Golden Temple

The Golden Temple, also known as Golden Hall or Golden Palace Scenic Area, is located on the Phoenix Mountain (Mingfeng Mountain) which is 7 km in the northeastern suburb of Kunming. Consisting of the Golden Palace, Sanfeng Hall, Laojun Hall, the Golden Palace Exhibition Garden, the Golden Palace Museum, the Bell Tower and Flowers Area, the entire scenic area is highlighted by and named after the Golden Palace (temple).

The Golden Temple, also locally called “Copper-Tiled Temple” (Tong Wa Si), is in fact made from bronze. When first cast, it’s said to be shining like gold in the sun, hence the name. The temple was originally built in the 30th year (1602) of the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was sponsored by Mr. Chen Yongbin (1550-1617), who was then the provincial governor of Yunnan, and was modeled after the “golden palace” in Tianzhu Peak of Wudang Mountain in Hubei Province. The Golden Palace functions as the shrine for Zhenwu God (the Governor of North Dipper in Daoism). Encompassed by rampart with grandiose palace gate and gate tower, the Golden Palace complex is vividly referred to as “Taihe Palace” (Tai He Gong). In the 10th year (1637) of Chongzhen Reign of the Ming Dynasty, the Golden Palace was unfortunately dismantled and shifted to Jizu Mountain in Binchuan County of Dali Prefecture. The extant Golden Palace was recast by a military general, Wu Sangui (1612-1678) in 1671.

Measuring 7.8 meters both long and wide and 6.7 meters high, the whole structure comprises beams, widows, doors, roof, table, incense-burner, curtain, plaques and couplets etc all of which are made from bronze. The Kunming’s Golden Temple tops others of its kind in China for its total weight of over 250 tons. In 1982, it was listed as one of the “key cultural relics under state protection”.

Exhibition Garden

This part mainly exhibits replicates of the golden palaces around China such as Mount Wudan, Mount Wutai, Mount Tai and Mount Wanshou etc. Modeled by scale of 2 to 1, the golden palaces displayed are wooden structure but coated with copper.    

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower is situated at the highest point of the Phoenix Mountain. What impresses visitors is a bronze bell made in the 21st year (1423) of Yongle Reign of the Ming Dynasty. With the biggest circumference of 6.7 meters, the bell is 3.5 tall and weighs as heavy as 14 tons.

Flowers Area

The Golden Palace Scenic Area has developed 12 themed flower areas. The Camellia Garden covers more than 100,000㎡ and is the biggest in China. The Azalea (Rhododendron) Garden covers 40,000 ㎡and is predominantly dedicated to Yunnan azaleas.      

Golden Palace Temple Fair

Lunar January 9th is said to be the date when Zhenwu God achieved the Taoist stage of immortality. On this day, Taoist pilgrims swarm into the Golden Temple to pray. The Golden Temple Fair has evolved into a grand occasion for the locals to organize spring outing and appreciate flowers.  

How to get

Take taxi ride or public bus Nos. 10, 60, 71, 76, 146, 147

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