Tian Tan Buddha

Widely touted as one of the most significant Lantau tourist spots, Tian Tan Buddha takes visitors on a sacred land tour of enlightenment. It’s a seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue sits calmly next to Po Lin Monastery. The easiest way to reach the Buddha is through the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, which takes merely 25 minutes and allows visitors to breathe in the beautiful scenery along the journey. Visitors can also choose to walk along the Ngong Ping trail.

Breathtaking views

If you look up to the southwest from Tei Tan square in the middle of the Po Lin Monastery Plaza, you will see a flight of 268 steps leading to the outdoor bronze seated Buddha - Tian Tan Buddha, which symbolises Sakyamuni, who meditated deeply under the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment and awakening to true reality. Walking up the steps, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Lantau and the South China Sea from the podium. The huge statue body is a breathtaking sight, and the kind smile on his face instills a sense of peacefulness.

Outstanding stats

Tian Tan Buddha sits solemnly atop the 482m Muk Yue Shan. The whole complex stands opposite to the monastery and is 6,547 m2 in size. Facing North, the 34-metre tall Tian Tan Buddha statue sits on a three-storey pedestal.

Remarkable feat of engineering

The planning of the Tian Tan Buddha started in 1976. Constructed by the China Aeronautic Department, the works were completed in 1993. It was named one of the "Ten Engineering Wonders in Hong Kong" and was awarded the "Merit of Unique Artistic Features" by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in 2000. Since its opening in 1993, it has consistently ranked as a top Lantau tourist spot.

Fine details of the statue

Featuring the pronounced facial expression of the Buddha and the statue craftsmanship of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the Tian Tan Buddha was built with bronze and weighs over 250 tonnes. Gold was used for the face, portraying the beauty and solemnity of the Buddha. The right hand of the Buddha is held up as a "Fear-Not mudra" - a manifestation of the great vow to eliminate suffering from all sentient beings. The left hand is placed on the Buddha’s thigh with his palm facing out and fingers slightly pointing downwards. This is known as the "Wish-Granting mudra", signifying the compassionate vow to grant happiness to all men. The Dharma cakra in the palm represents the everlasting turning of the Wheel of Dharma and the dissemination of the Dharma to every corner of the world.

Inside the pedestal of the Tian Tan Buddha there is a three-storey exhibition hall presenting a number of invaluable Buddhist items, including:

How to get there
Take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping
25 minutes
Buddha's relic

Buddha’s relic

At the memorial hall on the third floor

The relic of the Buddha is enshrined for public worship in the memorial hall. Regarded as a sacred item, the relic is a part of the Buddha's preserved remains after he achieved Nirvana 2500 years ago. China and Sri Lanka are the only countries where the rice-grain sized relics are kept.

In Buddhism, Buddha’s relic means enlightenment and a long-time practice of good virtues. The Buddha’s relic is regarded as the most sacred item, and it is said that those who see the relic may see Buddha.

According to a legend, Buddhism was once expelled during the war in India by the Indian government. An Indian Princess who devoutly believed in Buddhism hid the relics in her hair ornament and successfully eluded the surveillance of the guards. The relic was subsequently transported to and preserved in Sri Lanka. In October 1992, it was brought to Hong Kong and since then has attracted many devoted Buddhists to go on pilgrimage to Hong Kong to see the relic.

Four paintings

Four paintings

At the Merit Hall on the first floor

Tian Tan Buddha, on top of its majestic looks, is a great place to gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Go on a visual land tour of the life of Buddha and learn about the major events of the Buddha from the four paintings displayed on the first floor. With detailed textual description printed right next to each of these paintings, visitors would know about the Buddha's birth, his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, his first lecture of the Dharma and how he attained Nirvana.

The Bell

The Bell

At the Merit Hall on the first floor

The three-storey pedestal of Tian Tan Buddha is connected by a flight of circular stairs, over which the Bell of the Flaming Mouth is hung. The Bell weighs six tonnes and has a diameter of two metres. Images of the Buddha, mudras and scriptures were engraved on the outer wall of the Bell. It chimes 108 times every day, symbolising the clearance of 108 worries.

Hua Yan Dharma Preaching

Hua Yan Dharma Preaching

At the Dharmadhatu Hall on the second floor

The Dharmadhatu Hall on the second floor of Tian Tan Buddha is home to the wood engraving of "Hua Yan Dharma Preaching". The engraving made use of primitive materials as its colours; mineral pigments were dyed into the wood after outlines were made. Depicting an assembly of Bodhisattvas listening to a sermon, the engraving is filled with a total of 160 Bodhisattvas, all showing different facial expressions. The arduous work took seven years to complete.

Statue of Ksitigarbha

Statue of Ksitigarbha

At the Merit Hall on the first floor

The Statue of Ksitigarbha (the Earth-Store Bodhisattva) carved out of 500-year-old Phoebe nanmu wood is housed in the Merit Hall on the first floor of Tian Tan Buddha. Holding a tin scepter in his hand, the Ksitigarbha stands on a lotus supported by a red granite stand. The whole statue stands on a thousand-petal gold lotus crafted by micro-radiation etching.

Six Devas outside the Giant Buddha

Six Devas outside Tian Tan Buddha

The first floor outside Tian Tan Buddha

The six bronze statues kneeling in dancing postures outside of Tian Tan Buddha are known as the Six Devas, or "mother Buddha". Each deva is holding offerings of flowers, incense, a lamp, ointment, fruit and music to express her tribute to the Buddha. The offerings also symbolise charity, precepts, patience, zeal, meditation and wisdom. They are the six paramitas and ten thousand wholesome deeds practiced by Buddhas to attain samyaksambuddha (Buddhahood).

Lotus petals