Situated on Lingyun Mountain, Lingyun Temple is also called Great Buddha Temple because of its location at the head of the Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha in the world. Four monuments flank the entrance to the temple, which contains the Heavenly King Hall, Precious Hall of the Great Hero, and Scripture Collection Hall.
Many travelers visit Lingyun Temple as part of a guided day trip from Chengdu to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Leshan Giant Buddha. A typical tour includes a climb up to the top of the 233-foot (71-meter) statue and visits to both Lingyun and Wuyou Temples. Those who would like to take in the statue from a different perspective can upgrade the trip with a short river cruise departing from the opposite bank. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Lingyun Temple is a must-visit for spiritual travelers and first-time visitors to the Leshan Giant Buddha.
- Day trips to the temple and Buddha statue typically last about eight hours.
- Most tours include a Szechuan lunch at a local restaurant, as well as round-trip transportation from Chengdu hotels.
Leshan is located 82 miles (137 kilometers) south of Chengdu. Several buses make the 90-minute trip to Leshan City each day, and from there you can catch a taxi to the Giant Buddha and Lingyun Temple. When to Get There
The best time to visit the temple and its surroundings is during spring or fall, when weather is mild and rainstorms are less frequent. Summer tends to be the wettest season in Leshan, while winter temperatures can get chilly. Avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays, when the temple is packed with Chinese tourists.
Legend of the Giant Buddha
According to legend, the confluence of the Dadu, Min, and Qingyi rivers was a rushing torrent and a danger to shipping vessels and to the livelihood of local people. In AD 713, a monk of the Lingyun Temple believed that the waters might be calmed if a giant likeness of Buddha were chiseled out of the cliffs. The Leshan Giant Buddha was created and has stood guard over those who navigate the river ever since.