which is situated in central Yunnan and north of the Dianchi
Basin, is skirted on three sides by mountains, with one side
opening onto the Dianchi Lake. The city is nicknamed "City of
Spring" due to the fact that it is covered all the year round
with the rich verdure of trees and plants. Endowed with a pleasant
climate, the city's 15,000 square kilometres of land is adorned
with more than 400 kinds of flowers.
is world-famous for its abundance of camellias, orchids, azaleas
and Primula malacoides , which can be found in the Kunming
Botanical Garden, where 4,000 varieties of tropical and
subtropical plants grow profusely. Kunming is also a
renowned historical and cultural city in southwest China.
ancient times it was an important gateway to the celebrated Silk
Road which conducted to Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India.
city's highland scenery is alluring, its karst landform is
bewitching. Its people are known for their varied and exotic
habits and customs, and its land is pockmarked with historical
artifacts, places of cultural interest, and gardens landscaped
with a picturesque taste. Among the major scenic spots of Kunming
are the Dianchi Lake, the Cuihu Lake, the Village of Ethnic
Culture, the Jindian (Golden Temple) Park, the Western Mountain
Forest Reserve, the Stone Forest, the Jiuxiang Scenic Belt, the
Yuantong Mountain, the Grand View Pavilion, and the Qiongzhu
Stone Forest : ( A national grade scenic and tourist spot )
Jindian ( Golden Temple ) Park
Yunnan Ethnic Villages
Western Mountains Forest Reserve
Qiongzhu Si ( Bamboo Temple )
Lake & Daguan Park
Located in Lunan County, The Stone Forest is known as the
" First Wonder of the World " for its natural
landscape. It is 86 km southeast of Kunming where a high -
grade road extends to the park entrance.
" If you have visited Kunming without seeing the
stone forest, you have wasted your time " warns a
local saying, expressing the deep love of the local people
toward this natural wonder. The quintessential karst
landscape leaves every tourist lost in wonder.
As you wander though the Stone Forest, you will be
surrounded by the rising stone peaks, layer after layer of
green hills, and the wide -spread stone peaks of the
forest. What a strange stone world this is! The scenery of
" Figure of Ashima ", " Shi Ba Xiang Song
" ( originated from a Chinese love story " Liang
Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai " ) and " Lotus peak
" greatly astonish visitors; the scenic spots "
One Piece of Thread Sky " , " Close Call ",
and " Sword Peak Pond " are all miraculous. You
will be astonished by the unique peaks and strange caves,
by the Flying-Down Mountain Spring, and by Plateau lake.
All these wonders combine to present you with a picture of
astounding natural beauty.
In addition, to the parks natural beauty there are also a
number of other cultural attractions which will greatly
enhance the enjoyment of the trip as well as increasing
your knowledge of the regions rich heritage. Some of the
main attractions include: the colorful ethnic cultures and
ancient folklore of the Stone Forest, the amazing legends
of " Ashima ", the " Torchlight Festival
" of the Sani people on June 24 of each year, and of
course the warm and spirited Yi nationality dance "
Axi Dance Under Moonlight "
park, covering more than 2,000 mu and located on the
Mingfeng Mountain seven kilometers Northeast of Kunming,
is a national forest reserve.
The park features breathtaking natural scenery
interspersed with sites of historical interest and
man-made gardens. The park is frequented by Kunming
residents as a beautiful getaway and will also be the site
of the ' 99 International Horticultural Exposition.
On Mingfeng Mountain stands the exquisite and serene
Golden Temple. 6.7 metres tall and 7.8 metres wide, the
temple was cast from 250 tons of solid bronze. It is the
largest bronze hall in China.
Ethnic Villages, situated six kilometers south of Kunming,
is a 2,000 mu theme park situated on the south shore of Dianchi
Lake and to the west of the famous Western
Mountains Scenic Area.
The famous historical and cultural city of Kunming is
located to the north of the villages. Each of the 26
recognized ethnic minorities of Yunnan will have a village
built on the premises. There will also be a commemorative
square built which will symbolize the unity between the
ethnic groups, a theatre for the performance of ethnic
songs and dances, a folklore museum, and a museum of
ethnic waxworks. When completed, the Yunnan Ethnic
Villages will serve to represent Yunnan as a culturally
rich and ethnically diverse province. The park will also
feature an immense garden in the tradition of ancient
Chinese horticultural and landscaping.
Haigeng Park, a National Sport Training Base, is only two
kilomeyers away from the Minority Nationalities Park.
forest reserve on the West Bank of the Dianchi
Lake consists of the Huating, Taihua and Luohan
mountains, which together extend for more than 40
kilometers at an average altitude of 2,500 meters above
sea level. This is a colossal natural forest reserve in
the midst of a lofty mountain range crisscrossed by
babbling brooks and gurgling streams. Ancient trees are
adorned with thick, lush foliage and birds chirp and
flutter in the green treetops.
Viewed from the Southeast corner of Kunming, the entire
forest reserve looks like a beautiful maiden reclining
leisurely by Dianchi Lake, her long hair drifting in the
placid water. Hence the nickname of the Western Mountains
Forest Reserve, " Sleeping Beauty".
Special tourist buses near the Dianchi Cinema and the Fine
Arts Opera House can provide you with convenient
transportation to the top of the hills.
Tang Dynasty temple is twelve Km Northwest of the city.
The current structure is not that old, however, because
after burning down in the 15th century it had to be
rebuilt in a major renovation stretching between 1833 and
1850. During this process approximately 500 life-size
sculptures of Buddhist Arhats were cast and painted.
