This, I wasn’t expecting. Big Buddha up on the mountains I’ve seen before in Thailand and HK, and since the Taiwanese I asked didn’t seem to think much of it, I didn’t think it would be anything special. Fo-Guang-Shan with the tall Buddha, surrounded by thousands of tiny golden Buddhas and just next to what I believe is the biggest temple I’ve seen anywhere, is just absolutely magnificent.
Fo Guang Shan (佛光山 literally “Buddha’s Light Mountain”) is an international Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monastic order that has gained a worldwide presence, and has chapters around the world. The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. The organisation itself is also one of the largest charity organizations in Taiwan. The order also calls itself the International Buddhist Progress Society. (Wikipedia)
It was the Tomb Sweeping holiday in Taiwan about two weeks ago, and some of my Taiwanese friends headed home to help their families to pay tribute to and clean their ancestors’ tombs. Fo-Guang-Shan, having a gigantic Taiwanese style grave-yard was suppose to be just another interesting place to watch the locals celebrating their holiday. Indeed, Fo-Guang-Shan was packed with people.
But, the big attraction were the Buddhas up on the mountain. It was quite a sight. No where, not even in Thailand, have I seen anything quite like it.
The views down to the valley with the wide but-now-empty river were gorgeous.
Next to it, was the actual temple, one of the wealthiest in Taiwan, maybe the world – I was told. There’s no way to really capture on camera how big that building and the pathway leading it are.
Inside the main building, were 3 golden Buddhas sitting together surrounded by tall walls with thousands more little golden Buddhas seated in rows shinning in the relative darkness.
<ahhh…> What can I say? I love it. Just love it.
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