China Leshan

Leshan, Sichuan Province: The Giant Buddha

Sichuan Province

June 17, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Here are a few tall stories…and finally, the tallest one of all:

Last year I had the privilege to visit the colossal statues of Abu Simbel.  Built by Ramses II in 1257 BCE, the rock hewn likenesses of the seated Pharaoh are 20m or 67ft high.  Outside Cairo, the Sphinx is 20m tall.

Earlier this year at the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I had the pleasure to visit the tallest sculpture of a Hindu god.  Built in 2006, Lord Murugan stands 42m or 137 ft tall.

As a native New Yorker, I have visited The Statue of Liberty several times.  Miss Liberty welcomes all to New York Harbor as a beacon of tolerance and a lamp of freedom.  She was built in 1886 and is 46m or 151 ft from the base to the top of her torch.

As a patriotic American, I visited Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota many years ago.  Mt Rushmore is 152m or 500 ft tall.  Dedicated in 1941, the faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are 18m or 60 ft high.

Still on my “To See” list is the iconic Christ the Redeemer.  Completed in 1931, the art deco statue towers over Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and stands 38m or 124 ft high.

But today, I crossed one tall item off my “To See” list.  I have visited the largest stone carved Buddha in the world.