Dianchi Lake, 370 square kilometers in area, 44 meters
deep, and 1,885 meters in elevation, is the eighth largest
lake in China and the largest in Yunnan Province. Because
of its exceptional charms the lake is nicknamed "
Sparkling Pearl Imbedded in a Highland ". Its shores
are dotted with scenes of rich scenic beauty and areas of
Sailing on the lake proves a most enchanting experience
with the boat swaying gently on a vast surface of liquid
silver. At night, the moon casts a hazy glow over the
lake, and the silence of the scene is broken only by the
gentle sigh of a refreshing breeze.
Known for having the longest antithetical couplet in
China, the Grand View Park, also called Daguan Park, is
found within walking distance from the Western Hills. It
shares Dianchi Lake with the Western Hills, which are on
the opposite shore. The total area, including both water
and land, is approximate 60 Ha.
Bai Nationality Autonomous Prefecture has one city and 11
counties within its jurisdiction. Its prefectural capital
is Dali City ( including Xiaguan city and Dali ancient
city ). There are four scenic areas in the Dali region,
including the Cangshan
Spring and other historic relics ( in Dali
City ), Jizu
Mountain ( in Bingchuan County ), Shibao
Mountain ( in Jianchuan County ) and Weibao Mountain (
in Weishan County ). Among those areas, Dali City attracts
the largest numbers of Chinese and foreign visitors. Dali
Ancient City is widely acknowledged as "Backpackers'
Paradise" in China. Foreign visitors like to stay in
Dali ancient city. Some of them live there for months or
even years, to observe and study the fascinating culture
of Bai nationality. In the so - called " Yangren
Street (foreigner's street) " in the heart of ancient
city where is always full of foreign visitors, there are
several dozens of cafes, western style restaurants, and
clothes shops offering services to foreign guests. And it
seems that everyone of local Dali Bai peope in the Yangren
Street is a multilinguist!
is a famous national historic relic city and a national
key scenic spot area. There, visitors can enjoy many
historic relics, beautiful natural scenery and colorful
nationality customs. Historic relics include the Three
Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple which are the symbol of
the ancient culture of Dali, the ruins of Tianhe
City ( once the capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom ), the
Dehua Stele, the ruins of Yangjuhu City ( once the capital
of Dali Kingdom and later the new capital of Nanzhao
Kingdom ), the Stele commemorating the conquest of the
first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty over Yunnan and the
Gantong Temple. Scenic spots include the beautiful Erhai
Lake, the expansive and lofty Cangshan Mountains, and the
charming Butterfly Spring. The newly - developed "
jade belt tour " in Cangshan Mountains extends over
20 kilometers. The " March
Fair " , held on every March 15 of the lunar
calendar, the " Raoshanlin " ( a kind of Bai
dance ) , held on every April 23 of the lunar calendar and
the " Butterfly Meeting " , held on every April
15 of the lunar calendar are rare opportunities for
visitors to experience the customs of Bai people.
natural picture - like veins, marble of the Cangshan
Mountains is of the best quality among all marbles in the
world and therefore makes the ideal souvenir.
is 370 kilometers from Kunming. To get there, visitors can
find day or night coaches at any big bus station in
Kunming or just take a flight from kunming. The travel
agencies in Kunming also arrange " two nights and one
day tour from Kunming to Dali " service.
Dali Old Town :
Ancient Town of Dali, nestled in the arms of the enormous
Cangshan Mountain, and surrounded by a wall eight meters
high and 3.5 kilometers in circumference, the 600-year-old
city of Dali was first built in 1683, in the 15th year of
the Hongwu reign during the Ming Dynasty. Featuring stone
walls, grey-tiled roofs, doors and windows carved with
dragon and phoenix patterns, and gardens of varying sizes,
the dwellings of Dali have an air of classic sanctity. The
entire city is covered by a maze of streams, fed by
runoffs from the Cangshan Mountain. Hence the saying,
" The gurgling of water can be heard in every house,
and flowers are planted everywhere". It is also the
staring point of the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest, which has
been held here in both 1998 and 1999.
are daily tourist buses leaving from Kunming to Dali
sometime around 8 to 9 am. The bus takes about 7 hours
each way and costs CNY 100. Train and flights are also
Triple Pagodas :
Three Pagodas of Chongshen Monastery, at the foot of the
Zhonghe Peak which is part of Cangshan Mountain, are just
one kilometre to the northwest of the ancient city of Dali.
Here stand three beautiful pagodas, which are an emblem of
the city's long and celebrated history. The tallest of the
trio, which is 69.13 meters tall, was built in 836 AD,
while the two smaller ones were built during a later
period. No visit to Dali is complete without a visit to
see the three pagodas.
Butterfly Spring :
at the foot of Yunlong Peak in the Cangshan Mountains, the
Butterfly Spring is actually a pool four meters deep and
20 meters wide. The gnarled boughs of an ancient silk tree
stretch over its surface. In the fourth lunar month every
year, the tree puts out butterfly-shaped flowers, and
swarms of butterflies belonging to twenty or so breeds
descend on the tree, linking themselves together into
multicolored strings, which keep dangling over the pool.
Because of these annual butterfly conventions, the silk
tree and the Butterfly Spring have become the major
tourist attractions of the Cangshan Mountain.
Cangshan Mountain :
called " Diancang", the Cangshan Mountain juts
up like a huge screen wall in the western part of Dali.
Malong, the main peak, soars 4,122 meters into the sky
capped with a snowy summit that never thaws. Over the
vales, many streams flow with a rich babbling sound;
upward on the slopes, the blue sky is obscured by the
dense foliage of the groves of ancient trees; atop the
peaks, lakes sparkle like rippling mirrors. With its vast
collection of plants and trees, the Cangshan Mountain is
also a veritable botanical garden.
