15 Famous Statues of Buddha in India


Diversity in Statues of Buddha is awesome!

Buddhism originated in the eastern part of Indian Subcontinent between 6th and 4th centuries BCE but later proliferated in other parts of Asia. Surprisingly, the population of Buddhists living in India, at present, is less than 4% but still there is a significant concentration of followers in many countries. Thailand tops the world with 95% followers.

Irrespective of the status of Buddhism as a religion or philosophy of living in the world today, the statues of the Buddha are reminiscent of its existence in earlier periods as also of its relevance even today. Tourist still throng parks and monasteries having statues, paintings and other relics of Buddha.

This Hub takes you to statues of Buddha, both old and some latest additions, in different parts of India.

Standing 18 meters high and weighing 350 tons, the monolithic Statue of Buddha in the middle of Hussain Sagar, is one of the tallest Statues of Buddha in Asia. The base is a rock of Gibraltar and the Statue is a single white marble. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad have a common link of Hussain Sagar and the tall Statue of Buddha is the main attraction for tourists.

The night view is equally attractive. Illuminated Statue of Buddha presents a gorgeous view. Travelling from Secunderabad to Hyderabad or the other way round provides good opportunity for the commuters to have a night view of illuminated Buddha from many angles.

Belam caves in Andhra Pradesh are known to be used by Jains and Buddhists monks for many centuries. Budhhist relics were found inside the caves which bear testimony to this assertion. There is a hillock nearby the caves where a giant statue of the Buddha has been erected and is a major tourist attraction.

Bojjanakonda is one of the two adjacent hillocks near Anakapalle in Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Both of these are Buddhist sites having rock-cut caves and many monolithic stupas. Believed to be dating between 4th and 9th century A.D., there is a large rock-cut image of Buddha in the cave Monastery.

It a statue of sitting Buddha in the historic city of Rajgir in Bihar. Buddha lived here for several years and spread his teachings. The picturesque small town of Rajgir is known for rock cut caves where Bhuddha used to retreat and five holy hills surrounding it. The statue is placed in a Pagoda at Vulture Peak where Indian Classical Performing Arts Festival is held every year from 24th to 26th October.

80 ft (25 m) tall statue unveiled on November 18, 1989 was built by 120000 stone masons and it took seven years to complete it. The great statue is next to the World Heritage Site Mahabodhi Temple (shown below) at Bodhgaya and its consecration ceremony was graced by His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama.

Deden Tsuglagkhang Temple, a spiritual center of the Norbulingka Institute, situated at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh has a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Made by Pemba Dorjee, this gilded copper statue is, perhaps, largest of this type outside Tibet.

Situated in a calm and peaceful surroundings at Bailakuppam (also Bylakuppe) near Kushalnagar in Coorg district of Karnataka State, there is a large Tibetan settlement and Monastery. Golden Temple here has gold-coated nearly 30 ft tall statues of Buddha along with Padmasambhava and Amitayus. Reflection of three beautiful adds to the grandeur of this place.

Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra is a World Heritage Site with 30 caves carved over a period of time starting with 2nd century B. C. These caves have strong basalt rocks conducive for carving and a whole lot of carved rocks depicting life of Buddha, hunting scenes and many elephants and also paintings can be scene in these caves. There is a beautiful statue of reclining Buddha in Cave No. 26 in the Ajanta caves. Still very popular site because of historical importance. There are other statues of Buddha also in these Caves.

Unveiled on May 27, 2010, this statue of Buddha, weighing 60 tones and having a height of 21 ft, is located at Global Vipassana Pagoda. The Pagoda is unique in having the world’s largest stone dome without having any pillars to support the structure. It is a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar and built north of Mumbai at Gorai on a peninsula.

Dedicated to Dalai Lama, this statue of Buddha is 103 ft high and one of the major attractions for the tourists in Dehradun. Located at Kagyu Monastery near Mindrolling (pronounced minhdrohlyn) Centre in Clement Town at Dehradun, this is believed to be the tallest statue of Buddha in India. The Centre is considered to be a ‘Place of Perfect Emancipation’. There is a large colony of Tibetans who follow Buddhism all around this Monastery.

Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is known to be the biggest Buddhist monastery in the world after Lhasa, Tibet. Also, it has historical significance that 14th Dalai Lama crossed over to India in 1959 and rested at this Monastery for some days. The 24 ft guided statue of Buddha at Tawang gompa also has a photo of Dalai Lama down in the middle.

This is one of the latest additions in statues of Buddha in India. Located not far away from Varanasi (Banaras) in Uttar Pradesh at the Thai Buddha Vihar, this 80 feet tall standing statue is a joint Indo-Thai venture. It took about 14 years to complete this giant sandstone statue having 815 stones. The beautiful garden around the statue makes it a great spot at Sarnath which is considered to be the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon. It is not out of place to call Sarnath the ‘Birthplace of Buddhism’ and this statue assume great importance.

Chowkham in Arunachal Pradesh is a famous place for relics of Buddha. Made in Thai structural style, this place is meant for meditation.

Believed to be the first Monastery in Ladakh, 52 kms away from Leh, Likir Gompa is known to be a pilgrimage for the Buddhists. There is a 75 foot tall statue of the Buddha in sitting posture on the roof in the Klu-kkhyil (“water spirits”) wealthiest fort-monastery in Likir, Ladakh. It is certainly an unusual posture attracting tourists.

In order to commemorate the visit of Dalai Lama at Thikse Monastery in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) in 1970, a huge statue, nearly 49 ft high, was erected. This statue of Buddha is called Maitreya (future) Buddha and it covers two storeys of the building of the Monastery located at 11800 ft. The 12- storeyed Gompa (Monastery) is known for its resemblance with the one at Potala Palace in Tibet and is storing a large number of wall paintings, swords, statues and stupas depicting Buddhist art.

The statues is unique as it has Buddha seated in lotus position unlike others which normally are in standing or sitting postures and also for its having majestic and delightedly colourful looks.

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