The Mengle Buddhist Temple in Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province is a place of such enchanting beauty that it would be worth a trip to China just to see it. The temple is located in the southwest of Yunnan Province in the part of China’s southwestern corner that reaches far into Southeast Asia, where its culture is greatly enriched by its proximity to Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
The architecture of the temple complex is dazzling. The buildings are blindingly colorful and ornate, with red roofs contrasted with golden surfaces covered with intricately detailed patterns. The whole complex is elegant in its balance and symmetry, and mysterious in its cryptic symbolism, designed in the shape of a sitting Buddha. And a big golden Buddha stands over the grounds.
Standing majestically on high ground at the edge of a mountain, the temple overlooks a vast, pastoral panorama. The temple complex includes a great variety of buildings, statues, gardens, walkways and stairways. All are perfectly coordinated in the overall design, with every detail carrying symbolic meaning. The life of Buddha Sakyamuni and the activities of the Buddhist temple are integrated into the design of the landscape and buildings, showing the history and culture of Southern Buddhism.
The temple was originally built during period of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) by the Dai king named Bolong to memorialize Nansha Weibian, a Dai princess, who was a pious Buddhist and suffered an early death from disease. The original Jingpiao Buddhist Temple from the Ming Dynasty period was destroyed during war in 1848. The temple that stands today was built during the years 2005-2007 as a restoration of the old temple.
The temple complex is huge, with floor space covering 65.8 acres. The Mengle Great Buddha Temple is the largest Theravada Buddhist temple in China, and the most sacred religious site of the Dai people.
The Mengle Buddhist Temple is a center of activity during the annual religious ceremonies and grand festivals of Dai people, such as Water-Splashing Festival.
No. 1, Mengle Avenue, Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
The Mengle Buddhist Temple is Located about 7 kilometers (a little more than 4 miles) southeast of Jinghong City.
It is a great destination for photographers and people interested in architecture. The best time of day for photographing the architecture is in the afternoon. The climate is comfortable for visiting year round.
The top of the mountain is reached by climbing 3,000 steps. But as an alternative, you can ride a shuttle bus to the top and still experience the stairway on the way down.