Dali Three Pagodas should be a definite addition to every visitor’s itinerary when visiting Dali Ancient City in Yunnan province. With history dating back almost 2,000 years, Dali Three Pagodas is one of the oldest attractions in the region. The temple lies about a half-mile northwest of the old city, in a scenic location at the base of Mount Cangshan overlooking Lake Erhai. The pagoda symbolizes the development of Buddhism in the region and the city itself. The temple comprises three separate pagodas that together form one large symmetrical triangle, a site that is unique to Dali and to China too.
Dali Three Pagodas
The two pagodas set on either side of the Qianxun, the central pagoda, stand on the north and south side. The pair was built about a hundred years later totaling ten stories each, both octagonal in shape. Qianxun sits in the middle, and is renowned as one of the tallest of all pagodas built during the Tang Dynasty between 618 and 906 and one of the most fascinating curiosities of ancient Chinese architecture along with Xian’s Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Shaanxi Province and Hebei province’s Zhaozhou Bridge. Chongsheng Temple is finished in white mud covering red brick material.
In more recent history, Chongsheng Temple has been open to visitors at night. When the sun is down, the building is beautifully illuminated, offering an ideal photo opportunity. Several Buddha sculptures made of crystal, gold, and wood are inside Quinxan middle pagoda along with hundreds of assorted medicinal elements, relaying an important part of Dali history. The cultural relics that have been unearthed at Dali Three Pagodas have been intensely studied and in turn provided important information telling us more about art, religion, and history of Dali but also of the Bai people.