Very Large Buddhas (Redux)
Thursday, 16th July 2009 by Ian Brown
The world of gargantuan statuary has changed considerably since we published the original Very Large Buddhas post just over 3 years ago. The title of world’s largest statue is now held by the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China.
The statue alone is 128m tall, and it stands on a 20m tall lotus throne, which in turn stands on a 25m tall pedestal – giving the structure a total height of 153m.
The statue – including the lotus throne – is 128m tall. Its original 25m tall pedestal gave the structure a total height of 153m. However, recent information shows that the hill it was built on has been constructed into an additional pedestal. The total height is now believed to be 208m. Panoramio has several pictures, and this image in particular gives you a sense of just how immense this monument is (and shows the new pedestal under construction.)
Little is known about the Spring Temple Buddha in the West, so it likely wasn’t listed on Wikipedia when Alex wrote the original post. It was constructed in 2002 in response to Taliban bombing of Buddha statues in Afghanistan, as well as to thwart Indian plans to create the world’s largest statue. I haven’t been able to find any vital statistics about it, but this image seems to show that the toes alone are close to 2m high.
The world’s second largest statue is the Laykyun Setkyar in Myanmar, which is so new (completed in 2008) that we only see it partially constructed on Google Maps.
At 116m on a 13.5m pedestal it is barely taller in total than the Spring Temple statue alone. Panoramio has a few pictures of the completed structure, which also show that it is, interestingly, located near a reclining Buddha which, at 90m in length, would probably be the world’s 9th tallest statue if it was upright.
As it is also located in a somewhat secretive country, detailed statistics are similarly hard to find. The regime consistently claims it is the world’s largest though, despite evidence to the contrary.
The world’s third largest statue is Ushiku Daibutsu in Japan. It was featured in the original Very Large Buddhas post, though there is new imagery that shows it in greater detail.
Thanks to Lukasz for the link to the reclining Buddha, and to Alex for letting me update his original post.