China is a land of ancient traditions, enchanting landscapes and captivating cultures. A country of contrasts, mixing tradition with modernization, with peaceful rice fields and monastery villages, situated alongside buzzing modern mega cities. Those with an interest in history or a love of good food will embrace this wonderful country. This #ChillOutSunday we are featuring China’s province of Dali.
The old town of Dali is well known for its numerous amounts of pagodas. These are Buddhist temples and places of worship. If you are visiting this side of China, then you simply must come here – even if just to appreciate the beautiful scenery and Buddhist cultural relics. In chinese history, Dali represents a very important and sacred place among Buddhists.
Chongsheng Monastery and Three Pagodas are by far the most well known and magnificent Buddhist shrines in this part of South East Asia. They are an ensemble of three individual pagodas arranged on the corners of a symmetric triangle. Located 1km north of the main town of Dali, from a distance the pagodas resemble three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of never ending mountains and emerald rice fields of Yunnan. The main pagoda Qianxun Pagoda is square and stands 69m high. Each level contains a white marble Buddha statue. On either side of this there are two other pagodas which are similar in style but octagonal and have ten layers. The Three Pagodas were originally built in the 9th and 10th century and over several hundreds of years have withstood the test of time and natural disasters including several strong earthquakes. However, the old and original building of the Chongsheng Monastery was completely destroyed by fires and earthquakes and rebuilt again later to be near the three pagodas. The government of Yunnan Province made repairs to the pagodas base and body in 1979 and found more than 600 precious cultural relics of the Dang and Song Dynasty. These included manuscripts, statues of Buddha and Buddhist utensils.