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Home >> Yunnan >> Yunnan Travel Guide >> Kunming >> Qiongzhu Temple tour information

Qiongzhu Temple (Bamboo Temple)

Qiongzhu Temple
Qiongzhu Temple is a famous and important temple in Kunming. The most impressive features in this temple are the 500 Arhat sculptures, of which 216 are in the Tiantailai Hall and another 216 ate in Fanyin Hall, and 68 are in the Daxiong Grand Hall. An Arhat in Hinayana is one who has reached the final stage of Buddhism while an Arhat in Mahayana is one second to Buddha and Bodhisattva. Compared with Bodhisattvas, Arhats look more like human beings than Gods, and therefore they are popular among the common people and monks. That is why there are many Arhat temples and halls in China .The first 500-Arhat temple was built in the East Jin dynasty and enjoyed its best days in the Qing dynasty .There are 18 such temples and caves in China, of which the Biyun Temple in Beijing, the Xiyuan Temple in Suzhou, the Baoguang Temple in Xindu and the Qiongzhu Temple in Kunming are the most famous .The Arhat sculptures in the Qiongzhu Temple are well-known for their vivid expressions and artistic characteristics and are regarded as the gem of Oriental sculpture in this temple and have their photographs on file. These sculpture were modeled between 1883 and 1890 by Li Guangxiu (a well-known folk sculptor ) and his six pupils who were invited by Chief Monk Mengfo of the Qiongzhu Temple.

As far as Buddhism is concerned, the 500 Arhat sculptures have the following characteristics: They are like men on Earth rather than Buddhism in Heaven. Among them there are emperors, governors, warriors, scholars, beggars, actors, farmers, fishermen and other ordinary people. It seems that each Arhat is familiar to all of us and this shows originality in Li Guangxiu' artistic creation of the traditional Arhats. The image that an emperor sits by ordinary people or a beggar talks to a nobleman embodies the quintessence of the Zen doctrine: Everyone is created equal and can become a Buddha through practicing Buddhism.

The 500 Arhat sculptures in the Qiongzhu Temple can be divided into two groups, one being closely related to realism and the other to romanticism. Most of the Arhat sculptures belong to the first group with Mad Monk and Crazy Monk Jigong as the representatives. Through the creation of different Arhats, Li Guandxiu reveals the happiness and misery of mankind and the different outlook of different men. Their vivid expressions and poses are contrary to the traditional creation of Arhats. These Arhat sculptures, either in a sitting or standing position or in meditation, or engaged in painting or reading, are closely related to the life on Earth rather than that in Heaven .Most of the 68 Arhat sculptures in the Daxiong Grand Hall belong to the second group . Li Guangxiu' s bold exaggeration and vivid imagination in his artistic creation ate of romantic nature: Some of them ate riding on the magic mists, clouds, dragons or tigers; one is trying to get the moon with his long arms; another long-legged on is walking in the ocean....

Kunming Travel Attractions
Kunming
Stone Forest
Jiuxiang Scenic Region
Dianchi Lake
Dragon Gate
Golden Temple
Qiongzhu Temple
Kunming Spring City Golf
Ancient Alu Caves
Daguan Park
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Green Lake Park
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Yuantong Temple
World Horti-Expo Garden
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