Qiongzhu Temple (Bamboo Temple),
a Tang Dynasty temple, is located in Yu'an Mountains in the
Northwest of Kunming, about 7 kilometers away from the center
of the city .It is arguably the most famous temple in Kunming.
There is an interesting story about the
name of the temple. It is said that in the Tang Dynasty two
brothers were hunting at the edge of Lake Dianchi. Suddenly,
they found a rhinoceros .The two brothers began to chase the
animal, running after it towards Yu'an Mountains. To their
surprise, the rhinoceros vanished into the woods. They searched
for the animals carefully. But they couldn't found it.
However, they found a few strange-looking
monks sitting on the ground. As soon as the two brothers came
up to these monks, there was nothing but bamboo there. They
felt very curious and tried to pull the bamboo out. But that
failed. The next day, the two brothers went along and found
that there was bamboo everywhere. So they look that as a very
important sign from Buddha. Later, they decided to set up
a temple there. Hence it got the name, Qiongzhu Temple. Obviously,
it is nothing more than a legend.
During its history, spanning nearly 1,000
years, Qiongzhu Temple has been burnt to ashes several times
and then reconstructed. The present structure mostly dates
from the late Qing Dynasty.
The temple's most outstanding artistic
(and perhaps spiritual) feature is the distinguished, finely
crafted statues of the 500 Luohans (Buddhist Arhats, or 'enlightened
ones') sculpted by the brilliant artist, Li Guangxiu.