Erhai Lake :
the shape of an "er", meaning ear in Chinese,
Erhai Lake, in the east of Dali, covers 250 square
kilometres at an elevation of 1,980 meters with water a
storage capacity of 300,000 cubic meters. This vast body
of water shines under the sun like a sheet of vivid green
while the snowy peaks of the Cangshan Mountain are
reflected in its quivering surface. These sights combine
to form a breathtaking sight known poetically as
"Silver Cangshan and Jade-like Erhar ".
Park is also known as Tuanshan Mountain and covers an area
of more than 15,000 mu. The Mountain slopes are covered
with luxuriant pines, Cypresses and grass, and embroidered
with clusters of Camellias, Azaleas, Primrose, and exotic
trees and flowers, which can be found only in and around
pavilions, chambers and corridors atop Tuanshan Mountain
provide a panoramic view of Cangshan Mountain. Shimmering
on the horizon like an immense screen is Erhai Lake, its
vast expanse of liquid silver rising up like a white sail
and alive with darting gulls and swallow. It is situated
next to the ancient city of Dali and its trio of pagodas,
which are faintly visible in the distance. It is, indeed,
an ideal place to marvel at the famous scene titled
"Silvery Cangshan Mountain and jade-like Erhai Lake
The Jizu Hills of Binchuan :
36 kilometers from Binchuan County, the Jizu Hills derive
their name from the chinese word for chicken foot, which
locals claim it resembles. The hills are not only a famous
Buddhist sanctuary, but also a beautiful tourist resort.
the second floor of the Lengyan Tower on the top of the
nearby hills, the Cangshan Mountains, Three Pagodas and
Erhai Lake can all be seen standing face to face in the
west. Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain covered with
silver snow can be seen to the north.
principle surviving buildings of Jizu Hills are
Lingshanyihui Archgate, Zhusheng Temple, Lengyan Tower,
Jinding Temple, Copper Buddha Hall, Jiaye Hall, Huideng
Convent and Taizi (prince) Pavilion.
is 393 kilometers from Kunming. Buses are available at any
bus station in Kumning.
The Shibao ( Stone Treasure ) Hills of Jianchuan :
25 km southwest of Jianchuan County, the Shibao (Stone
Treasure) Hills are also called the Shizhong (Stone Bell)
Hills. Built during the Tang and Song Dynasties, it is
considered an offical historical site.
Shibao Hills scenic region is consists of the Shizhong
Temple, the Baoxiang Temple and Haiyunju County. One
hundred and thirty-nine statues of Buddha in 16 grottoes
are scattered throughout Shizhong Temple, and Shiziguan
and Shadengqing of the Shizhong Temple section. The
Baoxiang Temple section is the most scenic attraction of
Shibao Hills. The Baoxiang Temple has a reputation as the
"Suspended Temple ". Thousands of stone steps
ascend to the Cascade, Stone Tower, Sky Ladder, and
Ancient Bridge, halls and pavilions. The gate of the
Shibao Hills is in the Haiyunju section.
optimal season to visit the Shibao Hills is the end of the
7th month and the beginning of the 8th month of the lunar
calendar. There is a traditional singing and dancing
jamboree held each year, which never fails to enchant
is 524 km from Kunming. Bus tickets can be purchased from
any bus station in Kunming to Jianchuan via Dali .
The Third Month Fair of the Bai Nationality in
nationality has a population of more than 1,120,000. Most
live in compact communities within the Dali Prefecture.
The Bai has an age-old history and flourishing culture.
Relics to the development of the Bai history are the Three
Towers in Dali, rock caves on the Shibaoshan Hill, and the
architectural complex of temples on the Jizushan mountain.
people are diligent, simple and honest, and admire the
color of white (Bai in Chinese means white). The main
festival is the large-scale "The 3rd Month
this festival was called the Avalokitesvara's Festival. It
was Avalokitesvara who opened up the Dali area, subdues
the Monster Luocha and brought prosperity to the people.
Every year from the fifteenth to the twentieth of the
third lunar month, people gather at the Chongshengsi
Temple to pay homage and express thanks to Avalokitesvara.
With the development of the economy, trade gets brisk at
the gathering, and finally it becomes a yearly fair. In
addition to the exchange of commodities, there is horse
racing, opera performances, and folk singing and dancing.
view of religion in Yunnan
There are many kinds of religions nearly all completed because of
the special location of Yunnan at the joint part with the
half-island of East-South Asia and on the plateau of Qinghai ¨C
Tibet and Yunnan-Guizhou. Except the Confucianism, Buddhism and
Taoism, they are Islamic, Christianity, Catholicism and Original
Religion. Among the sects are blended(»ìºÏ)
into each other, especially the art of Buddhism, it forms a
wonderful view of colorful temples. There are many temples,
Buddhist towers, grottos, Taoist Temples, Courts, the wall
paintings of Churches, the inscriptions on the tablets, and the
religious arts those mostly are distributed over the sightseeing
sites in Yunnan. The temples are often taken as the spiritual
symbolization of the Heaven, at the same time as the residence,
palace and ancestral temple of the common customs with heavy
feelings of religion. In the history, since the Tang and Song
Dynasties had paid more attention to the fusion of the
relationship between the human and the nature. To select the
locations of the temples it is usually based on the either the
advantages of easy transportation or the calling the believers
widely. So the most temples in Yunnan were built at the places of
beautiful environments with the green hills and clean waters,
covered with the heavy woods at the deep mountains. It is saying
those all-wonderful sites and the famous mountains all are
occupied by the religious people. They highly stress on the model
of the temples, inner decorations and the art of the idols. All
the constructions of the temples and their religious feasts are
the very important contents of the tourist culture.
