Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Temple)

Entrance gate to Bamboo Temple
Entrance gate to Bamboo Temple
 Bamboo Temple Pictures
On the beautiful wooded Yu'an Mountain, only twelve kilometers (seven miles) northwest of Kunming, is the famous Buddhist Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Temple). The temple and the bamboo forest that surround it have a wonderful and mysterious legend about their origins.

Legend of Bamboo Temple

During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), Yunnan was a separate country called Dali. One day, while two brothers of royal lineage were hunting in the hills outside Kunming, they spotted a bizarre rhinoceros. With hopes of capturing it, they followed the rhinoceros deep into the woods of Yu'an Mountain where the magical animal suddenly disappeared. Just as they lost sight of the rhinoceros, the brothers saw a group of monks who were unlike any monks they had seen before. When the monks saw the brothers, they vanished in clouds leaving only their walking sticks planted in the ground. By the following day, these walking sticks had become an entire bamboo forest. The amazed brothers knew that they had met enlightened, supernatural beings and, in order to honor them, they built Bamboo Temple in the forest of bamboo.

History of Bamboo Temple

Even though this is a marvelous story, it does not follow the historic record. Account of the Bamboo Temple dates back to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), but it was during the Yuan Dynasty (around 1280) that a highly renowned monk, who was reputed to have learned Buddhism from central China, gave his teachings that brought great fame to the temple as a spiritual center. After a devastating fire, the Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) rebuilt the Bamboo Temple by adding five pavilions during the late 1880's. Its most outstanding artistic (and perhaps spiritual) feature is the distinguished, finely crafted statues of the 500 Luohans (Buddhist Arhats, or 'enlightened ones') sculpted by the brilliant artist, Li Guangxiu.
The Hall of Mahavira
The Hall of Mahavira

Clay Figure

Regarded as 'a pearl in the treasure house of oriental sculpture,' these life-size clay figures came from Li Guangxiu's and his apprentices' deep study of people and their inner personalities. After seven years of study and work, this immense undertaking was completed. Each of these statues represents another aspect of human life with such accuracy and skill, and look like real people who are just frozen in a moment in time.


These Luohans, which are not ornately decorated, depict seemingly common people in the midst of ordinary lives and feelings. The appearances of the old and the young, the sick and the healthy, the skilled and the unskilled, the strong and the emaciated, the beautiful and the ugly, the wealthy and the poor, with expressions of joy, anger, laughter, grief, amusement, satisfaction, hunger, delight, sadness, compassion, serenity, curiosity, surprise, boredom, and contemplation are extremely vivid. Each Luohan is unique and expresses its own singular inner character. It is said that if you pick a Louhan and count them to the right when you reach your age, you will find the Louhan that depicts your inner character. Each of the 500 Louhans is a beautiful work of art and collectively they are awe-inspiring.
Buddha sculptures
The temple is famous for
hundreds of buddha sculptures

Columns & Tablets

Throughout the Bamboo Temple are numerous inscriptions and couplets on columns and tablets. These inscriptions date back to the 1200's and give us glimpses into the life and culture of those times. Other notable features of the Bamboo Temple include: the statues of Four Guardian Kings in the entrance hall; the three large statues of Buddha in the main building and two majestic 450-year-old cypress trees that stand in the forecourt. Walking around the grounds and through the bamboo forest, the world and its problems fade away and the gentle beauty of life re-emerges.

Bamboo Temple is a restorative, peaceful and beautiful attraction offering natural, artistic and cultural insight. What a wonderful way to spend a few hours!

How to get to Bamboo Temple

Take bus no. C61, or C62, and get off at Qiongzhusi (Bamboo Temple) Station.
Kunming Bus Search

Entrance Fee CNY 5
Opening Hours 08:30 - 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 40 minutes

- Last updated on Dec. 09, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Temple)
Asked by Jay from THAILAND | Dec. 06, 2018 01:54Reply
As I've read the comment seem Kunming Bamboo Temple is closed for public.
So, Is Bamboo Temple open now?
I'll be there on 15th January 2019. Thank you :)
Answers (2)
Answered by Shay from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 06, 2018 23:57

Dear, I didn't find any information about the reopened date.
Answered by Joseph from CANADA | Dec. 09, 2018 19:44

Hi, Jay, I called the scenic area and the staff said that the scenic area still opens. Thus it will open on that day. Don't worry.
Asked by Piotr from POLAND | Jul. 24, 2018 11:55Reply
Is Bamboo Temple open now?
It was supposed to be closed for public for renovation. Is it operational now?
Answers (1)
Answered by Vald from ROMANIA | Jul. 24, 2018 20:57

There is no related news about that.
Asked by Chong from NEW ZEALAND | Feb. 17, 2018 15:30Reply
I understand Kunming Bamboo Temple is closed for renovation.
As I will be in the city mid-May, please advise if the renovation will be completed by then?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nigel from UK | Feb. 22, 2018 02:21

Sorry but I didn’t find the news saying about the reopening time. You are suggested to pay attention to the lastest news. :)
Asked by Demi Le from VIETNAM | Jun. 16, 2015 03:47Reply
What is the transportation to get to Qiongzhu Temple from Kunming city? Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 16, 2015 04:42

As I know, the bus C61,C62 and C63 can lead to the temple directly. You can take either of these two buses.
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