I knew it was in a strange location and on a hill, but when I got off the MTR (Hong Kong subway) and Google Maps directed me towards an open area, I was confused. Open land in Hong Kong? It couldn’t be, and from what I had read online before leaving for my trip, the monastery was relatively small. Here was the plot of land that the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery occupied. I reached it quite quickly after walking past the entrance to an indoor parking garage. I got there near the closing time, so I knew I wouldn’t see all the Buddhas, but then again, who could?
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is pretty much what it sounds like–a refuge of lots and lots of golden Buddha sculptures. As you walk up the steep hill (or climb the adjoining stairs), you pass by gold Buddha after Buddha after Buddha. The statutes are spread out every few feet on either side of the steep hill. I don’t exactly enjoy climbing hills, but this hill was well worth it.
Each Buddha was different. Entirely different. That was impressive given the number of the statues. Based on the Buddha’s appearance, gestures and any objects he was holding, I could guess as to what each Buddha was “like.” There were Buddhas that held musical instruments, Buddhas that looked scared, and Buddhas that looked pious.
I saw Buddha’s of all ages.
There were also different styles of Buddhas. I saw one that looked like a marble statue painted gold with fruit and Greco-Roman hair.
Then, there were there the heavyset Buddhas, and then there were muscular ones.
There were even a few Buddhas who held children.
I don’t know the significances and meanings of these varying characteristics, but I would be interested in learning about the symbolism I noticed.