The location of this temple area towards the – or an – edge of Dali is amazing.
Mountains in the east, Erhai lake in the west – and the temple grounds moving up the slope of the mountains.
At the same time, it is a particularly strange combination one faces here:
The three pagodas are said to be old – or maybe that’s just the central one of them. They/it are said to have survived war and earthquakes.
Congsheng temple behind, meanwhile, was thoroughly destroyed over the years and rebuilt only in the last few decades of stability and opening.
It shows in the overly big, gilded, rather kitschy statues, as usual.
There are relics which were unearthed here on display in some of the side halls, however – and they are rather more interesting. Unassuming, but all the more interesting for that.
Actually, the central pagoda itself is a lot like that: As an architectural structure, there is not much except for its slender shape and height to impress the visitor.
Between that and its location, let alone its history if one decides to look more into that, however, it is of great fascination.
Of course, like so many things, this all raises the question of what we really mean by authenticity…
More on Dali here
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