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Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si), Kunming
(3.9/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web)
Qiongzhu Temple, or Bamboo Temple, is a Buddhist temple situated on Yu'an Mountain to the northwest of Kunming, Yunnan, China. The name of the temple (Qiongzhu) refers to a type of bamboo (genus Qiongzhuea). The Bamboo Temple was established during the Yuan dynasty as the first temple dedicated to Zen Buddhism in Yunnan. It has since been burned down and reconstructed several times. The present structure mostly dates from the late Qing dynasty.ArtworkThe temple is most renowned for the painted clay sculptures of the 500 Buddhist arhats. The sculptures which are known as the "sculptured pearls in the oriental treasure-house" were created during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor (r. 1875–1908) in the Qing dynasty, when the temple was undergoing major repairs. Li Guangxiu ((1883–1890) to create the sculptures.The arhat sculptures are distributed over three buildings: 216 each are in the Fanyin Pavilion and the Tiantailai Pavilion, 68 are housed in the temple's main hall, the Daxiong Hall. In the Fanyin Pavilion and the Tiantailai Pavilions, the arhat sculptures stand beside a central Buddha sculpture in six rows, with three levels in each row. Each arhat is about one meter tall and is characterized by unique facial expressions and body gesture. This is a radical break from the usual fixed style of Buddhist sculptures. Through the use of exaggeration, the artists created lively images. Some arhats are reaching for the moon with extremely long arms, some are crossing the ocean on extra long legs. There are bare-footed monks and naked-bellied Buddhas. Some are lost in deep thought, some are telling each other good news. Some are tranquil, some angry, some surprised, some curious. One is scratching his back, another is poking his ear.
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  • There is no bamboo but the arhats: characters in plaster of good size 1 m a1m50. Not to be missed
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  • We visit the monastery Qiong Zhu, also called the bamboo Temple, located in the hills west of Kunming after we reach a pleasant ascent by cable car. West Hill (yu'an Mountain) has achieved a great reputation for its natural beauty and uniqueness since ancient times. Its dense vegetation, the blossoming of flowers, green grass and peace that surrounds it, make it "the most beautiful place of Yunnan", so tells Rose Mary who was born and lives in Kunming. It really is a unique place to visit with slow and quiet even for the more than 1,000 steps that go up and down up and down the temple area.
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  • We went there by taxi because of short time available. Taxi are not tuo expensive compared to Western prices and by 30 euros you go, walt and back. It is around 45 minutes from kunming. Temple itself ...  more »