Confucianist theory, strictly speaking that it is not a really
religion, but traditionally there was the wording in the history
" Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism" the three in one,
the Confucianism was regarded as the religion. Especially through
the long term of social activity, the people sacrificed the holy
idols of the three sects in one temple. They called the
Confucianists as the Confucianism. The Confucius was the founder,
who took the temple as the place for meeting, paying respects to
himself and the transmitting the culture, the Four Books and the
Five Classics as the main theory, the religious creeds were used
for tools of saving the feudal society and were praised highly by
each kings in all Dynasties. They offered the Confucius himself as
the "Holy Forefather". In Qufu of Shangdong province
(the hometown of Confucius), the Confucius Residence occupied the
lands nearly 327 mu (a mu=666 square meters), there are totally
466 rooms in it, which is the one of the famous ancient
constructions in China. The famous "Confucianist Temple"
in Jiangshui of Yunnan was founded in Yuan Dynasty (1325), it was
rebuilt many times in following Dynasties as Ming and Qing, its
area is just a little bit of less smaller than it in Shangdong. It
has the areas of 114 mu with a lot of the buildings; the main
temple is about 13 meters high with the colorful decorations.
Except it there are many others distributed over all places in
Buddhism originated in India; the founder is Sakyamuni meaning the
Holy man of the Sakya nation. It is called Buddhism in China. It
was disseminated at the time of Han Dynasty and developed as the
main religion in China. It is considered that the Buddhism was
transmitted to Yunnan in Tang Dynasty. The routes were divided
into three, from Han nation of Tang Dynasty, Tibet and the south
Asia which were formed with many entities of the Buddhism and the
characteristics of local minorities .The one of sects was called
"Mijiao" transmitted form Han of Tang Dynasty, the
Buddhism (Lama religion) from Tibet in Ming and Qing Dynasties
came to Diqing Tibetan areas and the one from south-east Asia
disseminated to the areas of Dai Nation in Xishuanbanna and Dehong
.All the three sects have the different but luxuriant Buddhist
arts, like the wall paintings in the temples, stone idols in the
grottos and structures of different pagods.
Buddhism was introduced into regions inhabited by the Han people,
the largest ethnic group in China, about the first century. The
earliest temple, the Baima Temple (White Horse Temple), was built
in Luoyang during the reign of Emperor Ming Di of the Eastern Han
Dynasty in 68 AD with the help of two Indian monks. Buddhism
reached its peak of popularity during the Sui and Tang (581-907)
dynasties. Mahayana Buddhism emphasizes the existence of many
Buddhas. It focuses attention on Buddhas in heaven and on people
who will become Budddhas in the future. It believes that these
present and future Buddhas can save people through compassion and
grace. Today there are eight main sects of Mahayana Buddhism.
These are the Sanlun (Three Treaties) Sect; the Faxiang (Dharma
Characteristic) Sect also known as the Yoga Sect; the Tiantai
Sect; the Huayan (Flowery Splendor) Sect; the Jingtu (Pure Land)
Sect; the Chan(Zen) Sect; the Ritsugaku Sect; and the Esoteric
Sect. The doctrines of the various Mahayana sects played an
important part in the development of philosophical ideas in China.
Mahayana Buddhist influence is seen in the thousands of Chinese
classics. Many of these are of high literary value. The
Vimalakirti, Saddharma-pundarika-sutra (Lotus Sutra) and
Surangamasamadhi-sutra have always been special favorites of
scholars. Buddhism brought to Chinese literature new conceptions,
literary styles, and techniques of wording and phrasing. The first
Chinese woodblock printing was a series of pictures based on the
Tripitaka in Chinese. Buddhist paintings and sculptures have left
a rich source of material for the study of Chinese art and
history. Whether it is the murals of the Dunhuang caves or the
stone carvings of the Longmen, Yungang, and Dazu grottoes, the
works highlight a brilliant chapter in China's cultural history.
China's pagoda architecture and statue art are mostly the work of
Mahayana Buddhist designers. China's music, astronomy, medicine,
and gymnastics also reveal Mahayana Buddhist influences. As early
as the 2 nd century, Buddhist songs were being sung by the
Chinese. Yi Xing (673-727), a monk of the Tang Dynasty, was the
first to compute the length of the meridian. He complied a number
of books on astronomy and mathematics. In medicine, there were
more than ten prescription texts from India Buddhists translated
into Chinese and they were used in China during the Tang Dynasty.
Finally, in gymnastics, the monks of the Shaolin Temple developed
various exercise methods imported from India into special form of
wushu through the incorporation of Chinese martial arts
Four mountains in
China are particularly sacred to Mahayana Buddhists. These are
Wutai in Shanxi Province, Putuo in Zhejiang Province, Emei in
Sichuan Province, and Jiuhua in Anhui Province.
(also called Pali) Buddhism was introduced from Burma, about the 9
th century A .D., into regions inhabited by the Dai, Bulang,
Achang, and De' ang ethnic minorities in Yunnan Province. Today
its followers are mainly people from these ethnic minorities, as
well as part of the Bai, Jing (Ginzu), and Lahu people. In China
it is called Pali Buddhism because Pali is the language that was
spoke in the temples in ancient India. Hinayana Buddhism
emphasizes the importance of Buddha as a historical figure, the
virtues of monastic life, and the authority of the Tripitaka.
Buddhism transmitted from Han nation
temple is the public place for holding the religious activities;
the Buddhist scriptures, figures and monks are all here. The
Buddhist idols are all plated with the gold and formed as the
colorful decorations. The Chinese temples¡¯ style were effected
by those in India, at the earlier time they were mostly formed as
the type of veranda and court, later they were developing into the
freestyle which are the two types of temples with grottos and
towers. Those mostly effected the temples of Yunnan in central
China, but they are showing the very special characteristics of
local nationalities. They were constructed of the Buddhist hall,
temple, hostel and pagodas. The temples are used for the places of
sacrificing the Buddhist idols, the hall for religious ceremonies,
the hostel for the everyday living of the monks and the pagodas
for the place of the buried the ashes of monks after death.
