The Giant Buddha at Le Shan (乐山大佛) is carved directly out of the mountainside overlooking the river. It is located in the southern part of the Chinese province of Sichuan, and together with Mount Emei is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). The seated Buddha is so large that humans are dwarfed by a single toe of the Buddha. This photo was taken about halfway down the perilous walkway carved into the cliff-face next to the Buddha.
Although Le Shan is rather short compared to many mountains, and the Chinese character “shān 山” can refer to hills as well as mountains, Le Shan is typically translated into English as a “mountain” and therefore will be considered one for the Mountain theme of the travel photo challenge. Indeed it is a mountain of great historical, religious, and artistic importance, and still attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims every day. I had to wait in line for two hours before I could walk down the steep, uneven, and narrow stairway that lead from the Buddha’s head to his feet, and I was told that I wasn’t even there during a “busy” time.
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A few shout-outs to some other entries that I liked:
- tomotherearthwithlove shares a beautifully composed shot with spring green grass in the foreground, a vivid blue sky above, and extremely rugged rocky peaks rising majestically in-between.
- therewildwest has lots of photos, the most stunning of which I think is “Mono Lake and mountains at the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park.”
- alienshores52 shares a mix of mountains from two countries half-a-world away from each other, my favorite being an unlabeled one with the only notation being “7″
- catbirdinoman shares stunning views of Himalayas in Nepal, mountaintop monasteries in Greece, and more!
- esengasvoice has a gorgeous photo of the mountains of Norway surrounding a peaceful lake.
- ayearinmyshoes shares a beautiful reflection photo of some small Irish mountains reflected very clearly in a lake.
- mrscarmichael shares an ancient Maori legend about the beautiful mountain in Aotearoa (New Zealand) which she photographed.
- greatgreths shares a variety photos of mountains across Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines – ranging from bright and colorful, to misty and mysterious.
- mylifeafterglow has a vibrant sunset photo from Darjeeling.