Avery Island in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, the home of Tabasco sauce, is also the location of Jungle Gardens, a nature preserve, and garden created by the inventor of Tabasco sauce’s second son, Edward “Ned” Avery McIlhenny.
Within the garden, is this beautiful Asian influenced shrine that houses a 900-year-old Buddha statue. In the 1920s, a Chinese warlord sent this sacred statue to America, where it sat unclaimed in a Manhattan warehouse for many years. In 1936, two friends of Ned McIlhenny found and purchased the Buddha as a surprise gift for him. Ned designed this garden as a place of honor for the Buddha statue. It features a long forest pool, arched stone bridge, and the seven “hills of knowledge.” The sacred statue of Buddha is the centerpiece of the garden and is located in the glass enclose temple atop one of the hills.
The garden has become an active place of worship for local Buddhists, who conduct several ceremonies there throughout the year - most notably one on Buddha’s birthday.
Copyright 2019 Susan Rissi Tregoning
December 10th, 2019
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