The Leshan Giant Buddha is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet.Construction was started in 713, led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. Standing 71 metres tall, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees.