be climbed to be able to get a closer look at the statue, and a sweeping view of the surrounding mountains. Circling this gigantic statue are smaller bronze statues poised as in offering. I learned later that these statues are known as "The Offering of the Six Devas", offering flowers, lamp, incense, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. They are said to symbolize the six perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, which are traits necessary for enlightenment.

As soon as we descended, we entered a temple, which I was sure was part of the Po Lin Monastery, that led to a courtyard and an even bigger temple. We just stayed at the courtyard because Zac enjoyed the freedom. We spent most our time, however, at the Ngong Ping Village until it was time to board the van again for our dinner and night tour.