Tian Tan Buddha (The Big Buddha)

Tian Tan Big Buddha, popularly known as just the Big Buddha, is I think the most recognizable among the attractions in Ngong Ping 360, not to mention overpowering them all.I said that because wherever you take pictures, the Buddha is always on the background. The base of the Buddha is created based on the base of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, thus the name Tian Tan Big Buddha.
The Big Buddha is one of the sitting Buddhas built outdoor. It's also renowned as one of the seated Big Buddhas in the world. You might think that this statue was built centuries ago, but it's not. Although, it took 12 years to plan and built, it was only finished in 1993. And since then it's been one of the popular landmark in Hong Kong.
The statues is built on top of the Mount Muk Yuen and visitors have to climb 268 steps in orders to reach the Buddha. It symbolizes the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on Earth. The Big Buddha is so big that it can be seen across the bay as far as Macau on a clear day. It is enthroned on a lotus on top of a three-platform altar.
Under the platforms where the Buddhas is resting are the three halls: the halls of the Universe, of Benevolent Merit and of Remembrance. I' not sure if only the hall of the Remembrance is open to the public, but that's where we entered and saw a lot of relics of the Buddha. Taking pictures inside is not allowed, but if you want to buy souvenirs, there are shops inside. 
Actually, all of the Buddha's features has a symbolic meaning of religious significance. The open face like a full moon symbolizes virtue & wisdom and the embodiment of perfection. The right hand that symbolizes the imparting fearlessness, the left hand resting on his knee is a gesture of fulfilling wishes.
The crest on both palms are the symbol for the eternal life of the Buddha. The Buddha sitting on a lotus symbolizes his perfection, being pure and without defilement. For know more about the symbols, please visit their official website: http://www.plm.org.hk/eng/buddha.php.
Surrounding the statue are six smaller statues called the "Offerings of the Six Devas". They are in an offering positions holding flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit and music facing the Buddha. These offering symbolize the six perfections which is necessary for enlightenment. These are the generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation and wisdom.
Aside from the Big Buddha the view from up there is also relaxing and beautiful. It's really a very peaceful and tranquil shrine if only people are no adding up every minute. We went there at the opening of the Ngong Ping Village but I can't get a single shot without the people. I can't blame them though because it's all worth climbing the many steps to see the Buddha upfront.
I know many people didn't go there because of the climb, but for me it's still not that high and tiring compare to the one at Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon, Philippines. The steps to the shrine are winding & zigzag because of the stations of the cross along the way. But if you can, make sure to climb the steps when you visit Ngong Ping 360. It's all worth it. And at the same time you will not wonder what's up and how it looks like up there.
Helpful Tips:
  • Bring umbrellas or wear a cap when you plan on climbing the stairs to th Big Buddha. There's no shade along the stairs so it's really hot. Except of course if it's the cold season in Hong Kong.
  • Bring bottled water if you're not fit to climb. You will need it when you are running out of breath and take a rest.
  • Enjoy the view around, as it's really nice up there. I really wanted to see it at night, but I will soon.
Tian Tan Big Buddha
Address: Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Website: http://www.plm.org.hk/eng/home.php
Opening Hours: 10:am t0 6:00pm (Weekdays) | 9:00m to 6:30pm (Weekends)

Please click here on how to get there via the Cable Car.

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