Pastoral paradise

Sichuan is a pastoral paradise, much more varied and beautiful than its neighbour, the stark but stunning Tibet. It is also home to the first and the earliest Buddhist temples and monasteries built in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties.Text & photographs

The Leshan Buddha, up close after a strenuous climb.

An altar en route to Emei Shan.

Prayer chits at a temple in Sichuan province.

A crystal Buddha in a shop in Sichuan province.

Devotees lighting incense sticks in a Buddhist temple in the province.

An arterial road in Chengdu city, the capital of Sichuan province.

Monks in Wenshu Monastery, one of the largest and best-preserved monasteries in Sichuan.

At Jinli, Chengdu's folk market.

A Chengdu street scene.

A shrine in Wenshu Temple, Chengdu.

Enjoying an intimate moment at the Chengdu Panda Research Station.

Meal time for brown pandas.

Sitting down to a feast of bamboo.

Giant Pandas at the research station.

Meal time for brown pandas.

Some rest after a heavy meal.

A Temple in Mt. Emei, where the first Buddhist temple in China was built in the first century A.D.

A panel showing the distances to various from the Leshan Buddha. Delhi is 2600 km away.

On the way to the giant Buddha image.

The Leshan Buddha, another view.

A dramatic moment in a Sichuan opera in Mt. Emei village.

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The Leshan Buddha, up close after a strenuous climb.


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