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Discovering the Beauty of Kunming’s Bamboo Temple at Yu’an Mountain

Last Updated on 2023/02/12

The Masterpiece of Li Guangxiu at Bamboo Temple: 500 Arhat Sculptures

Bamboo Temple lies on the Yu’an Mountain in the northwest of Kunming and 12 kilometers from the downtown of Kunming.

筇竹寺, Qiongzhu Temple, Bamboo Temple, Kunming, Yunnan

The Yu’an Mountain, which boasts over ten li of verdant forest, babbling springs, and breathtaking scenery, is a Buddhist temple located in Kunming. It has a rich history, with its first construction taking place during the Song and Yuan dynasties.

One of the highlights of the temple is the 500 painted clay arhat sculptures, which were created by the talented folk sculptor Li Guangxiu, , 黎广修, along with his six disciples, during the Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty. These sculptures are considered to be of exceptional artistic value, as they break away from the traditional stereotypes and instead feature a more realistic and romantic style. They have been dubbed as the “gems of Oriental sculptures.”

The 500 arhat sculptures are housed in three separate buildings within the temple grounds. The Fanyin Pavilion and the Tiantailai Pavilion each have 216 sculptures, while the remaining 68 can be found in the temple’s main hall, the Daxiong Hall.

Kunming’s attractions: Bamboo TempleYuantong TempleGreen LakeDaguan ParkGolden TempleLongquan Temple

Images of the Bamboo Temple

Original pictures: Matteo Damiani

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