World's Largest Sitting Buddha? Sunday, 10/25/15
Still in the Land of the Thunder Dragon (Bhutan), we left its capital, Thimphu, for the town of Paro (where we'll spend the next two nights). On our way, we took a side trip to see the world's largest sitting Buddha. Wait till you see the pictures! In the photo below, while we were still far from the site, the Shakyamuni Buddha sits gracefully on top of a hill, top center.
This awesome sitting Buddha, which is nearing completion, is definitely the biggest and most striking we've seen, tho technically it is only "one of the largest sitting Buddhas." I asked Jimmy to stand in the photo for size comparison. Isn't this something?
This Buddha Dordenma is being built to become a pilgrimage center and a focal point for Buddhists from all parts of the world to converge, meditate and retreat. Because of ongoing construction, we missed seeing much of what might be considered the tenth wonder of the world when finished.
I hope you can read this; if not, enlarge. Otherwise, in part, it reads: The 169ft (51m) bronze Buddha Dordenma, symbolizing indestructibility, will be erected ... overlooking the capital city, Thimphu. The statue will accommodate 100,000 statues of eight-inch and 25,000 statues of twelve-inch Buddha Dordenma, made of copper and gilded in gold, placed in multi-layered grid boxes. In a word: Wow!
These wonderful bas-relief sculptures adorn the base.
Photo bomb of Jimmy by Krish, our guide!
Beautiful gilded statuettes surround the Buddha.
Irwin posing with one of the goddesses.
Our journey to behold the Buddha over, we continued on to Paro. Driving these narrow, winding roads has to be a challenge to our driver, but he handled the bus expertly. The Bhutanese people don't honk the vehicle horns, assuredly one of the few countries in the world that is quiet in that regard, and they're courteous, regardless of the situation!
Some of the drive to Paro is quite scenic.
There's landslides to contend with.
Really snazzy road construction vehicles. Maybe I could use the word scenic here, too?
Building a major road, one brick at a time, makes for job security. Most of the workers we saw were women.
At Paro, we were back where rice fields were being harvested.
Then, past the airport, where we'll fly again in two days. This Drukair plane is fixin' to take off momentarily.
And over the Pachu (river) to the picturesque Tashi Namgay Resort, our next "home." I believe the people at the river's edge are either bathing or washing clothes. Whatever they're doing, I promise you that the water is COLD.
After checking into this outstanding resort, overlooking both the river and the airport (don't worry, no planes fly at night and few fly during the day), our group visited the National Museum, which is now housed in a new location next to the ancient watch tower. The watch tower suffered partial damage in an earthquake in September 2011 and remains closed while undergoing renovation. The museum explored Bhutan's history and rich culture, but, sorry, no photos were allowed.
At dinner, we were given a "debriefing" about tomorrow's exciting and exacting hike: OMG -- Tiger's Nest!