Generally the firstly getting into the temple through "Shanmen"(the
gate of Buddhist temple), you will see the "Heng and Ha"
two generals (clay sculptures), then the "Daxiong
Baodian"(Daxiong Temple), Daxion meaning the respected call
to the grand Buddhism, there are the Buddhist idols sacrificed
here like the main idols of Sakyamuni and others. At the back of
the temple there are the pagodas. In Yunnan the temples and the
idols conserved completely, they are the "Huating
Temple", "Qiongzhu Temple" and "Yuantong
Temple" in Kunming, "Panlong Temple" in Jinling,
"Caoxi Temple" in Anning, "Dajue Temple" in
Luliang, "Zhushen Temple" in Bingchuan, "Guangyingtan
Temple" in Dali, and some other places of Yunnan.
Buddhism transmitted from Tibet
is combined as the proverb of "Dacheng Mijiao" with
other local religious sects in Qinghai and Tibet like the "Mijiao"
form India, later it is saying as "Lama" religion, which
are believed by the Tibetan and Lishu nation in Yunnan along the
areas of joint with Tibet and Sichuan provinces. In the earlier
time of Qing Dynasty the Dalai and Banchang¡ªtwo living Buddha
were formed with a system of choosing living Buddha in Tibet. The
lama temple is consisted of "Zhachang" and "Lakang"
which are the main buildings in the temple and many Buddhist idols
sacrificed here. The famous temples are located at the places of
north-west part of Yunnan, like the "Guihua Temple" and
"Chenen Temple" in Zhongdian, "Dexin Temple"
in Dexin, "Fuguo Temple", "Yufeng Temple", and
"Wenfeng Temple" in Lijiang and other areas, except the
arts of the temples and idols, there are the wall paintings and
"Tangka"(a style of Tibetan paintings).
is a form of Buddhism intermingled with indigenous Tibetan
religion known as Bon. Tibetan Buddhism slowly adopted some of the
Bon rites, while Bon eventually took on Buddhiat teachings and
disappeared. Lamaism mainly gained its Buddhist knowledge from Han
Mahayana Buddhist sources.
Of the various
sects that eventually developed within Lamaist Buddhism, the main
ones are Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu,Bon, and Gelug. The Hyingma Sect
was founded by Padmasambhava, or "the Lotus-born one'',
Indian master of Esoteric Buddhism who was invited to preach
Buddhism during the latter half of the 8 th century. This sect is
also called the "Red Sect'' because the monks of this school
wear red hats. The Sakya Sect is also known as the "Striped
Sect ''because of the three stripes of red, white, and black that
are painted on the walls of all its monasteries.
Kagyu Sect is also called the "White Sect'' because its monks
wore white robes in the past. The Bon Sect is also known as the
"Black Sect''. It grew directly as an overlay of Buddhism on
top of Bon tradition.
By far the most
powerful of the Lamaist sects is the Gelug, or the "Yellow
Sect'', so called because the wear yellow hats. It was founded in
1392 by Tsongkapa, an advocate of religious reform, and it grew
rapidly into sect with the largest following. Part of the reason
for this is the political support the Yellow Sect received from
the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) government, which appointed their
leader, the Fifth Dalai Lama, to "unify the tribes" in
Tibet. Ganden, Sera, Drepung. Tashilhunpo, Ta' er, and Labrang are
the principal monasteries of this sect.
taking on some of the traditions of Bon, Lamaism created its own
system of leadership, that of rule by persons designated as Living
Buddhas. Such persons are believed to be the reincarnations of
deceased Living Buddhas. Thus, in Lamasim special persons are
literally born into Buddha hood, whereas in Han Buddhism,
followers move toward Nirvana only through good work and in Pali
Buddhism they can attain the same condition through devotion. The
system for designating Living Buddhas was formulated by the Kagyu
Sect more than one hundred years before the Yellow Sect came into
existence. It relies on a committee of monks who search for a soul
boy (one into whom the soul of a precious Living Buddha has
settled). The monks start this search one year after the death of
previous Living Buddha. They travel in different directions from
their temple to find all male children born at the time the former
Living Buddha died. When such soul boys are found (there may be
several), each is presented with a group of utensils, some of
which were possessions of the previous Living Buddha. If the child
takes an interest in one of the utensils owned by the previous
Living Buddha, the boy is assumed to be the possible
reincarnation. A second test is then administered to make sure.
This involves the ritual of asking advice from a protecting
spirit. If two or more potential soul boys pass these two tests,
lots are drawn from a gold urn to determine the correct identity.
The process of selection and control remains in the hands of a
select group of monks-the search committee. One of their members
acts as regent until the boy reaches an age when he can be
elevated in a grand ceremony to the position of Living Buddha,
usually sometime between the age of 12 and 18. The members of the
search committee remain as the Living Buddha' s assistants until
he is old enough to replace them. Should the new Living Buddha die
young, the same groups of monks become the committee to select the
next Living Buddha.
Buddhism transmitted from the South direction( East-south Asia)
is also called "Xiaochen Buddhism" or "Nanchuan
Buddhism". Their religious creed stresses on the "Three
none"( impermanence, no bitter and no me). It advocates that
mukti (get rid of by himself) which is close to the Original
religion. It is distributed over at the areas inhabited by Dai,
Jinpo and Pumi nations. Especially the all of Dai believes in it
so much , nearly there are the temples in every villages. Some of
the temples are not only the place of sacrificed the Buddhist
idols, but the place for learning the culture and educational
classrooms. By the Dai customs, all young boys must leave home and
become the monks for a time and leave the order and resume secular
life when they grow up as the adults. The Buddhism is divided into
two big sects, "Baiba"(Flatland area) and "Baishun"(Mountain
area). Their temples usually are constructed of the temples and
towers, the design of the towers are much more paid attention to.
