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There is a well known tale of the carving of this giant Buddha image. Haitong the abbot of the Lingyun Temple decided to construct this buddha to protect the people from recurrent floods.He gradually collected funds for the work but faced threats from greedy officials and bandits who tried to steal the funds. To protect the funds he is said to have gouged out his eyes.

A nice story, and maybe partially true. But this grand effort began in 713 of the Tang Dynasty, and was not completed until 803, taking thousands of carvers more than 90 years.

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