Overview:Outside the Dali Ancient Town, the Three Pagodas are arranged in a triangular pattern and the temple complex are back up to the Cangshan Mountains and face Erhai Lake. It is said that the pagodas were built to protect the people living in the area.
Dali’s Three Pagodas are unique in all of China. They are arranged in a triangular pattern outside of the Dali Ancient Town. The pagodas and their temple complex are back up to the Cangshan Mountains and face Erhai Lake.
According to legend, the pagodas were built to protect the people living in the area. The area around Dali was a swamp which was inhabited by dragons who caused disaster. The pagodas were built to deter the dragons. The pagodas have survived for over one thousand years. Originally part of the Chongsheng Monastery, the royal temple of the Kingdom of Dali (937-1253), the pagodas have survived many devastating earthquakes which flattened all other structures. The Chongsheng Monastery was destroyed by fire during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and rebuilt in 2005. The main pagoda was built in the mid 9th century by King Quan Fengyou. At over 69 meters high, it is one of the tallest pagodas ever constructed in China. It is square and contains 16 stories. In the center of every storey is a white marble statue of The Buddha. The two twin pagodas, northwest of the large pagoda are over 42 meters high. They are octagonal and contain ten stories. Like the large pagoda, each storey of the smaller pagodas have a shrine with a statue of The Buddha.
The pagodas are made of brick, covered with white mud. Behind them is the Juying Chi Pond. It is a reflecting pond that reflects Dali’s Three Pagodas.