Megalomania, devotion to religion, commemoration of historic events…various motives make people build spectacular and huge statues. The highest monuments mainly depict the various representations of Buddha and are located in mainland Asia and Japan.
- Awaji Kannon. Japan.
Height: 80 m (262 ft)
The Awaji statue is believed to be one of the ugliest effigies of Kannon or Avalokitesvara, a widely worshipped divinity in Japan, which has its male and female versions (Guanyin in China). It is located on Awaji Island, one of the oldest settlements in Japan.
The statue stands on 20 m (65.5 ft) pedestal, so in total it is 100 m (328 ft) high.
Excuse me for starting with one of the most unsightly statues in the world, but this is how it goes by height. I promise the subsequent colossi are much better looking than the first one.
- Mother Motherland Calls. Russia.
Height: 85 m (279 ft)
In 1967, when the statue was completed, it was the tallest sculpture in the world. The memorial is located in Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd. It symbolizes the Battle of Stalingrad that took place between July 1942 and February 1943, during the World War II, between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The statue emerged in commemoration of the Soviet victory.
The battle lasted 200 days and therefore there are 200 steps that lead to the statue. Some sources say that the Winged Victory of Samothrace was used as an inspiration for the construction of the monument.
10.Dai Kannon. Japan.
Height: 88 m (289 ft)
One of the tallest statues, called by locals Byakue Kannon, also depicts Avalokitesvara. The figure is located in Kita no Miyako park in Hokkaido. The construction of the statue was completed in 1989.
Between the 6th and 20th floor there are eight worship places and near the top there is a platform where visitors can admire the panoramic views of the area.
- Ling Shan Grand Buddha. China.
Height: 88 m (289 ft)
The Grand Buddha stands in the historic city of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. The construction of the huge (700 tones) bronze statue was completed in 1996. The statue’s name derives from the Ling Shang area, where the Buddha is situated.
The statue is located near the famous Tang Dynasty Xiangfu Temple, a thousand-year-old complex and one of the most important temples in China.
- Great Buddha of Thailand. Thailand.
Height: 92m (300ft)
The Great Buddha statue, located in Ang Thong, one of the central provinces in Thailand, was completed in 2008. The huge statue remains a little mystery as there is little information about the monument. Let us know if you see it, picture it or have some information about the statue. It would be great if you could share it with us.
- Peter the Great Statue. Russia.
Height: 96 m (315 ft)
The statue of Peter the Great (located in Moscow), an absolute ruler of Russia in 17th/18th c., is also considered to be one of the most hideous buildings in the world (in 2008 it was voted the tenth ugliest monument by Virtual Tourist). Well…in my opinion it is not as bad as the Awaji Kannon.
Anyway, no wonder the sculpture is a little lame since initially it was to be Christopher Columbus. The statue’s creator – a controversial Georgian artist, Tsereteli- intended to make a monument depicting the discoverer of America and sell it to the USA, but the project was rejected by the US Government. So the sculptor replaced the statue’s head and sold it to Russia as a statue of Peter.
6.Sendai Daikannon. Japan.
Height: 100 m (328 ft)
Sendai Daikannon stands in Sendai, the largest town in the Tohoku region in Japan. It was built by one of the Japanese companies in the 1980s, during the bubble economy period, in order to avoid taxes. Therefore, many locals loath the statue – some believe that it is a symbol of greed rather than faith.
Still it is a great tourist attraction as visitors can be taken to the top by an elevator to admire the spectacular panoramic views of the city.
- Emperors Yan and Huang Statue. China.
Height: 106 m (348 ft)
The statue of Yan and Huang, the ancient emperors who are believed to be the ancestors of the Chinese nation, emerged in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province. The construction lasted 20 year and it was completed in 2007.
The first of the Emperors, Yan, lived in the country about 4,000 years ago. It is said that he was a descendant of Shennong, the first Chinese tribe. Huang, also called the Yellow Emperor, is a legendary hero and one of the famed Five Emperors of China.
4.Nanshan Haishang Guanyin. China.
Height: 108 m (354 ft)
Guanyin Statue is the second tallest statue in China. It is located on Hainan, a tropical Chinese island and a famed seaside resort. It depicts Bodhisattva Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy.
The monument has three sides of which one is facing inland and two sides are oriented toward the South China Sea.
The construction lasted six years and the opening ceremony took place in April 2005. 108 monks from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao attended the opening with the participation of thousands of pilgrims .
- Ushiku Daibutsu. Japan.
Height: 110 m (361 ft)
The Japanese Ushiku Daibutsu, also called the Great Buddha of Ushiku, is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, and it depicts Amitabha Buddha. The giant statue weighs 4000 tones; just to imagine how big it is – only its face is 20 m (65.5 ft) long which is almost half the length of the Statue of Liberty (46m)!
Inside the statue there is a museum and visitors can take an elevator that reaches the altitude of 85 m.
- Laykyun Setkyar. Myanmar.
Height: 116 m (380 ft)
The runner up in this unofficial highest statue competition is Laykyun Setkyar located in Khatakan Taung village, near Monywa, Myanmar. in the picture above that was taken in 2006, i.e., ten years after the commencement of the statue’s construction, you can see a steel framework prepared for the figure.
The opening ceremony took place in February 2008. Since then the statue has become one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar.
- Spring Temple Buddha. China.
Height: 128 m (420 ft)
Although it is the highest statue in the world, it may be soon conquered by Maitreya Buddha, a 152 m (500 ft) bronze statue, which is planned to be constructed in northern India. Until then, the Spring Temple Buddha can enjoy being the world’s highest statue.
The statue that was built at Jiuhua Mountain in central China depicts Vairocana Buddha.
The Buddha is standing on 25 m (82 ft) pedestal which adds extra meters to the statue itself (153 m/ 502 ft in total). Moreover the hill on which the statue is placed has been reshaped and two additional pedestals have been formed. As a result the Buddha’s total height is 208 m (682 ft).