Grand Buddha / Ling Shan Da Fo, WUXI, Jiangshu Province, P. R. of China
Wuxi, a midsize city locates in Jiangshu province, it is not too far from Shanghai,
an old ancient city made famous via tales of the Three Kingdoms in the TV Series.
Back during the winter, 2010, I was
asked by friends who persuaded me to take a visit together to visit a new Buddhist
center in WUXI city where there is a Grand Buddha which reputedly the largest bronze
made statue in the world, where originally I do have reservation as citing the growing
commercialization of Buddhist subject matter in China, I was quite reluctant to make
the trip esp. when it is a new tourist landmark of related interest. Anyway, I went
and fortunately I did, as it was quite different from the original negative thought
I had in my mind.
So what is Ling Shan all about ?
To summarize all in one line, it is
an attempt to create a dedicated theme park of Buddhism. From another perspective,
it has achieved its objective in recreating interest of Buddhism as well.
The Ling Shan Buddhist Theme Park project
is located very close to TAIHU (Lake), and was started in 1994, from the original
idea of constrcting a 88 meters Grand Buddha, tallest copper standing statue of Sakyamuni,
which remains as the center attraction of the entire park, it has grown from here
that the park designers had incorporated many other points of interest for tourists
to get an in-depth knowledge of Buddhism around some of the countries, as well as
exhibiting traditional oriental Buddhist in sheer Chinese culture. Besides, the park
also includes the ancient XIANGFU Temple which has a history of more than one thousand
years old. Many of the attractions, such as the Bathing of the Nine Dragons (Buddha
Birth), Pancajnana Gate, King Asoka Gate are attempts to re-create scenario of other
important Buddhist locations in the world such as Burmese, Thai, India and Nepal
etc.. I guess the follow-up development works in the park was later diverted in trying
to integrate ancient religious culture into modern civilization, while also combining
the profound, insightful Buddhist edification, as well as revelation of the age-old
oriental culture in a modern perspective So, what I had witnessed later at around
the park, I notice some of the current designs as well as development works of new
premises such as the functions of forum site, art palace, spiritual sanctuary and,
Brahma Palace, in particular which has an entirely different look and feel from what
perceives to be traditional showcase.
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OFFICIAL WEBSITE (in CHINESE)
Address: LingShan LU, Ping Hai Qu, WUXI, Jiangshu Province, China. TEL:- +0086-510-85686166