The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple are about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) from the Old Town of Dali. A historic landmark visible from miles away, the Chongsheng Temple is marked by three pagodas that stand in an arrangement the shape of an equilateral triangle. The Chongsheng Temple and the Three Pagodas stand at the east foot of the tenth peak of the Cangshan Mountains and look out over the great Erhai Lake from its west shore.
The temples date back to the time of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali in the 9th and 10th Centuries. They are known for their resilience and endurance for having survived major earthquakes of many time periods since they were built.
The main pagoda, known as Qianxun Pagoda, was built during 823-840 AD by King Quan Fengyou of the Kingdom of Nanzhao. The 16-story tower is 69.6 meters (227 feet) tall, one of the tallest pagodas ever built in China.
The other two smaller pagodas are twins. They were built about a century after the main pagoda was constructed. They stand on the northwest and southwest sides of the Qianxun Pagoda and are each 42.19 meters (140 feet) tall.
Unlike the Qianxun Pagoda, which is a four-sided tower, the smaller pagodas are octagonal. They stand 10 stories high. Every story has many tiers of upturned eaves, and is decorated with a shrine and a white marble statue of the Sitting Buddha.
Located at the east foot of Cangshan Mountain, 3 km from the Old Town of Dali
You can get to Chongsheng Temple and the Three Pagodas from the Old Town of Dali by taking the C7 bus to Santa Lukou. From there you can see the pagodas. High-speed rail is available from Kunming.
The temple stands overlooking Erhai Lake, which is itself a great attraction. It's one of the seven largest freshwater lakes in China. Its name means "sea shaped like an ear." Cruises on the lake are offered.
To get from the Three Pagodas to Erhai Park, you can take Bus Line 4 to Wanhua Xiaoqu, and then transfer to Bus Line 16 to Longshan Hotel or Bus Branch Line 4 to Fuhai Xiaoqu. Get off the bus, walk north about 400-800 meters to the destination.