What Can You Expect to See at the Spring Temple Buddha?

Sitting high on China’s Mount Yao, the Spring Temple Buddha is one of the nation’s greatest tourist attractions.

Oct 21, 2023By Rosie Lesso, MA Contemporary Art Theory, BA Fine Art
what to see at spring temple buddha


Spring Temple Buddha is one of the tallest and most majestic statues in the world, towering over the Zhaocun township of Lushan County, Henan, in China. Completed in 2008 following the Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, this monumental Buddha is listed as one of the national 5A tourist attractions in China by the Chinese government. Incredibly, the statue is made from 2200 tons of copper, 1500 tons of steel, and 108 tons of gold, which give the statue its gleaming, iridescent quality that can be seen for many miles.


But the statue is only one of the many attractions one can expect to encounter during a visit to the Spring Temple Buddha scenic spot, which features a series of both natural and manmade attractions. Below we list some of the wonders that this special location holds in store. 


1. The World’s Tallest Buddha

Spring Temple Buddha, China
Spring Temple Buddha, China


At the time of writing, the Spring Temple Buddha is the second tallest statue in the world, coming in at a close second to India’s Statue of Unity. It is 420 feet high, making it by far the largest Buddha statue anywhere in the world. The Buddha’s eyes alone are 6.2 feet high and 12.9 feet wide, while the hands are 62.3 feet high and 16.4 feet thick. Meanwhile the body length of the Buddha is 354 feet, but it sits on several pedestals which add to its overall height, including a lotus flower seat. If you’re prepared to climb a lot of steps, you can reach the foot of the giant Buddha and touch his feet. 


The Chinese government designed the Buddha in a style called “Vihara Maitreya”, demonstrating the Buddha Maitreya as a teacher, while the statue itself is dedicated to Vairocana Buddha, who is widely considered the highest-ranking Buddha in the pantheon.


2. The Tianrui Hot Spring

The Spring Temple Buddha and its lush surroundings
The Spring Temple Buddha and its lush surroundings

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The Spring Temple Buddha took its name from the nearby, naturally occurring Tianrui hot spring, which spurts out 65,000 gallons of water every day, that can be up to 60 degrees Celsius in temperature. The spring is widely considered by locals to have curative, medicinal properties, which fit with the healing spirituality of the entire site surrounding the Spring Temple Buddha.


3. Mount Yao

Spring Temple Buddha seen from the air, as it towers over Mount Yao
Spring Temple Buddha seen from the air, as it towers over Mount Yao


Mount Yao is the summit on which the Spring Temple Buddha is situated. The mountain sits in the eastern area of the Funju mountains, which are considered to be some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. During ancient times, Mount Yao was called Mount Rao, and it later evolved into Yao. This location became recognized as the origin of the family name Liu, which later populated much of China, and the ancient Chinese thinker Mozi also resided here. During the 1950s, the mountain was renamed as Mount Shiren, but it changed back to Mount Yao in 2008.


4. Foquan Temple and The Bell of Good Luck

The colossal Good Luck Bell inside Foquan Temple
Good Luck Bell inside Foquan Temple


The Foquan Temple is situated near the Spring Temple Buddha, and it was built during the Tang Dynasty. More recently, the colossal bronze Bell of Good luck was installed inside the temple in 2000, and is currently the largest working bell in the entire world, measuring over 8 meters in height, and 5.1 meters in diameter. It is also the heaviest bell in the world, weighing 115,757 kg. Its shape is designed to fit with the Buddhist theme of the surrounding temple and statue, with 36 different lotus petal patterns adorning its surface. The first ringing of the bell took place at midnight, as 2000 became 2001, signaling the emergence of a new century. Since then, many tourists have trekked to this marvel in engineering to try out the bell for themselves.


5. The Diamond Seat and the Sumeru Seat

The Spring Temple Buddha and its surroundings
The Spring Temple Buddha and its surroundings


Below the Spring temple Buddha are two pedestals, called the Diamond Seat and the Sumeru Seat. If we combined the height of both the seats below the statue, the entire height would come to 682 feet. The Diamond Seat contains a series of 6,666 smaller Buddha statues, in keeping with the area’s spiritual theme, and it also houses a sacred Buddhist monastery, which visitors can reach via a series of steps.

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By Rosie LessoMA Contemporary Art Theory, BA Fine ArtRosie is a contributing writer and artist based in Scotland. She has produced writing for a wide range of arts organizations including Tate Modern, The National Galleries of Scotland, Art Monthly, and Scottish Art News, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. She holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. Previously she has worked in both curatorial and educational roles, discovering how stories and history can really enrich our experience of art.