Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali

The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali are one of my recommended must-visit attractions if anyone is planning to visit this beautiful and historical part of China. Having heard of this place through a friend, I was quite excited to actually visit this heritage site here in the Yunnan Province of China. Often called the three pagodas, this is actually known as The Chongsheng Temple and Three Pagodas located in the ancient city of Dali. 

Historically, the three pagoda's date back from the time of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali in the 9th and 10th centuries and are located at the foot of the tenth peak of the mighty Cangshan Mountains and face the west shore of the Erhai Lake of ancient Dali. The main pagoda is known as the Qianxun Pagoda which was built during 823-840 AD by king Quan Fengyou (劝丰佑) of the Nanzhao state. The pagoda is 69.13 meters (227 feet) high and is one of the tallest pagodas in China’s history. 

3 Pagodas in Dali, China
The first lake before the 3 Pagodas here
The other two sibling pagodas, built about one hundred years later, stand to the northwest and southwest of Qianxun Pagoda. They are 42.19 meters (140 feet) high. Different from Qianxun Pagoda, they are solid and octagonal with ten stories. The center of each side of every story is decorated with a shrine containing a Buddha statue. The left Pagoda is also seen leaning to one side due to inadequate strength of foundation and reminds people of the leaning tower of Pisa. 

There is also a lake behind the pagoda's which is called Juying Chi (聚影池 or Reflection pond) and the pond is known to be able to reflect beautiful images of the Three Pagodas on a clear day. For photographers, this is a highly recommended spot to shoot photos, but it is best to come in the early mornings as it can get pretty crowded after about 9am. 

Below are various photos taken around the temple and also on the pagodas here while at the bottom, you will find information about the entrance fee and so on. 

Dali Leaning Pagoda
One of the leaning pagodas
Lake at the 3 Pagodas in Dali
First lake at the 3 Pagodas in Dali
Dali Reflection Lake
The Reflection Lake at the Three Pagodas in Dali
Dali 3 Pagodas LeaningDali Three Pagodas

3 Pagodas in Dali Photo
Front view of the 3 Pagodas in Dali
Photo of Three Pagodas in Dali 3 Pagodas Photo in Dali

Photo of Three Pagodas of Dali

Information for Three Pagodas of Dali

Qianxun Pagoda Dali

One of the recommended things to do here is to walk right up to the Pagodas here. Usually many will just pass it to head down but if you have the extra time, walk towards the main pagoda and you will see the intense size of the pagoda in close up view. As for me, I love to photograph these structures from far and also close up hence the photos above. 

Three Pagodas of Dali Photo
A third lake at the three pagodas
Chongshang Temple Information Map
Layout of the The Chongshang Temple
Map of The Chongshang Temple in Dali
The Chongshang Temple Map
The Chongshang Temple in Dali
The Chongshang Temple
Getting here requires you to take a tour van as the public transport here is very limited too. But once here, expect to spend a good 3-4 hours exploring the entire temple grounds. The best time to visit would be wither in winter or during the summer. The trick here is to take the electric car ride to the top of the temple grounds and slowly walk your way down. 

3 Pagoda's of Dali
Entry Fee: 121 Yuan
Electric Car Ride: 30 Yuan 
Opening Hours: 8.00 am to 7.00 pm
Expected Time Here: 3-4 Hours 

Map of the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali 

For this trip to Dali, I flew to Kunming via AirAsia and then took an overland trip to Dali on this trip to visit this cultural city which is very rich in culture and heritage. If you plan to visit Dali, you can do so by direct fights on AirAsia to Kunming and then overland via train or van here. And again, I will highlight that the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali are one of the must-visit sites here. 

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