Everything about this Buddha is BIG. More than a thousand years old, it took almost a century to carve the Leshan Buddha from the solid rock cliff. The Buddha looks out over a river and legend says the rugged, unpredictable river sunk many boats drowning people until the Buddha was carved from the cliff.
It is thought that the rocks cut from the cliff while the Buddha was being constructed tumbled into the river and calmed the currents. However, today, air pollution as in acid rain from industry is threatening the Buddha. Maintaining the Buddha has become a challenge. About two million people visit each year.
To the Chinese, Mt. Wudang is the first mountain under heaven. Ornate palaces may be found on the mountains slopes. Temples, pavilions and bridges are all designed to harmonize with the landscape. This mountain is also the home of Wudang Kung Fu. A martial art that is still active today after seven hundred years. In Chinese terms, Wudang is a small town of 20,000 people that is a fascinating mix of tradition and modernity.
Continued on February 14, 2013 in The Seven Wonders of China: Part 4 or return to Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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I can’t believe how much damage the air pollution has done to the Leshan Buddha.
I was shocked too. However, I read that there is a way to seal the stone it was carved in.
Apply a penetrating sealer, like Endur-O-Seal with Teflon, or Aqua-Mix. These products were designed to protect concrete from acid rain and rust stains, and can also be used on limestone.
In addition, calcium oxalate which protects marble:Ca Ox is an excellent protector of marble. Treated pieces have much more resistance to acids than untreated ones. Ca Ox has 16 times the protective effects of methods currently in practice. Spraying is a practical application method for large or intricate statues. Acid rain is much less destructive on calcium oxalate protected marble than untreated marble.
And if this stuff has to reapplied every few years just like most houses have to be repainted, then that gives someone a job.