Statues of Buddha have been attracting tourists all over the world and apart from the posture (called Mudra), its location and material used in the structure, the visitors are keen to know the height of the statue. In fact, Buddha statues are taken as icons representing wisdom and compassion. At many places these statues are very tall and their height humbles the humans, giving the sensation of spiritual tourism.
Striving to achieve new heights and breaking the previous records is a human nature.The race of erecting the largest or the biggest Buddha is not over as yet.
Do you know which is the tallest (biggest) statue on the earth? Yes, this is still in making at Kushinagar in India. A giant 152 mts (500 ft).
Similarly, the great reclining Buddha at Myanmar will soon no longer be the largest reclining Buddha as a new stone carved reclining Buddha would be about 416 m (1365 ft) long.
But till such time these giants are erected, let us see which are the tallest Buddha statues in the world as on today.
#1. Spring Temple Buddha, Henan, China
Location: Zhaocun township, Lushan County, Henan, China
Height: 128 meters (420 ft). It includes 20 meters (66 ft) throne which is lotus shaped (Tallest completed so far). If the height of the building on which it is placed is also taken into consideration, then it measures 153 meters (502 ft).
Description: Built over a Buddhist monastery, near a hot water spring at Tianrui, it depicts Vairocana Buddha
#2. Laykyun Setkyar Buddha and Grand Reclining Buddha at Monywa, Myanmar
Location: Village Khatakan Taung near Monywa, Myanmar
Height: 116 mts (381 ft). It stands on a throne of 13.5 mts (44 ft) which makes it the 2nd largest Buddha at nearly 130 mts (427 ft).
Description: This is a unique combination of standing and reclining Buddha and a great tourist attraction on a hill in Myanmar since 2008. This hollow structure has 31 storeys with murals on the interiors of walls and images depicting Buddha Mudras. The reclining Buddha is on a golden pedestal, so far the largest at 95 mts. The reclining Buddha is hollow and visitors can walk in to have its panoramic view and display of 9000 images of Buddha.
#3. Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan
Location: 2083 Kunu-cho in Ushiku city of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Height: 120 mts (390 ft) which includes base measuring 10 m (33 ft) and a platform which is lotus shaped and of the same size as base.
Description: It is Amitabha Buddha, weighing about 4003 tons and is made up of bronze. The chest of the statue is like a museum which can be visited using elevator. The entry to Level 1 leads to a dark lobby with a single shaft of light in the centre. Level 2 is known as World of Gratitude and Thankfulness which is dedicated to scriptural studies. Many prefer visiting Level 3 which has 3000 samples of gold Buddha statues and finally the Level 4 which is room of Mt. Grdhrakuta over-viewing flower garden and small animal park.
After completion in 1993, it was listed as the highest Buddha statue in the world in Guinness Book of World Records in 1995. Its hugeness can be experienced from miles away against blue sky and the beauty of the surroundings on reaching the base with flowers in abundance.
#4. Guanyin Bodhisattva of Hainan Sanya, South China
Location: In the sea of Sanya, Hainan island province, China. It is near the Nanshan Temple of Sanya.
Height: The 108 mts (354 ft)
Description: It is a three-faced statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. It looks the same from different angles because of the design. Its two sides face South China Sea and third side faces inland. This way this statue represents blessings and protection of China and the whole world. Also each aspect of the statue has a different religious symbol, namely, a sutra, a string of prayer beads and a lotus. It has been funded by Chinese companies and enshrined in 2005 in the presence of monks from different parts of the world.
#5. Dai Kannon of Sendai, Japan
Location: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Height: 100 mts (328 ft)
Description: Dai Kannon is memorial of the 100th anniversary of Sendai City. Dai means big and Kannon is a statue of Guan Yin, who is bodhisattva of compassion. This Kannon is holding a wishing stone in her right hand and a water jug in the left hand. Inside the statue there are 12 floors which can be reached by elevator.
There was devastation in this area during tsunami in 2011 and as citizens come out of it they take courage from the firmly standing Dai Kannon.
