History of Midu County in Dali

The iron pillar of Nanzhao

The iron pillar of Nanzhao in Dali locates in the Iron Pillar Temple Village which was called Iron Pillar Yi in the past and is about 6 kilometers away from the west of Midu Country. The village belongs to Taihua Countryside. The area was the Bonongchuanbaiyayan in ancient times. Bonongchuan is the dam in Midu now. After the Qing Dynasty, because of the taboo incorrect character, change the white precipice as red precipice, ancient times of white precipice compare now is wider than red rock the country scope. Baiyayan which is the Baiya City is the the governance center of the legendary Baizi Country.

After Nanzhao was strong, Geluofeng who was the king of the Nanzhao captured the Baiya City, and built up a new city outside the old city for arranging for his stepmother and brothers of same father and different mothers. Inside the new city, they established the hall, the gallery turned and twisted, an outside bamboo of the behind orange cluster was thick, such as person’s leg, high 100 Chinese foots of enough to spares; the environment was very nice and secluded.

Bonongchuan was the place where the intermediate officials lived. There was a Manzi City which was about 20 miles apart from the south of Baiya City. It is probably near the now Midu Country. The iron pillar of Nanzhao was between two cities, it is also an important governance region of Nanzhao.

The Iron Pillar Temple of Nanzhao was called Iron Pillar Temple in the past; it was built up before the Yuan Dynasty. It was repaired in 1665, the big palace again and in front and back various palace in hospital and set of rooms were built in 1784. At that time the temple covered 5541 square meters, 1542 square meters of the building area, the base-court is made up the Dazhao wall, outside theatrical stage, square, pond and three arch stone bridges greatly; the back yard is made up Sanhuang Palace, Tuzhu Palace, the Holy Mother Palace and the northern rooms. The iron pillar stands in the center of the main palace in front yard. Later the Iron Pillar Temple was damaged serious because nobody repaired it for long time. Since 1978, repaired the big palace, the three arch stone bridge and the Dazhao wall etc., placed the gate of the palace, Buddha brand, plaque and couplet which was written by Li Jvchun who was a writer in Midu in the period of Daoguang. It includes the history and custom about the iron pillar. The match, the felt hat steps the song, an of that year pillar number, old of a of gold wreath; The alliance stone bury, the stone tablet eclipse, several word texts stay Tang’s thing, clouds of many colors the deep place contain ancestral temple.

The Iron Pillar in Nanzhao is also called Yachuan Iron Pillar, Jianning Iron Pillar or Tianzun Pillar. The pillar body is the cylinder form, black, iron, solid center, heavy about 2069 kilograms, high 3.3 meters, 32.7 centimeters of diameter, from five the segments connect but become. The pillar crest presents the cone form from the cave pit, deep 7 centimeters, there is three small holes, each of top a wood quality carving dragon, ascend one iron hat whose shape likes a pot. The pillar body west faces to is long 91 centimeters and 8 centimeters breadth the convex line frame exact center, in the center keeping 22 words of the formal script sun text “Weijianjishisanniansuicirenchensiyuekengzisushisirikuichoujianli”. The Iron Pillar in Nanzhao is also one of the existing rare cultural objects of Nanzhao, reflecting the technical level of the circumstance faith and the making irons in that time, the historical data value is very high.