Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si), Kunming

#3 of 10 in Museums in Kunming
Religious Site · Specialty Museum
Qiongzhu Temple, or Bamboo Temple, is a Buddhist temple situated on Yu'an Mountain to the northwest of Kunming, Yunnan, China. The name of the temple (Qiongzhu) refers to a type of bamboo (genus Qiongzhuea). The Bamboo Temple was established during the Yuan dynasty as the first temple dedicated to Zen Buddhism in Yunnan. It has since been burned down and reconstructed several times. The present structure mostly dates from the late Qing dynasty.
The temple is most renowned for the painted clay sculptures of the 500 Buddhist arhats. The sculptures which are known as the "sculptured pearls in the oriental treasure-house" were created during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor (r. 1875–1908) in the Qing dynasty, when the temple was undergoing major repairs. Li Guangxiu ((1883–1890) to create the sculptures.
The arhat sculptures are distributed over three buildings: 216 each are in the Fanyin Pavilion and the Tiantailai Pavilion, 68 are housed in the temple's main hall, the Daxiong Hall. In the Fanyin Pavilion and the Tiantailai Pavilions, the arhat sculptures stand beside a central Buddha sculpture in six rows, with three levels in each row. Each arhat is about one meter tall and is characterized by unique facial expressions and body gesture. This is a radical break from the usual fixed style of Buddhist sculptures. Through the use of exaggeration, the artists created lively images. Some arhats are reaching for the moon with extremely long arms, some are crossing the ocean on extra long legs. There are bare-footed monks and naked-bellied Buddhas. Some are lost in deep thought, some are telling each other good news. Some are tranquil, some angry, some surprised, some curious. One is scratching his back, another is poking his ear.
Work out when and for how long to visit Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si) and other Kunming attractions using our handy Kunming trip planner.
Create an itinerary including Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si)
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Bamboo Temple (Qiongzhu Si) reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
48 reviews
  • This is worth the drive and then spending some time here. The temple has its origins back in the Tang dynasty and it slowly unveils itself to the visitor. Walk through the courtyards, see monks and...  more »
  • We headed to the temple late in the day (arriving at 4.15 pm, 45 mins before closing). The temple appeared to be free to enter - it had a sign saying Free Admittance. There was a service starting as.....  more »
  • It's a very nice temple. Just in the middle of your way to the dragon's gate. Here you can see and learn some story of China and Yunnan with very beautiful buildings.
  • best place Xishan

Plan your trip to Kunming

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.