I don’t usually get all wikipedia-ish on the blog… but I did look up more things about this most fascinating statue.
Maybe the coolest thing is that 8 meters (over 25 feet!) of this statue are underground, buried, and never seen! It was carved out of a single trunk of white sandalwood, and 18 meters of it stick up above ground. It’s from 1744 and it took over three years to ship the trunk to Beijing! There were over 8 million taels of silver spent to build it and 1800 meters of yellow satin to make the kasaya… amazing!
This thing was a pleasure to photograph! While I was in this temple, monks were taking huge long red sashes and walking around the upper areas and draping them around different parts of the enormous statue. It was all in slow motion and most interesting!