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Tian Tan Buddha

 

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Tian Tan Buddha

Traditional Chinese 天壇大佛

Mandarin - Hanyu Pinyin Tiāntán Dàfó

 

Tian Tan Buddha from afar Buddhistic statues praising and making offerings to the Tian Tan Buddha

 

The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction.

 

The statue is named Tian Tan Buddha because its base is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It is one of the five large Buddha statues in China. The Buddha statue sits on a lotus[disambiguation needed] throne on top of a three-platform altar. It is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues known as "The Offering of the Six Devas" and are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. These offerings symbolize charity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary to enter into nirvana.[2]

 

The Buddha is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons), and was the world's tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha prior to 2007.[3] It reputedly can even be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day. Visitors have to climb 240 steps in order to reach the Buddha, though the site also features a small winding road to the Buddha for vehicles to accommodate the handicapped.

 

The Tian Tan Buddha appears serene and dignified. His right hand is raised, representing the removal of affliction.The Buddha's left hand rests on his lap in a gesture of giving dhana. The Buddha faces north, which is unique among the great Buddha statues, as all others face south.

 

In addition, there are 3 floors beneath the Buddha statue: The Hall of Universe, The Hall of Benevolent Merit, and The Hall of Remembrance. One of the most renowned features inside is a relic of Gautama Buddha, consisting of some of his alleged cremated remains. Only visitors who purchase an offering for the Buddha are allowed to see the relic, in order to leave the offering there. There is a huge carved bell inscribed with images of Buddhas in the show room. It was designed to ring every seven minutes, 108 times a day, symbolising the release of 108 kinds of human vexations.

 

HistoryThe Tian Tan Buddha was constructed beginning in 1990, and was finished on December 29, 1993, the day of the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist religion. The statue was formed out of 202 separate pieces of bronze. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside the statue to support the heavy load. When the statue was completed, monks from around the world were invited to the opening ceremony. Distinguished visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United States all took part in the proceedings.

 

On October 18, 1999, the Hong Kong Post Office issued a stamp depicting the Tian Tan Buddha. The MTR corporation has also issued a souvenir ticket featuring a photograph of the statue.

 

Visiting and accessPo Lin Monastery and the Buddha are open to the public between 10:00 and 17:45. Access to the outside of the Buddha is free of charge, but there is an admission fee to go inside the Buddha.

 

Visitors may also see the nearby monastery, known as the "Buddhist Kingdom in the South," which serves as an international Buddhist retreat, and is one of the largest and most well known in Hong Kong. The monastery was built by three Zen masters in 1920. The main temples have painted vermilion interiors with dragons and many other different Chinese mythical figures on the walls and ceilings. Visitors often spend time in the attached tea garden, the only tea garden in the territory. A five minute walk past the tea garden leads to the "Wisdom Path" - a very large wooden inscription of the Heart Sutra set within a figure 8 to symbolise infinity.

 

One of the main attractions of this Buddha statue is climbing 268 steps and circling the platform (the lotus) where the Buddha sits.

 

Also nearby is Lantau Peak, the second highest mountain in Hong Kong

 

 

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Taken on October 17, 2011