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leshan-giant-buddhaCarved out of a cliff face of red sandstone on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau over 1,200 years ago by Buddhist monks, the 233 ft-high Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world.

I took this picture from a boat on the river that runs past it.  As you can see by Buddhist pilgrims working their way down the stone steps on the side and in front carrying umbrellas, it’s raining.  Rain is so frequent here that a sophisticated drainage system was incorporated into the statue when it was built. It is still in working order. Behind the Buddha’s head, between his two ears, and scattered throughout his body, there are several hidden gutters and channels carrying out the rainwater that have kept the inner areas dry and prevented the Buddha from eroding since the 8th century.

Knowing this adds to the wonder of beholding this extraordinary achievement.  (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #268 photo ©Jack Wheeler)