Mostly their types are similar to the Buddhist pagodas of Myanmar
, which are consisted of a main tall tower and many smaller towers
around. It considers that the Buddha Sakyamuni is only real God,
and never recognizes any others except the Sakyamuni. The main
temples in Yunnan are "Guangyunmian Temple" in Changyuan,
"Qianrufu Temple" and "Damenlongfu Temple" in
Jingu, "Mangefu Temple", "Manfeilong Tower" in
Jinhong, "Wuyun Temple" in Manshi and "Dadenhan
Temple" in Ruili and the others.
Buddhism refers to Pali Buddhism introduced into Yunnan province
from Myanmar in the 7th century. At the beginning, there was no
Buddhist temple and its scriptures were spread orally. In the 11th
century, Buddhism faded due to warfare. After wars ceased,
Buddhism was reintroduced into Dai majority tribes from Thailand
and Myanmar. Pattra sutra written in Dai language started to
appear after the language was invented in 1277. When a Myanmar
princess was married to the 19th Yunnan magistrate in 1569, the
King of Myanmar sent a Buddhist mission to Yunnan, bringing with
them Buddhist scriptures and statues. Soon, temples were built up
and Dai people and a few other minorities converted to the Pali
Southern Buddhism can be divided into four sects. Dai boys must
spend a monastery life when they reach school age. They will be
taught in monasteries and may drop out when they reach their
adulthood. The outstanding ones may stay for further studying and
become formal monks. The Southern Buddhists can be gradually
ranked and the one sits on the top of the pyramid is the religious
Five Moral Precepts (Pali)
Sikkhapada (discipline or good behavior)
not to steal
have sexual misconduct
not to lie
not to drink
liquor or take drugs which leads to carelessness
Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
take the precept to give up killing.
Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.
I take the presept to give up stealing.
Kamesumicchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.
I take the precept to give up sexual misconduct.
Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.
I take the precept to give up lying.
Surameraya majjapamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam
I take the precept to give up drinking liquor and taking
substances which lead to infatuation and carelessness
do you not kill ?
I do not kill out of compassion for others.
is the good of giving up killing ?
Every being loves it's life like we do, killing brings suffering
to them and so to yourself as well.
do you not steal ?
I do not steal because I have no right to take what is not given.
is the good of giving up stealing ?
I become honest and will not be deprived from my own property by
do you not indulge in sexual misconduct ?
I do not indulge in sexual misconduct because it leads to
suffering for those involved and myself.
is the good of giving up sexual misconduct ?
It will protect families from breaking up.
do you not lie ?
I do not lie because nobody would then believe me.
is the good of giving up lying ?
I become truthful and trustful and there will be no quarreling
without having wrong speech.
do you not drink liquor or take drugs ?
I do not drink and take drugs because it leads to carelessness and
loss of a sense of shame.
is the good of giving up drinking ?
I become very careful and my senses become very clear and so I
will not bring myself or others into dangerous situations.
is born and brought up at its native soils, it started in Han
Dynasty and took the [Dao De Jing of Laozi (a very famous ancient
scholar as Confucian in Chinese history)] as their classics, and
the Laozi was respected as their God and called Taoism. The sect
we can see today is divided into two sects "Quianzhen"
and "Zhenyi". They usually adopt the ways of trying to
make the pills of immortality and cultivate vital energy. Etc. as
their main activity. The "Gong"(big temple) and "Guang"(small
temple) are taken as their place of religious activity. Their
construction mostly is looked as the storied buildings. The
Eight-Diagram and Tai Ji is their important marks which symbolize
the eight natural phenomenon like the sky, land, thunder, wind,
water, fire, mountain and marsh. The construction of Taoism
usually is consisted of three parts, the parvis, mid-courtyard and
view-rooms. Taoism has a big group of the Gods, like the Gods in
heaven, human ghosts, and the local gods of the land as well as
the many historical figures and the folklore, just like reading a
volume of Chinese social culture history when visiting the Taoist
temples. In Yunnan the main Taoist temples are "Shangqinge",
"Dragon Gate", "Golden Temple", and "Heilongtang"
in Kunming, "Zhong he Temple" in Dali, "Yuhuangge
Temple" in Baoshang, "Yuanlong ge Temple" in
Tenchong and other places in Yunnan.
Hui nationality in Yunnan almost believes in the Islam. Through a
long historical life and working, there is a very close
relationship between Islam and Hui nation on the folk customs and
the culture. The place for religious service, they call mosque,
the style of the temple construction is the type of Arab and the
scripture is the Koran. The feasts are same as the Arab, like
Lesser Bairam, Corban and so on. All the festivals are holding in
the mosques taken charge of the Akhun. The women are not allowed
to get into the mosque. When the time of religious service, the
people must take off the shoes and wash all hands and feet (Ghust).
