South - Adelaide
Giant Buddha ready to be unveiled at Sellicks Hill
- Erin Jones
- The Advertiser
- May 08, 2015 9:19AM
The giant Buddha at the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple at Sellicks Beach. Picture: TRICIA WATKINSON
ADELAIDE’S giant beachside Buddha is just days from being fully revealed.
The 18m-tall granite structure, which remains surrounded by scaffolding, is looming large on the city’s southern coastline, sparking the interest of passing motorists and residents living nearby.
The $1 million Sellicks Hill statue has taken nearly five months to assemble, having arrived in sections from China in 23 shipping containers.
Each section is estimated to weigh about five tonnes and its construction has been kept largely under wraps.
The structure was to be completed by February, but bad weather delayed work.
The giant Buddha, which signifies prosperity and harmony, is stage one of a $15 million Buddhist retreat by the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple of Australia.
Lee Chew is pictured with wife Cheryl at the Sellicks Beach site where the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple is being built.
Once complete, the retreat, on Cactus Canyon Rd, will include a 35m pagoda, an 18m temple and Chinese gardens.
Spokesman Lee Chew said the goddess of mercy figure would be the spiritual landmark of the development.
“In its position it will bring peace, harmony, prosperity and wealth to SA,” he said.
“It is a significant development, so if you’re sailing in the Queen Mary 2 up to the harbour we want you to be able to see the statue.”
He said the scaffolding was expected to be taken down by the end of the week.
No official unveiling is planned given the statue is part of a wider development.
Mr Chew said it was important people did not visit the site without proper authorisation, stressing work on other areas of the retreat was ongoing and the entire area was effectively a building site.
He said the plan was to lay the retreat’s gardens next.
The next stage would then be to start work on 10 units, followed by construction of the temple.
The project, first slated in 1997, is expected to take five to seven years to complete.
Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple estimated once the retreat was finished it would attract 300 visitors a day — and up to 1000 people for special events.
The State Government’s Development Assessment Commission approved the retreat in February last year.
In Adelaide’s north, the SA Khmer Buddhist Association is planning to build a 16m-tall Buddhist temple at Parafield Gardens.
The group had wanted to construct a 22m-high temple, but reduced the size to get local council approval.