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Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple

Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali, Dali Attractions, Dali Travel Guide
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The Chongsheng Temple was the Buddhist center of Nanzhao State. And the temple, commonly known as Dali Three Pagodas, is built between 822 and 859. The three pagodas used to be situated in Chongsheng Temple at the foot of Diancang Mountain on the shores of Lake Erhai. The temple no longer exists, but the three pagodas, different in size and history, remain. The three pagodas have survived more than 30 strong earthquakes in the past 1,000 years and stand intact a marvel of architecture; it is a major national treasure under preservation.

Standing like three legs of a tripod, the Chongsheng Three Pagodas made of bricks were built a thousand years ago. Straight and towering, the Quadrangular Qianxun Pagoda, the main one was exquisitely constructed, with multiple tiers of eaves. The eaves present smooth concave arcs, reflecting the style of Tang Dynasty pagodas. It has 16 stories and a height of 69.13 meters. In the central part of each facade, a shrine was built and a Buddha statue of white marble installed. The two other smaller pagodas of 10 stories are 42.19 meters high, 70 meters from Qianxun Pagoda. The two pagodas are octagonal with ten multi-eave pent roofs. They were built later than the bigger one. From their structure and shape, they must have been built in the Dali period of the Song Dynasty style. Both of them are solid and beautiful, and in octagonal shape. Coated with white mud, and carved with a shrine, Buddha statue, lotus flowers, etc. on each story, the pagodas look elegant and stately. The three pagodas represent ancient architectural art and culture of the Bai ethnic group. On top of the pagoda are placed three bronze gourds, representative of the ethnic style.