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Tian Tan Buddha
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrWhen in Hong Kong, you should never miss the opportunity to stand at the foot of one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in the world. Tian Tan Buddha, aptly nicknamed as “Big Buddha”, is an impressive sight to behold, a bronze statue perched atop the hills of Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
A Bit of HistoryConstructed over a span of 3 years beginning in 1990, the behemoth was officially declared completed on 29 December 1993, coinciding with the Bodhi Day . Monks from all corners of the globe were in attendance to see the gigantic masterpiece, purportedly, formed out of 202 pieces of bronze and a series of complex steel and metal framework.
It was unveiled to the public in 1993 and has since become a pilgrimage stop-over by Buddhists from around the world. Aside from being a symbol of harmony between man, religion, and nature, Big Buddha, and, subsequently, the nearby Po Lin Monastery, are frequently visited tourist landmarks on this side of the globe.
What to Expect When You Get ThereWith a height of 34 meters and a weight of 250 metric tons, Big Buddha once held the title of being the world's largest seated Buddha statue from 1993 to 2000.
Reaching the top of the statue means climbing up 268 steps or driving up a winding road from the foot of the statue to the top; the latter option may be the ideal option for handicapped visitors.
The Tian Tan Buddha is perched atop a 3 storey building with floors dedicated to Buddhist disciplines: the Hall of Remembrance, the Hall of Benevolent Merit, and the Hall of Universe. The third floor of the same building also houses what is believed to be the ashes of Siddharta Gautama , the Buddha himself whose teachings became the foundations of Buddhism.
Be prepared to pay the HKD 25 entrance fee to visit the halls inside the Big Buddha. Photography is not allowed within the halls, and it is respectful to never attempt to take any photos (even if you are tempted to do so). The entrance fee entitles the visitor to a free vegetarian snack at the vegetarian restaurant, situated in Po Lin Monastery. If you pay an extra HKD 35, you can have lunch, and for an additional HKD 40 you can enjoy a deluxe meal.
If your budget does not permit you to enter the building-like pedestal upon which the Big Buddha sits, you may roam the picturesque monastery grounds for free.
How to Get There
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Author: epicandrea. Last updated: Jan 30, 2015