Temple (Bamboo Temple)
Temple (Qiongzhu Si), a 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. His masterpieces are extremely
realistic and lifelike, even if some of the statues
are a bit surreal.
The temple is located on the
Yu'an Mountain, about 15 km from the center
of Kunming. On each side of the temple gate
stand four ancient Cypress trees, planted
during the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years
ago. Entering the temple, the first thing
visitors 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.
Two hours should be sufficient
time to visit the temple.