Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery, Dali

Chinese Name:大理崇圣寺三塔
English Name: Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery, Dali

An overview of The three pagodas

The magnificent Chongsheng Temple and the well-known Three Pagodas are the symbol of Dali. Originally, the Chongsheng Temple was built in the time of Kingdom of Nanzhao in 10th century to be near the Dali Three Pagodas, so people call them “Chongsheng Temple and Three Pagodas”. If you look at it from a distance, the pagodas are like three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of the never-ending mountains and emerald rice fields of Yunnan.

Where is it located?

Three Pagoda of Chongsheng Temple is located 1.5 kilometers northwest of Dali Old Town. It is situated at the east foot of Yingle Peak of the massive Cangshan Mountain and faced the west shore of Erhai Lake of ancient Dali. There are two rivers flowing through, one is Tao Stream in the east and Mei Stream in the north.

Distance from other Famous Attractions in Dali

  • About 2.6 kilometers from Cangshan Mountain
  • About 1.5 kilometers from Dali Old Town
  • About 6.6 kilometers from Erhai Lake
  • About 23.1 kilometers from Shuanglang


Three Pagodas (三塔)

Reflection Park of Three Pagodas in Dali City

The Three Pagodas are made of one big pagoda and two small pagodas, forming a symmetric triangle. The Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud. The purpose of Three Pagodas, as so often in China, is to magically guard against natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and floods, as per the four-character inscription on the tall pagoda: “Forever Control Mountains and Rivers.”

The main pagoda is known as Qianxun Pagoda which was first built during 823-840 AD by King Quan Fengyou of Nanzhao Kingdom. Qianxun Pagoda is square shaped and stands 69.4 meters high. The appearance of Qianxun Pagoda is much similar with the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, Songyue Temple Pagoda is Dengfeng and While Horse Temple Pagoda in Luoyang. Qianxun Pagoda has sixteen stories and each story has multiple tiers of upturned eaves and a carved shrine containing a while marble sitting Buhhda statue.

The other two sibling pagodas, at 42.19 meters high, stand to the northwest and southwest of Qianxun Pagoda and they are octagonal with ten multi-eave pent roofs. From their structure and shape, the two small pagodas should be built in the Dali Kingdom of the Song Dynasty style.

Chongsheng Temple (崇圣寺)

The Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery in Dali

Chongsheng Temple complex is located behind the Three Pagodas which was the royal temple of Dali and one of t6he largest Buddhist centers in Southeast Asia. There are many sites to explore in front of Chongsheng Monastery and in the monastery.Walk behind Three Pagodas you’ll reach Dapeng Golden Wing Bird Square and see the Golden Wing Bird and explore the biggest bell in Yunnan – Nanzhao Jianji Bell which was built in 871 AD. Entering into the temple, you’ll pass many Buddhist prayer halls, like Daxiongbao Hall, Medicine Hall, Caishen Hall, Maitreya Hall, Arhat Hall, Prayer Wheel, Thousan Buddha Hall, the Hall of Patriarch and finally reach Wanghai Tower where all the temple complex, the Three Pagodas, Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake can be seen.

Tours including Three pagodas

Admission Fee:¥121
Opening Hours: 8:00-19:00
Attraction Transportation:

Travelers can feel free to use our private car taking to Three Pagodas in Dali. If you are independent travelers, you can take bus or go by walking.

  • Dali Old Town – Three Pagodas Sightseeing Tourist Bus: The direct sightseeing buses between Dali Old Town Tourist Center and Chongsheng Three Pagodas are available during 08:30~17:30. It only needs 10 minutes for the drive.
  • Daili Old Town North Gate – Three Pagodas: Travelers can take 20~30 minutes’ walk from the North Gate of Dali Old Town to Three Pagodas. Buses also available and you can take No.19 bus from the North Gate to Three Pagoda Park.

Attraction Travel Tips:

The Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery in Dali
  1. Battery cars in the tourist area are available in several spots – Entrance Gate, Reflection Pond, Daxiongbao Hall, Wanghai Tower. It takes 25 Yuan for battery cars.
  2. Photographers should catch the best scenery of Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple in two famous spots – the Reflection Pond and Wanghai Tower. The Reflection Pond is a good site to capture full-face photo, pagoda, blue sky and white cloud reflection in the water, in this way, “the six pagodas” would get into your pictures. Standing on the top of Wanghai Tower, travelers can capture full view of Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple in a line and Erhai Lake from afar.