Thursday, 27 August 2009

天坛大佛... 268 steps in Tian Tan mount

Today I´m in Hong Kong, China, and I´m going to visit the biggest Buddha statue in the World...Tian Tian Buddha... the only way to visit this temple is traveling about 30 min. in this amazing Cable Car... Ngong Ping 360°
This Cable Car is a visually spectacular 5.7km bi-cable ropeway. As the first of its kind in Hong Kong, the cable car journey begins from Tung Chung, crossing Tung Chung Bay to reach the angle station on Airport Island and turning about 60 degrees in the air towards North Lantau.
Visitors will enjoy some of the best views during their joyful 25-minute ride: the vistas of the distant and vast South China Sea and the rolling grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park from the cable car dramatically change from the hustle and bustle of the city, to the serene and natural surrounds that Lantau is famed for. Ever-changing panoramic views also include the Hong Kong International Airport, verdant, mountainous terrain of Lantau Island, the Tian Ta Buddha Statue and the 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping Plateau.
Approaching the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal, you will begin to catch your first glimpses of the mighty Tian Tan Buddha Statue. Alighting from the cable car, you are a short stroll from Ngong Ping Village. You are also only a five-minute stroll from the Ngong Ping Village to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue...

We are here! Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. 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.

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 throne on top of a three-platform altar. It is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues representing gods or immortals.
The Buddha is 34 metres (110 ft) tall, weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons), and was the world's tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha prior to 2007. It reputedly can even be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day. Visitors have to climb 268 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. His 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.
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. 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.

The Tian Tan Buddha was constructed beginning in 1990, and was finished on December 29, 1993, the birthday of Gautama Buddha, the historic Buddha. 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 and wind pressure. The construction costs of the giant Buddha were estimated to be up to $68 million.
see you in my next chapter...keep traveling with Compass of the North.