Spring Temple Buddha – An architectural marvel

A lot of tourists around the world go backpacking to China to visit some of the most popular locations in the world. Among them, Spring Temple Buddha is one you should definitely not miss because the breathtaking statue offers you a memory that is so beautiful that the skies would help you cherish it every now and then even if you are back in your home or office leading a monotonous life. The statue which is dedicated to Gautama Buddha pulls your heart to a tranquilizing experience that takes you away from the worries that bother you as your vision presents the architectural beauty before you.

History

The Spring Temple Buddha construction began after the Taliban destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas which was part of Afghanistan. From October 2008, an effort to reshape the hill on which the statue stands began. The aim was to alter the structure of the hill and form two pedestals which are the ‘Diamond seat’ and the ‘Sumeru seat’.

It was decided that a whole of $55 million will be spent on the cost but this was an estimated cost. Out of this $55 million, only $18 million was meant to be invested on the statue. Originally, it was estimated that the statue would require 1100 pieces of the copper cast which implies that the weight will sum up to 1000 metric tons. There is also a Buddhist monastery which is constructed beneath the statue.

By 2014, even though the construction of the ‘Diamond’ and ‘Sumeru’ seats was completed when external aspects are looked into, the internal aspects and details continued to be under construction. It is also true that the number of visitors is very low even though the spot was expected to attract a large number of visitors. This is cited as one of the reasons why the construction remains incomplete.

The Structure

Standing tall at a height of 128 meters, the Spring Temple Buddha is the second tallest statue in the world at present depicting the glorious image of Vairocana Buddha. Even then, not many tourists flock to the Zhaocun Township of Lushan County situated in Henan, China to see this wonder. It is a part of the Fodushan Scenic Area which is located close to National Freeway no.311. It was built during the time period 1997 to 2008 and hence cannot be considered as an ancestral architectural wonder which sets it apart from the many acclaimed tourist spots.

If one explores the structure of the statues, it can be found that the statue has a lotus pedestal which stands on two other structures. These structures are known as the Diamond seat and the Sumeru seat. The Diamond seat is mounted on the Sumeru seat and if the heights of these structures are included in the total height of the statue, it will come up to an unbelievable measure of 208 meters.

108 kg of gold along with 3300 metric tons of copper alloy and 15000 metric tons of steel was used to make the Buddha. If you wish to reach the statue, there are two sets of stairways which contains 365 steps each. You will find more stairs to climb as soon as you reach the inside of the lower building. Reports say that one will end up climbing over 1000 stairs which gives you an exhilarating and unique experience.

The Diamond seat

It consists of five levels and not surprising is home to many interesting facts. Each of the five levels that are part of the Diamond seat consists of a lot of small shrines which house the mini versions of golden Spring Temple Buddha. This means that it contains more than 5000 shrines and 6666 mini Buddha structures present on each of them. Tickets are sold to those who wish to enter the Diamond seat building and go up to the top part of the lotus pedestal. The visitors are allowed to touch the toes of the Buddha structure from there.

Origin of the name

It is not uncommon if you are curious about the name of the origin of this incredibly wonderful site before visiting it. The existence of Tianrui hot spring erases the question of origin of the name ‘Spring Temple Buddha’ as the name is derived from the spring. The water present in the Tianrui hot spring is considered to have curative properties when is at 60 °C.

Other attractions

Right before you approach the statue, you will get to go through the doors of Foquan Temple which will provide you that air of serenity some old building provide. It was built during the 618-907 AD period when Tang dynasty ruled. Many monks used to live here and the temple was considered as a prominent spot of Chinese Buddhists.

The Bell of Good Luck can be found in the Foquan Temple halls and it is quite large and heavy weighing more than 116 metric tons. It was given the title heaviest functioning bell at the time it was constructed. The bell’s architecture is also quite interesting as its shoulder area is decorated with patterns of lotus petals.

Yaoshan Fuquan host spring baths can also be found in the complex. The original hot spring which existed here was covered up to set up a few dome buildings. The complex has many hot spring baths, pools and even waterslides. Though it looks odd that such an indoor water center was constructed in a place which has a different kind of surroundings, the idea behind it might have been to construct a rejuvenating area for tourists to have some fun.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a different kind of location to spend your vacation, the Spring Temple Buddha is a very good choice as it is anything but ordinary. There is no doubt that this hidden spot in China which hasn’t been given enough spotlight will arouse your own pristine self which got ‘polluted’ by monotony and confusion. The best part about this locale is the tranquilizing calmness that reverberates endlessly which boosts the quality of your getaway from daily life.

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