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Yuantong Temple

Located in downtown Kunming, the Yuantong Temple is the biggest temple in the city. The temple was built at the foot of Luofeng Hill in late 8th century and first named Butuoluo Temple. But years of war greatly devastated the temple during the 12th century. In 1301 a new one, named Yuantong Temple, was constructed at the original site. Later it was extended several times during the following dynasties. Famed for its grand architecture and design, the temple was built on a hill slope. Standing at the huge archway, inscribed with the characters of Yuantong shengjing (Yuantong Landscape) near the gate. From there, the tourist can get a bird's eye view of the temple as it expands down the slope. A wide path runs along the archway and leads to a huge pool. The surroundings look more like a garden than a temple.

In the middle of the pool is an octagonal two-storey pavilion built in the Qing Dynasty. A winding corridor along the bank of the pool leads up to the major structure of the temple--Yuantong Hall. A huge statue of Sanshi Buddha and the two dragons sculpted around the pillars are both vivid and stunning. Along the steps leading up to the summit of the hill there is a wealth of stone inscriptions that still remain clear after hundreds of years with wind and rain.

Behind the hall are two ancient caves--Yougu Cave and Chaoyin Cave. It is said that a monster lived in the caves and killed many local people. A stage was built by a monk beside the caves for taming the monster. There many outcasts set up the cottages.



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