#6. Dai Kannon at Ashibetsu, Japan
Location: Kita no Miyako Park, Ashibetsu city, in Sorachi Subperfecture, Hokkaido, Japan
Height: 88 mts (289 ft)
Description: It is the 'white-robed' Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. There is halo behind the Kannon's head. One hand is raised with the thumb and forefinger together. The other hand is postured down with thumb and middle finger together. It is based on a lotus flower and has twenty storeys inside.
#7. Grand Buddha at Ling Shan, China
Location: Small Lingshan mountain on the western side of Qinlv peak of Mashan in Wuxi city, Jiangsu Province of People's Republic of China.
Height: 88 mts (289 ft)
Description: It is a bronze and tin statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Weighing over 725 tons, it was completed in 1996 and is one of the largest in China. Approaching the statue is a thrilling experience as one has to climb 216 stairs which signifies 108 troubles and 108 wishes, in the Ascending Cloud Avenue with seven platforms. The right hand of the statue is in famous Abhaya Mudra which is considered to be the gesture of 'Fearlessness' and the other one in the 'Benefiction Mudra'. The pedestal of the statue has a three-storeyed museum about Buddha.
#8. Awaji Kannon (World Peace Giant Kannon), Japan
Location: Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Height: 80 mts (262 ft). Actually plus 20m (65.5ft) more If pedestal included, making it a total 100 mts (328 ft)
Description: It was a project of a rich Realtor of Japan who constructed a five storey building, 20 mts tall and having different items like religious exhibits, private collections of the Realtor, a restaurant, a banquet hall etc on different floors. Apparently, it could not become very popular as it did not have the reputation of a purely religious venture. There are maintenance concerns of the statue after the death of the Realtor and his wife.
#9. Great Standing Maitreya Buddha, Taiwan
Location: Near Biepu, Xinzhu County, Taiwan. Standing tall above the shore of Emei Lake.
Height: 72 mts (236 ft)
Description: It is Maitreya (returning) Buddha and one of the four in Taiwan. The future Buddha is smiling and is a symbol of hope for the humanity. With the whole world in his right hand and prayer beads in the left, the laughing Buddha represents all the happiness on his face. The protruding belly speaks the satisfaction. Wait for the return.
#10. Giant Buddha Statue of Leshan, Sichuan, China
Location: Eimeishan city, Sichuan province (Near Leshan)
Height: 71 mts (233 ft), the tallest carved out of a hill
Description: Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 8th century creation is huge and looks majestic. Built during the Tang dynasty, the monk named Haitlong had a mission to pacify the turbulent waters of the river flowing there. Not during his lifetime but ultimately on completion of this project much later, the river water became safer for ships passing due to deposits of stone removed during construction of the statue. The vegetation around is unique, some as old as 1000 years. It has shown some degradation due to weathering and pollution.
The quest never ends
The never ending quest of human kind establishes new records. The tallest Buddha statue now planned is by the Maitreya Project which is an International Project in India. The proposed statue will be 152 m (500 ft), bronze structure. The proposed tallest Buddha in the world will have steal truss construction and covered by around 6000 aluminium bronze panels.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on January 06, 2018:
Yes, Guckenberger. And the race is on. May have larger ones in coming years. Thanks for the interest shown in Buddha statues.
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on January 05, 2018:
420 feet! That's insanely massive!
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 02, 2017:
Chitrangada, I have always been fascinated by Buddha statues. Wherever I go I would prefer to include a visit to any spot related to Buddha. And there are innumerable statues of Buddha in Asian countries. I am glad you liked these.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 02, 2017:
This is excellent information about the Buddha statues ! I am always fascinated by the peaceful and positive vibrations from these Buddha idols. I have seen them at Bodh Gaya and other places in India.
Thanks for introducing these amazingly beautiful and majestic statues from other parts of the World in this well presented hub!
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on January 30, 2017:
Irma Cowthern from Los Angeles,CA on January 30, 2017:
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 05, 2017:
Never knew there were so many iconic Buddha statues around the world. Interesting and informative, enjoyed reading.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on November 29, 2016:
Thanks, CYong74. I am glad the picture caught your attention.
