Sunday, July 30, 2006

Toudaiji Temple - Nara, Japan

The Toudaiji (Eastern Great Temple) was built in 734 AD. The temple is famous for the largest wooden building on earth, and the giant Buddha statue housed in the building.

The temple is located about 1.5 km from Kintetsu-Nara station and 2 km from JR Nara station. A pleasant walk with lots of trees, and small souvenir shops.

The main entrance to the temple complex

There is a student discount for the entrance ticket, and it is valid for foriegners too (it is a good idea to travel with your student ID, you can get discounts in many places including some restaurants).

The hall of the great Buddha

Look for the sign saying "No tripods", for the location this photograph was taken from. This is considered for the best place to take a photo of the hall, if you are an amateur photographer.

The Big Buddha

With no tripods allowed, it might be a good idea to hold your camera against a pillar to keep it steady while taking photos inside the hall. Use of flash, though permitted, does not help much with a 15m statue.

Some other statues inside the hall

Just behind the left shoulder of the statue, you will find a wooden pillar with a hole. This hole is the size of a nostril of the statue, and it is considered lucky to pass through it. If you are a child or are on the slim side, this is not difficult. However, there can be long lines during school holidays. :o)

Near the entrance to the hall, there is a statue of the priest "Pindola Bharadwaja". It is believed to have healing power. Touching part of the statue and then the same part of one's body is supposed to heal any ailments present there.

Nara is a small city with lots of sightseeing spots. I will cover more places in later posts.

1 comment:

ILO said...

thank you for the interesting details!