They take much more attention on the food; the pork and wine are
prohibited. The women usually cover the faces and do not show
their hands and teeth .The earliest mosque in Kunming was called
"Nanchen mosque", "Namen mosque" in Dali and
the mosque in Jindong were built up in Yuan Dynasty and other
mosques distributed over all areas where the Hui nation inhabited.
is transmitted in to China at the time of Tang Dynasty; there are
the Orthodox Eastern Church, Protestantism and Catholicism, the
three sects in Yunnan. In 1877 a British missionary came to
Shanghai and later the many missionaries from England and France
came to Yunnan and did missionary works in the areas where Miao,
Yi, Lishu, Bai and Lahu nations inhabited. They built the churches
and sacrificed the holy idols of Jesus and read the stories of
Bibles. Now the churches conserved completely well located in
Kunming, Dali, Nujiang and others. The one (Catholicism church)
built up in Dali in 1931 is the most grand in Yunnan. The saints
have their own religious committee, which gives the instructions
for activities in whole of Yunnan. They usually have the same
customs as those in western countries like the holidays and
the earlier of Yuan Dynasty the Catholicism was transmitted into
China, it was further developed in Ming and Qing Dynasties and the
missionary district was set up in 1696. After the churches were
built up in Kunming, it was rapidly expanded to all parts of
Yunnan; later the head missionary districts were founded in
Kunming, Zhaotong and Dali. The charitable affairs were opened,
like hospitals, orphan schools and aged people departments and so
on. The Catholic churches were founded in Kunming, Dali, Baoshang,
and Dexin of Diqing and weixi.
is meant that religion was at the time of the earliest periods of
human society, the human believed all natural objects and
phenomenon including nature, forefather, totem, sexual power, Gods
and so on. The believers have no the core of God in their
religion, and no the fixed temples and no the scriptures, the
forms of their activities show only the praying the sky and earth,
by means of divination for getting rid of the devils and treating
the diseases. The master was called wizard. Most of minority
nationality in Yunnan are still keeping the some of remains of the
religion. They effect very much on the people for their viewpoints
on the nature, history, moral and value and so on, and control the
behaviours of people¡¯s social culture. It also makes many cliff
paintings, God¡¯s paintings, wizard marks, masks, music
instruments and other religious arts. It is the very important
human culture resources and the worthy of the tourism.
Lijiang --- " World Cultural Heritage "
Yangzi River and the Yellow River are well-known as the
two longest rivers in China and are noted as "
Giant Asian Rivers". Situated between 99o
30' E to 100o 50' E and 26o N to 27o
50' N, Lijiang can be easily located by every
tourist from abroad when they trace along the Yangzi River
from its mouth in Shanghai back toward its source. The
ajncient town of Lijiang is a traveler's wonderland which
has been classified as a World-class Cultural Legacy by
UNESCO, "Nationallevel Scenic Zone" and a
"National Town of History and Culture".
is a beautiful shining jewel on the Northwest Yunnan
Plateau neighbouring the southeast side of the Tibentan
Plateau which is considered to be the "Roof of the
World" . It covers an area of 20,600 square
kilometers with a population of 1,030 ,000. The whole
district is comprised of four counties: Lijiang, Yongsheng,
Huaping and Ninglang. LiJiang's weather is remark-ably
pleasant. Spring there lasts as long as 241 days and there
is no hots ummer. Lijiang is 603 kilometers away from
Kunming and 280 kilometers from the JingJiang Railway
Station on the Kunming - Chengdu line. The airport in
LiJiang had been opened in 1994.
boasts of breath - takingly wonderful sights such as Jade
DragonSnow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and its modern
maritime glacier,the only one of its kind in the southern
end of the Northern Hemisphere; Tiger Leaping Gorge (
Hutiaoxia ); the world - famous grand canyon; Lugu Lake,
the culturalcradle of the "Matriarchy" of the
Yongning Mosuo people in Ninglang; the Old Town of Dayan
Lijiang, which is referred to by European and American
tourists as the "Oriental Venice" .All these
natural sceneries and these cultural treasures of the
minority peoples, such as Dongba Culture, Naxi Classical
Music,Baisha Murals and Mosuo Customs, have been
continuously drawing tourists from all over the world and
have recently vote Lijiang as one of the favorite
destinations in China.
1989, Lijiang was ranked as a Level - 1 Tourisrn Hot Spot
of China by the yunnan Tourism Bureau. In 1992, it was
rated as one of the four provincial - level travel zones
of Yunnan by the provincial government. There is a saying
which goes: "Visit not Lijiang, visit not Yunnan
!" Lijiang is now opening its gate ready to heartily
welcome guests from all over the world and show off its
exotic and alluring scenery as well as the rich and
colourful ethnic customs of its people.
Dayan Town (The ancient town of Lijiang) :
in a broad, fertile valley dominated by the towering,
snow-capped peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Range,
the ancient city of Lijiang is founded in Dayan Town, a
large Naxi settlement first built during the Southern Song
Dynasty some eight centuries ago. In December 1986, the
State Council designated the place as a famous ancient
historical and cultural city of a national caliber. In
1997, the UNESCO put Lijiang on a list of the world's
major cultural heritages.
Yuquan Park (Black dragon pool park) :
known as Black Dragon Pool, the Yuquan (Jade Spring) Park
at the foot of the Xiangshan Mountain north of the city of
Lijiang derives its name from the pool, which is as
sparkling as jade and as clear as spring water. The entire
park, tucked away in the shades of swaying willow trees,
is covered with green grass. Under the Shuocui Bridge a
waterfall creates a constant roar as it cascades down the
Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain :
kilometres from the ancient city of Lijiang stands the
Yulong Xueshan (Snow Mountain in the image of a Jade -
Carved Dragon), a modern maritime glacier in the
southernmost of northern latitudes. Shanzidou, the main
peak of the mountain, looks like a gigantic dragon, clad
in white snow all the year round at an altitude of 5,596
metres above sea level. Access to the top of the mountain
is provided by a cableway from the foot of the mountain to
Yunshanping ( Dragon Spruce Meadow ). Two cableways for
skiers are under construction.
First Bend of the Yangtze River :
(Stone Drum ) is a town of the Lijiang Naxi Autonomous
County which is situated 70 kilometres from the seat of
Lijiang County. It is where the Yangtze River, following a
northwest course, plunges head - on into a high and
cragged cliff, takes a sharp U-turn - believed to be the
river's first bend as it flows on - and changes its course
in a northeast direction.