Ced Yong from Asia on November 29, 2016:
That picture of the Ushiku Daibutsu during snowfall is just, surreal.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on July 03, 2016:
Alun, every time I come across a statue or information about Buddha, I feel I need to know more about Buddha. The selection of stautues in this Hub was based on height of the statue only. I agree with your observation that I need to update it in the coming days and it will continue to be a regular feature, as there is a race to create the heighest among countries. I am grateful to you for your motivating observations. Have a great time!
Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on July 02, 2016:
This is lovely srsddn. A well presented hub with good photos of very impressive statues. I have a few observations:
1) I was surprised that none of the ten largest are in Thailand, a country I know well, and inwhich I have seen giant reclining Buddhas at Wat Pho in Bangkok and in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, as well as many Buddha statues on hilltops which dominate the landscape for many kilometres all around. Thailand will have to get building - there seems to be a competition to create ever larger statues of Buddha!
2) I was interested and gratified to see so many in China, including some recently built statues. China was noted for many years as a country which suppressed religion under Communist rule, so I hope this is a sign that the regime is showing more tolerance towards its ancient Buddhist and Taoist faiths.
3) It surprised me to read that the largest statue of all is now being created in India, as I understand Buddhism is no longer a major religion in your country, though I believe Kushinagar is a place of Buddhist pilgrimage.
I hope to see some of these statues one day, so thanks for showing them to me. Cheers, Alun
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on February 14, 2016:
Thanks, Mel Carriere. I am glad you found something for your bucket list. Have a nice time.
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on February 14, 2016:
Awesome, breathtaking works of inspiration. Thank you for compiling this list and providing some items for the bucket list. Great hub!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 26, 2015:
wow, the last one is very unique, sitting position in between the hills, awesome photos and wonderful religious hub
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on June 27, 2015:
Thanks, Padmajah. I am glad you found it interesting. Have a wonderful time.
Padmajah Badri from India on June 27, 2015:
Quite an interesting hub.Thank you.Happy Writing.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 28, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by, Radhika. I am glad you enjoyed reading about these great statues. Thanks for all the support and have a nice day!
Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on May 28, 2015:
These gigantic statues of Buddha are really a marvel of beauty. I enjoyed looking at the pictures as well as reading the words. Voted up, beautiful, useful and interesting.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 17, 2015:
Burma (now Myanmar) has many such statues. Many of these are unique. Thanks for visiting, Melissa.
Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on May 17, 2015:
I visited Burma as a teenager and remember being awed by the different Buddhas.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on November 23, 2014:
Susie, I am glad you liked the Hub and the statues. Buddha continues to attract the world even today and human endeavor to excel has resulted in so many unique statues in the world. It is difficult to imagine the dedication and the mission behind Statue at Leshan and it will continue to be a unique creation for centuries to come. Thanks for showing interest in the tour. Have a nice time.
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 23, 2014:
This is an impressive article and those photos of all the statues are remarkable to see, Sukhdev. The one that stands out to me the most is the Buddha Statue of Leshan. Interesting tour.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on November 15, 2014:
Sanjay, Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan were carved out in 6th century and that is how they were historically important too. One of them was 165 ft high. The destruction of both of these monumental statues is really deplorable. Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice time.
Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on November 14, 2014:
Thanks for sharing the wonderful information in a single hub. I think the statue of Buddha in Afghanistan which was destroyed by the extremists was the largest one.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on October 24, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by, Chris. I am glad you liked the information. Have a nice time.
Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on October 24, 2014:
Fascinating and informative. Thanks for sharing this fine article.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on July 14, 2014:
Sunil, Thanks for visiting the Hub. I am glad it triggered a desire to visit some of these great statues. Buddha statues will always continue to inspire the world. Thanks for the support as well. Have a nice time.
Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on July 14, 2014:
Good article with finest details and stunning photos. You have done a great job. I wish to visit some of these in the near future. Voted up. Shared.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on July 06, 2014:
Kevin, there are so many statues of Buddha specially in India and Asia. Some of these are really very old and it is interesting to study them. I am glad you liked the information. Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice time!
Kevin W from Texas on July 06, 2014:
I was unaware that there were so many different statues of Buddha. Very interesting and informative article srsddn. Thumbs up.