For more than a thousand years, the site known as the Three Pagodas has survived severe earthquakes, man-made and natural catastrophes. Made of brick and covered with white mud, the pagodas form a symmetric triangle. Unique among China’s ancient Buddhist architectures and a must-see for visitors to Yunnan province. The Three Pagodas are a national treasure of China.
The main pagoda, known as Qianxun Pagoda, was built during 823-840 AD by King Quan Fengyou. It stands 227 feet high and is one of the tallest pagodas in China. The other two sibling pagodas, built about one hundred years later, stand to the northwest and southwest of Qianxun Pagoda, and are 140 feet high.
According to local legends, before the humans arrived Dali was a swamp inhabited by breeding dragons who were believed to deliberately create natural disasters. The dragons revered pagodas, so the three pagodas were built to deter them.
You can visit the Three Pagodas, Dali City and other amazing sites on our 9-day Yunnan Explorer trip.