Hutiao (Tiger Leaping) Gorge :
( tiger leaping ) Gorge Extending for 15 kilometres from
the Yulong Xueshan Mountain in Lijiang to the Haba Xueshan
Mountain in Zhongdian. Tiger Leaping Gorge is one the
longest, deepest and narrowest gorges in the world.
According to local legend, the gorge
acquired its name because at its narrowest point, a mere
30 meters wide, a tiger leaped over its swirling waters.
Baisha Mural, these frescos, distributed in the temples of
such towns as Baisha, Dayan, Shuhe, Zhonghai, Yangxi and
Xuesong, were made in succession from the early Ming
dynasty to the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing
Due to the prosperous economy in the Ming
dynasty, people of Naxi minority began to assimilate the
culture of other ethnic groups and developed their own.
Lijiang mural is the crystallization of such
According to the survey of He Zairui, a
Naxi artist, the six mural paintings stored in the Dajue
Palace of Shuhe are a reflection of both Taoism and
Buddhism. Produced by a painter of Han nationality, the
paintings vividly show the variety of characters. The
frescos of Dabaoji Palace in Baisha are regarded as the
centerpiece of Lijiang Mural. On twelve well-preserved
paintings are statues from Taoism, Buddhism, and the Mi
Sect of Lamaism. One of the frescos is a great painting of
100 icons, in the middle of which is Sakyamuni, on both
sides the statues from Taoism and Buddhism, and at the
bottom three Vajras from the Mi Sect along with four
celestial kings. The fresco is a collaboration of artists
from Han and Tibet nationalities and entirely presents
superb artistic skills with flowing lines, well-defined
colors and good effects of depth and solidity. The mural
paintings of Dading Hall in Baisha were originally
finished in the end of the Ming dynasty and repaired
during the reign of Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty.
Each is an embodiment of Statues from Taoism, Buddhism and
such religious sects as Zen and Mi. Different form those
in Dabaoji Palace in proportion, design, color-harmonizing
and change, the frescos, mainly produced by Naxi painters,
are not a match of previously-made mural paintings. What
to be treasured in the Lijiang Mural is the realistic
style employed by the artists of Han, Tibet and Naxi, who
took subject matters from daily life instead of
concentrating on religion. The frescos vividly reproduce
the scenes of daily life such as dancing, weaving,
fishing, felling trees, killing pigs and etc. The mural
paintings also draw statues of officers, criminals,
travelers and so on, who are the miniature of the social
life. Besides, such subject matters as running horses,
peacocks spreading feathers and blooming flowers of lotus,
peony, camellia and plum blossom are all vivid and true to
Lugu Lake :
Lugu Lake is set in a dense forest between the Ninglang Yi
Autonomous County of Yunnan Province and Yanyuan County of
Sichuan Province and 300 kilometres from Dayan Town of
The environment around the lake is well
preserved where the air is fresh, the water
pollution-free, and the scenery incredibly delightful. The
shore of the lake is home to the Musuo people, a branch of
the ethnic Naxi group who retain the vestiges of a
matriarchal society. The wedding custom of the Musuo
people is noted for its exotic ceremonies
Naxi Ancient Music
divinity on the plateau fosters the people living there
with artistic quality and poetic mind. Besides poetry,
calligraphy and painting, the artistic skill that seems to
be born with the people there is music.
Naxi (also spelt Nakhi and Nahi) ancient music is a kind
of classic music widely popular with the Naxi minority.
The mixture of holy tune of Daoist, Confucians ceremonies
and the literary lyric and topics from poets in Chinese
Tang and Song dynasty comes as the feature and uniqueness
of this music. It was praised by the contemporary is the
"living fossil of music".
Naxi ancient music is the crystal of plural cultures,
composed of "Baisha Fine Music" (Baisha Xiyue),
"Dong Jing Music" and "Huang Jing
Music" (the "Huang Jing" music has become
extinct). Taking flute, shawm, Chinese lute, plectrum, and
zither as the main instruments, Naxi music was regarded as
the "typical Chinese classical music" and
"symphonies of Chinese style" by some foreign
experts. Interestingly, the music from Central Plains are
reserved and kept alive as a result of geographical
isolation while its inland counterpart was transformed and
lost during the changing history.
Baisha Fine Music: Baisha Fine Music is one of the few
large-scale classic orchestral music in ancient China.
Passed down as the "Musical Legacy of the Yuan
dynasty", it consists of 24 "qupai" (music
tune), which is antiquated, simple and elegant in style,
lofty and dynamic in character. It is said that when
Kublai Khan was on his expedition to Dali, he once got the
help from Mailiang, the leader of the Naxi people in
Lijiang. On his departure, he left to him half a band and
the music score as a gift. So Baisha
Fine Music also name "Honoraria on Departure".
Dong Jing Music is a kind of Daoist music widely
spread among Naxi people. Since the Ming and Qing
dynasties, it was gradually introduced to Yunnan from the
Central Plains, and deeply root in the cultural circle in
Naxi people. For a long period of time, the Naxi people
have added some styles and skills for playing their local
folk songs when they played Dong Jing music, so that the
music has "Naxi musical tone". After
Dong Jing Music was disseminated to Lijiang, for quite a
long period of time, it was confined to the gentlemen.
Only gentlemen could join the "Dong Jing
concert". But the Naxi people are born with music
nature, such a stereotyped shackle was broken.
Today, folk musicians have already make Dong Jing Music
into folk world. There are at least four full orchestras
of elderly men in and around Lijiang, and within the
county there are scores of folk bands playing the ancient
music which has been blended with Naxi flavor.