It took nearly 10 years to cast this enormous bronze seated buddha. The job was completed in 1993, and now the great Tian Tan Buddha raises his hands in benevolence over Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. Visitors may climb 268 steps to reach the platform.
The statue is called the "Tian Tan" because its base is a replica of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It is also called the Po Lin Buddha because it is part of the Po Lin Monastery, a Ch'an monastery founded in 1906.
The Tian Tan Buddha's right hand is raised to remove affliction. His left hand rests on his knee, representing happiness. It is said that on a clear day the Tian Tan Buddha can be seen as far away as Macau, which is 40 miles west of Hong Kong.