Top 10 Buddhist temples in Yunnan

Yunnan is an important pilgrimage destination in the world with compatible religious beliefs for which one can experience Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism. Among the tens of Buddhist temples all around Yunnan province, these TEN temples are the must-gos of travellers to Yunnan for a classic tour starting from Kunming. 


Bamboo Temple (12 km from downtown of Kunming)
One of the Zen Buddhist temples in central Yunnan Province, the temple is highlighted by the 500 clay Arhats each of which has a unique and distinctive expression, gesture and pose reflecting a very broad and realistic range of personalities and occupations and of course no two are the same. At one corner of the Majestic Hall is a stone tablet inscribed with the imperial edict of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). 


Yuantong Temple (downtown of Kunming)
The 1,200 years old temple is the most ancient of its kind in Kunming, first constructed in the Nanzhao Kingdom period (738-937) in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and originally named Putuoluo which is a transliteration of the name of the Goddess of Mercy. In the Majestic Hall of temple are two giant dragons which seems as if they are about to fight. Behind the Majestic Hall is a shrine dedicated to the Bronze Buddha presented by the Thai Buddhist circle to Yunnan in 1982. 


Huating Temple (15 km from downtown of Kunming)
Situated at the Huating Hill of the West Mt Forest Park, the temple can date back to the Dali Kingdom period (938-1253). As one of the major Buddhist temples in Kunming area, it is also the pilgrimage destination of the March 3rd Pilgrimage Festival of Kunming. 


Panlong Temple (Jinning County, 40 km from Kunming)
The temple is one of the most popular Buddhist adobes in Kunming area and situated at the Panlong Mt which is deemed one of the Three Great Buddhist Mountains in Yunnan, with the other two being the West Mt of Kunming and the Jizu Mt of Binchuan (Dali).


Manchunman Temple (Jinghong City, 560 km from Kunming)
Located in the Dai Garden of Menghan Town, Jinghong City Xishuangbanna Prefecture, the 1,400 years old temple is said to be the first Buddhist temple built after Theravada was introduced into Xishuangbanna. The former temple was once ruined in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution and the existing one was rebuilt in the 1970s.


Mengle Temple (Jinghong City, 540 km from Kunming)
In 2005, the temple was reconstructed at the former site of the ancient Dai imperial temple-Jingpiao Buddhist Temple. According to historical records, the Jingpiao Buddhist Temple was constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as one of symbolic architectures of the twelve basins of Xishuangbanna. In the temple is a giant, magnificent statue of the Buddha. 


Chongsheng Temple (Dali Old Town, 340 km from Kunming)
Dali is the renowned Fragrant Kingdom of Buddhism. The temple was constructed in the Nanzhao Kingdom period (738-937) and the most famous inside it is the Three Pagodas which is the landmark of Dali.


Yufeng temple (Yulong County, 510 km from Kunming)
Located at the foot of the Yulong Snow Mt, the temple is one of the Lamaseries in Lijiang first constructed in 1700. Inside the temple is a 300 years old camellia tree which bears “ten thousand flowers” from each March to April. 


Gadan•Sonzanlin Monastery (Shangri-La, 620 km from Kunming)
Constructed in 1679, it is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province and one of the major thirteen temples in the Tibetan-inhabited area. The magnificent temple is regarded as the Smaller Potala Palace.


Guanyunmian Temple (Cangyuan County, 660 km from Kunming)
First constructed in the Qing Dynasty (1368-1644), the temple is the major Theravada adobe in the southwest of Yunnan Province. The architecture complex of the temple is impressively outstanding and beautiful.