A truly stunning statue, the Tian Tan Buddha is one of the must-visit attractions in Hong Kong and here are some insights into its origin story.
The Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is on Lantau Island near the Po Lin Monastery, walking distance from Ngong Ping Village. Those based at Tsim Sha Tsui hotels including properties like Park Hotel Hong Kong can travel to the Tung Chung MTR station and take the Ngong Ping Cable Car to the island.
The Story Begins
The story of the Tian Tan Buddha begins at the Po Lin Monastery which was granted land on Mount Muk Yue to construct a Buddha statue. Monks from the monastery subsequently visited China in 1979 where they were inspired by statues at Dunhuang and Longmen as well as the Altar of Heaven (Tian Tan) in Beijing that also gave them the idea of using a base platform.
Reaching a height of 34 metres, this seated statue faces North towards China. Its facial features that display serene calmness were modelled after the Vairocana Buddha sculpted at the Longmen Grottoes in China. Meanwhile, the headgear and clothes have been inspired by the Shakyamuni Buddha image at a cave of the Dunhuang Grottoes.
On 29th December 1993, the opening ceremony of the Tian Tan Buddha took place with Buddhist monks the world over being invited to attend. It marked the culmination of 12 years of work including the addition of bronze pieces over the main frame. Today, visitors can make their way up the 268 steps to get a closer look at this remarkable statue set amidst stunning panoramas.