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Yuantong Temple is at the foot of Yuantong Hill in the northern part of Kunming. With a history of more than 1,200 years, it is one of the grandest as well as the most important Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province. King Yimouxun of the Nanzhao Kingdom built it during the late eighth century as a continuation of Putuoluo Temple, and the restorations performed from the Qing Dynasty onward had not changed its unique mixed architectural style of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties.

Unlike all other Buddhist temples, which are built on an ascendant, you enter Yuantong Temple from above and descend along a gently sloping garden path. The view before you starting your peaceful walk beneath the gigantic cypress trees that line the garden path to the temple with its extensive array of flowers and foliage is deeply restful and impressive. A memorial archway with four Chinese characters -Yuantong Shengjing (Yuantong Wonderland)-is standing on the halfway; you can see the entire temple from here.

The temple complex is built around Yuantong Hall (Mahavira Hall), which is known as the Fane on the Water for it is surrounded by a very large pond filled with limpid water and fish. A delicate stone bridge which has an elegant octagonal pavilion stands in the center connects Mahavira Hall and the temple entrance. The pavilion is connected to the rest of the complex by various bridges and walkways.

One of some temples in Kunming that I have visited. Very nicely situated with the ponds.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9000 W: 135 N: 22702] (113611)
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