Why East and West Temple Pagodas are special
There are two ancient pagodas standing in the center of Kunming, built between 829 and 859 in the Tang Dynasty. These two pagodas are not major attraction and won’t give you a surprise, but there is photogenic atmosphere around them, with senior citizens slurping tea and playing their endless Chinese chess or mahjong.
East and West Temple Pagodas Highlights
West Temple Pagoda
The West Pagoda is only 10 minutes’ walking from the Jinbi Square (well-known for the Golden horse and Jade Rooster Memorial Arch). It used to be located in the Huiguang Temple, which was called West Temple, so the pagoda was named West Temple Pagoda. Now only the pagoda remains.
The 13-storey West Pagoda is 40.5 meters in height. It was built with bricks with wooden flooring and a staircase. The bricks of the pagoda are inscribed with Buddha statues, Buddha niches, and Buddhist sutra. There are four roosters made with copper sheet on the top of the pagoda, so that it is also called Golden Rooster Pagoda by locals.
East Temple Pagoda
The East Temple Pagoda used to locate in Changle Temple on Shulin Street. Changle Temple was also called East Temple, thus the pagoda's name. According to historical records, the temple and pagoda were built at the same time as the West Temple and Pagoda, but the pagoda was destroyed in a strong earthquake in 1833. From 1883 to 1887 it was rebuilt on a new site hundreds of steps east of its original location. In appearance, structure and size it resembles the West Pagoda. Thus, the Western Pagoda is in actuality several centuries older than its counterpart.