The Three Pagodas

The Two of Three Pagodas 400
The Two of the Three Pagodas Cangshan Mountain’s Yingle Peak, near Dali in Yunnan, China
Photo by: Matthijs Koster, Creative Commons

For many centuries, the Chinese pagoda has been a symbol of China. A visit to the country wouldn’t be a complete one unless you see an authentically designed pagoda.

One of the greatest-looking pagodas in China is the Three Pagodas. It is a triangular arrangement of three elaborately designed pagodas at the base of Cangshan Mountain’s Yingle Peak, near Dali in Yunnan, China. It is believed to be the only remnant of Chongshengsi, which was the largest monastery in this town.

Qianxun Pagoda stands as the main pagoda among the three. It is square in shape and 69 meters high with a structural design similar to those made in the Tang Dynasty. It was erected during the reign of Emperor Fengyou of Nanzhao Kingdom. It has 16 levels and the marvelous whitewashed wall cover makes it more visible just a few yards away.

The two other pagodas are smaller than Qianxun with only 10 stories that’s 43 meters high. These two contain three copper calabashes, with each linked to a bell made of bronze. The Chinese traces back the two towers’ construction 100 years after Qianxun’s construction.

During some time between 1978-1979, excavators had uncovered various important Chinese artifacts and relics in Qianxun Pagoda. There were hand-written Buddhist scriptures and documents as well as several art pieces made of gold, silver, crystal, and wood. Others even found medicinal herbs along with Buddha statues and other precious stones such as quartz and jade.

The Three Pagodas had endured a number of earthquakes and typhoons over the 10 centuries it has witnessed. Nevertheless, all three remained resilient, proving the greatness and quality of Chinese architecture in its early years.

Just outside the Three Pagodas are trees, shrubs, pools of water, and cemented grounds that provide a very scenic spot that can easily captivate any tourists visiting the town.

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