Bamboo Temple

Kunming Bamboo Temple, Kunming Attractions, Kunming Travel GuideBamboo Temple is located in Yu'an Mountains in the Northwest of Kunming, about 7 Kilometers away from the center of the city. It is a much-restored Tang Dynasty temple known for its Arhat statues, is arguably the most famous of Kunming's temples. Arhats are famous monks and "saints" of Chinese Buddhism, usually displayed in large groups of 500 or more. The Arhats of the Bamboo Temple were made over a period of seven years by a famous craftsman from Sichuan called Li Guangxiu, a great sculptor from Sichuan, with the aid of his disciples. His masterpieces are extremely realistic and lifelike, even if some of the statues are a bit surreal.

Bamboo Temple was the first temple built after Zen Buddhism was introduced to Yunnan early in 1279 when a Buddhist Master gave a Buddhist sutra to Khubalai Khan (the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty). Bamboo Temple was burnt down in 1419 in the Ming Dynasty. Later, the temple was rebuilt and renovated between 1833 and 1850. All of the architecture featured in the Bamboo Temple was built using only resources of the surrounding hills. The temple consists of five ports, including Tianwang (Heaven King) Temple, Fanyin Pavilion (with 216 arhats images), Tiantailai Pavilion (with 216 arhats images), Daxiong Temple (with 68 arhats) and Huayan Pavilion (rebuilt in October, 1989).

Great Hall of Bamboo Temple, Kunming Attractions, Kunming Travel GuideAround the temple are mountains covered with trees everywhere, and at the gate of the temple stand many very tall cypress trees which were planted during the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. The streams and brooks are flowing through the woods and valley, making a beautiful natural sound. At the back of the temple, a great deal of bamboo is so green as if there were some dewdrops on its leaves. That is the so-called Qiongzhu--a kind of bamboo. Entering the temple, the first thing that catches the visitor's notice is the carefully designed courtyard; spread over four layers, one on top of another. The Main Hall contains a trinity of enormous gilded Buddha statues seated on lotus thrones. In the temple, there are many historic relics, such as the "Tower Stele in Memory of the Death of the Eloquent Buddhist Master", and the "Imperial Edict Stele" written in both Mongolian and Chinese. In addition, there are many scenic spots, including a peacock fir of Yuan Dynasty, Courtyard of Depository of Buddhist Texts and the Cemetery of Monks.