Three Pagodas

Only one kilometre from Dali Ancient Town, with a history of over 1000 years, Chongsheng Temple with its magnificent Three Pagodas sits between Changshan Mountain and Erhai Lake. Creating a large triangle with their positions, they have become a symbol of Dali and are an important piece of Chinese Buddhist history.

The central pagoda (Qianxun Pagoda) is the oldest and highest and its construction is believed to have been ordered by King Quan Fengyou of the Nazhao state. Standing 69.13 meters tall, it was built during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Made up of sixteen square shaped stories, each has upturned eaves and contains a white marble Buddha statue. Inside, the pagoda is hollow up to the eighth level but you cannot climb up. In 1978 during restoration work at the base and body, over 600 Buddhist and cultural relics were discovered including scriptures, instruments, coins and statues made of gold, silver, wood and crystal. This was an important discovery that told a lot about the pagodas and Dali's history.

About 100 years after Qianxun, the two other smaller pagodas were built, which are octagonal shaped, stand 42 meters high and also have a Buddha statue on each story.

The pagodas are famed for surviving earthquakes when all the other buildings in the area were damaged or destroyed. It is recommended to visit at night time when they are illuminated. Reflection Pond (Juying) lies behind them and the reflection of the pagodas on the water is a popular sight for visitors.