Somewhere in the wilderness of Guizhou Province, there is an unfinished statue that dates back more than a thousand years.
Peacefully presiding over the mountainous landscape, the sculpture was first discovered in 2001, as the local government cleared up some trees in the hills. At the face of the mountain in Xia Shui Village, Guiyang city, a Buddha’s face emerges.
According to Knowledge Journey, it is roughly 10 miles from Guiyang’s city center, gracefully facing the Shamu River and looking out at the distant Lion Mountain.
Worldwide, the Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan province is famously referred to as the largest stone statue at 233 ft high. However, the mysterious carving in Guizhou has a head over 52 feet high.
Its folktale origin is also connected with the Buddha statue of Leshan. Legend has it that this monument began during the Tang Dynasty after the completion of Leshan.
The Guizhou sculpture was as well the hard work of Leshan’s two craftsmen, Haitong 海通 monk, and his master Haineng . During this period, they traveled to Guiyang city and saw that the Shamu river was associated with severe flooding. Like the Leshan statue, the men decided to build a Buddha figure in the area to scare off evil spirits in the water.
The construction was left unfinished as monk Haineng passed away. At the time, only one eye of the statue had been carved out. After its discovery in the 21st century, a local art professor and villagers raised more than $29.600 to complete the other eye.
Locals were hopeful this statue would become a tourist attraction and help the rural economy. However, this aspiration never came to fruition. In 2019, for unknown reasons, the Chinese government ordered the restoration of the mountain.
The details of the Guizhou sculpture were covered in cement. Visually, the eyes were veiled entirely, and the ears disappeared. The Buddha’s face became disfigured.
Knowledge Journey said that nowadays, the stone Buddha has slowly faded out of the public eye. The Buddha’s face can only be found by nearby villagers, who would point at a giant stone that resembles a head.
Unfortunately, the $30,000 fund contributed by locals to finish the gigantic landmark went to waste. But with the Guizhou Buddha’s folklore origin, one may wonder if this religious artwork was as magical as the Buddha statue of Leshan. His eyes are known for mysteriously closing whenever China undergoes the most catastrophic periods.