Monday, August 22, 2011

The Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas

In Sha Tin, a town in the New Territories, in Hong Kong, is located the Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas. It isn't an actual monastery since there are no monks residing there. However it is the home place of about 13.000 statues of Buddhas of all shapes and sizes. 

In order to reach the monastery one needs to climb over 400 steps up the hillside. The Buddhas located on this path are life sized. Each statue is unique including thin, chubby, bald, hairy Buddhas; they even have walking sticks, dogs, dragons and frogs. Buddhas are found everywhere, in the garden, the pavilion, the tower and of course within the temple itself. 
This unique monastery was founded by Yuet Kai in 1951, who was a monk who preached Buddhism in a nearby monastery. Despite being an old man, the monk carried the materials needed for the building on his own, from the foot of the mountain, together with his disciples. The building was erected within 8 years and the Buddha statues took another 10 years to complete. The monk is currently venerated in the main hall of the monastery in a glass case, where he is preserved. 

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