Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Temple)
|Entrance gate to Bamboo Temple |
Bamboo Temple Pictures
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.
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, 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 rebuilt the 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|
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.
|The temple is famous for |
hundreds of buddha sculptures
Bamboo Temple is a restorative, peaceful and beautiful attraction offering natural, artistic and cultural insight. What a wonderful way to spend a few hours!
Transportation: Kunming Bus Search
Take bus no. C61, C62 or C63, and get off at Qiongzhu Temple Station.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 6|
Time for a Visit:
|Opening Hours:||08:30 to 17:00|