Dali Three Pagodas | 大理三塔
The Dali Three Pagodas is in Chongsheng Temple of Dali, so it is also called “Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple” and is one of the well-known stupas in China.
2199 meters above sea level;
Chinese Buddhism Temple
The Dali Three Pagodas is in Chongsheng Temple of Dali, so it is also called “Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple” and is one of the well-known stupas in China. Chongsheng Temple was a royal temple during the reign of Dali Kingdom. It is the largest ancient temple in Dali, and there were thousands of halls in the years of Nan Zhao Feng You (824-859 AD). The temple you see today was rebuilt in 2005. There are more than 10,000 sculptures of various dragons in the temple, which makes it the temple with the most dragons in the country. In addition, the temple also has one the largest cowhide leather drum in the country, with a diameter of 3.1 meters, being made of a whole piece of cowhide.
Dali Three Pagodas are located 1.5 kilometers northwest of the ancient city of Dali, Tao-xi river flows eastward at 336 meters south, Mei-xi river is at 76 meters north, and Yingle Peak of Cang Mountain is about 1500 meters to the west, and it faces the Er-hai Lake by the Yunnan-Tibet Highway in the east. It is regarded as a landmark of Dali, and also a witness of the prevalence of Buddhism in Dali
These three ancient Pagodas are one large and two small, standing together and forming a shape of Tripod. The larger pagoda is named Qian-Xun Pagoda located in the center, also called “Text Pen Pagoda”; it is 69.13 meters high, 9.9 meters at the bottom, total 16 floors; It is a typical dense eaves hollow square brick tower in Dali area. The north and south pagodas are 10-story, 42.17 meters high, and are octagonal dense eaves-type hollow brick towers. On March 4th, 1961, it was announced as the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units by the State Council.
In addition to what the Buddhists claim to become Buddha,the other important reason for buildnig these three pagodas was to suppress the dragons which were thought to be the real cause of the flood that made Dali “the country with many floods” in ancient time . As the legend says the dragons fearing tower and Roc bird; hence all three Pagodas were built in the period of Nan Zhao Feng You (824-859 AD); the first one being built was the larger pagoda, later the other two smaller pagodas were to be built.
The larger pagoda is with its back facing west and its front facing southeast, The silhouette is dignified and elegant, with the appearance similar like Xi’an Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Luoyang White Horse Temple Pagoda. The depth of the tower foundation base is 2.35 meters, and the base is 4.55 meters to the center of the tower. The base area is about 190 square meters, which is more than double the cross-sectional area of the tower. There is a round hole with a diameter of 2 centimeter and a depth of 1.34 meters on the red ground foundation which is a building positioning indicator.
There are three steles with height of 3.6 meters each that were separately inlay on the pagoda gate and the upper part of the first floor in its east, south and north side; The North and South Pagoda are separatly 70 meters away from the larger Pagoda with a light and gorgeous appearance, which is in sharp contrast to the solemn and majestic style of the larger Pagoda.
Both pagoda’s base area is same about 80 square meters, which is 2.5 times the cross-sectional area of the pagoda’s body, and both of which were rebuilt in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China. The first level of the pagoda is 4.4 meters high. The 2-10 storey levels is from 0.6 to 1.3 meters high. The first floor is embedded with monuments on all sides, and the words are indistinguishable.
In general, Dali Three Pagodas have the same foundation structure that is yellow earth and full house foundation. There are no “underground palaces”. The number of eaves of the pagodas in the area of Dali is also different from the convention that is of being odd, all are even numbers.
Address & Contact
San Wen Bi village, North Gate, Dali | 大理古城北门三文笔村
Phone: +86 872 266-6346 / 266-6246
08:00 am – 19:00 pm
All year around
Ticekt： RMB 75.00 per person
Tips on visit
-1), To take the bus No.19 at the Dali ancient town north gate stop to San Ta Park stop
-2), departure from Xiaguan by bus to Chong Sheng Temple
-3), By foot, about 20 minutes walk from Dali ancient town to Dali Three Pagoda
-4), by the little horse cart to Dali Three Pagoda
Facts about Airport & Bus Station
Address: Junction of Fengyi Town and Haidong Town on the east bank of Erhai Lake
IATA Code: DLU
Altitude: 2155 meters above sea level
Phone: +86 872 242 8921
Dali Bus Station
Address: No.372, Weishan Road | 巍山路372号
Phone: +86 2310148 / 2129134
Altitude: 2155 meters above sea level
Working hours: 06:00 am – 19:00 pm