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“City of Spring”-- Kunming: A Famous Historical and Cultural City
"Climate remains like that of February and March,and flowers blossom throughout the year." Yang Shen,a great poet in the Ming Dynasty,depicted Kunming like this.He also called it the "City of Spring" and noted that "The Lantern Festival is approaching everywhere in the City of Spring;Willows are weeping above the window and flowers are the bridge covering."

  Why is the weather in Kunming spring all the year round and the city itself called"City of Spring"?
  Kunming has the mountainous monsoon climate that characterizes a low-latitude plateau.Located in the Central Yunnan Basin between the Hengduan Mountains in West Yunnan and the East Yunnan Plateau,it is surrounded by ranges of mountains.Due to the northern Wumeng and other mountains which block the cold air from the north,to the southern warm and humid marine monsoon currents from the Bay of Bengal,and to the Dianchi and Yangzong lakes which help to regulate its temperature and humidity,Kunming has a type of climate free from bitter cold in winter and torrid heat in summer with an average temperature of 9℃ in winter and 23℃ in summer.It has an annual temperature of 15.1℃ and an annual temperature range from approximately 12℃ to 13℃.Furthermore,in Kunming,dry and rainy seasons are clearly marked,with the period from May to October as the rainy season and the rest as the dry season.The city has a mean annual rainfall of 1,000 mm,with an annual sunshine period of 2,250 hours and an annual frost-free period of 230 days.
  Kunming,the capital city of Yunnan,is one of the central cities in Southwest China and the gateway of China to Southeast and South Asian countries.
  Kunming covers an area of 21,100 km² with a downtown area of 142.5 km².The highest point of the city,the Mazong Ridge of the Jiaozi Mountain in Luquan County,is 4,247 meters above sea level,and its lowest point,where the Xiaojiang River joins the Jinsha River in Dongchuan District,has an elevation of 695 meters.
  Kunming has under its jurisdiction five districts,eight counties and one city,and a total population of more than 4.81 million (by the end of 2000) and 26 ethnic groups.Ethnic minorities account for 12.55%of its total population,of which those with more than 4,000 members are the Yi,Hui,Bai,Miao,Lisu,Zhuang,Dai,Hani and Naxi.Throughout the ages,people of different ethnicities here have developed their own peculiar life styles and customs,and different traditional festivals,cultures and art forms,all of which constitute a gorgeous and varied picture of ethnicity.

  Kunming is well known for its beautiful landscape and agreeable climate.Here flowers bloom fresh all the year round and more than 400 types of lovely and fascinating flowers bloom,of which,camellia,yulan magnolia,azalea,fairy primrose,lily and orchid have been named the six famous flowers of the city and camellia the official city flower.
  As one of the first 24 famous national historical and cultural cities,Kunming has a long history.Its present name "Kunming" was the sound of the name of an ethnic group residing in Southwest China in ancient times.This group lived a nomadic life in West Yunnan and moved to settle on the Dianchi Lake during the Han and Tang dynasties.During the Yuan Dynasty,the administration of "Kunming Two Thousand Households" was established near the lake.Soon the administration was replaced by the County of Kunming and the name of the group was first used to designate the place,a tradition that continues today.
  The palaeoanthropological fossils unearthed from the Longtan Mo- untain,Chenggong,claim to be the earliest human fossils available so far in Kunming and have a history of appproximately 30,000 years.About 2,800 years ago,slavery towns appeared around the lake.At the end of the Warring States Period (300 B.C.) ,Zhuang Qiao,a  general of the State of Chu,came to this area with an army and established the Kingdom of Dian.In 109 B.C.,Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty extended his territory to Yunnan.Chang Qiang,king of the state,submitted himself to the rule of the Han government and was therefore confirmed by Emperor Wudi as king of the Kingdom of Dian and granted the gold "Seal of King of Dian" .Meanwhile,the prefecture Yizhou was established with the lake area as its center under which were 24 counties.In 255 A.D.,Zhuge Liang captured the prefecture and renamed it Jianning.During the Eastern Jin Dynasty,Jianning was replaced by Jinning,and during the Sui and the Tang dynasties,Jinning became Kunzhou.During the Kingdom of Nanzhao in the Tang Dynasty,the town of Tuodong was constructed in 765 A.D.,and in 871 A.D.was renamed Shanchan.In the early Yuan Dynasty,Kublai Khan established the "Two Thousand Household Administration of Kunming" under the"Ten Thousand Household Administration of Shanchan" in 1225 A.D.In 1276 A.D.,he established Yunnan Province,changed the Town of Shanchan to Kunming County (also known as Yachi,Yaqi) and moved the political center of the province from Dali to Kunming.In 1928,Kunming was established as a city under the direct control of the provincial government and the administration has remained so to now.
  Since the beginning of modern times,Kunming has been a glorious city with a long tradition of revolution.After the Opium War,struggles against foreign religions as well as the sale of the seven mines were all organized here.The Yunnan Military Academy established in 1909 was the base of the Chinese Revolutionary League in this province and produced a large number of outstanding students including Zhu De,Ye Jianying,Fan Shisheng,Long Yun,Lu Han and many others,who became the major force of the 1911 Revolution in Yunnan and contributed much to the Northern Expedition,the Anti-Japanese War and the Liberation War.On October 30th ,1911,under the leadership  of Li Genyuan and Cai E,the army and people in Kunming initiated the Chongjiu (September 9) Uprising and overthrew the reign of the Qing Dynasty in Yunnan;On December 25th ,1915,Cai E,Tang Jiyao and others started the State-Guarding Movement and destroyed Yuan Shikai's dream of restoration and becoming emperor of China.In October 1935,the Red Army on the Long March visited Kunming where they disseminated the earliest revolutionary ideas.During the Anti-Japanese War,Kunming became an important city in the rear and the "Stronghold of Democracy" .The Burma Road and the Hump Route offered great assistance to the front.Meanwhile,great progress was made in its industry,culture,education and other fields:the construction of the four industrial districts―Haikou,Majie,Ciba and Anning helped to create many "First Products in China" and the Southwest Associated University marked a glorious achievement in the history of education in China.At the end of 1 945,the "December the First" Patriotic and Democratic Movement was started in Kunming,a movement which marked the beginning of the second front during China's War of Liberation.On December 9th ,1949,a peace uprising was staged in Kunming and this uprising led to the subsequent liberation of the entire province.On February 20th .1950 when the Chinese People's Liberation Army entered the city,a new era began in the history of Kunming.
  As a place of excellent products and outstanding people,Kunming has produced Sayyidadjall Shams-eddin,Zheng He,Lan Mao.Xu Xiake,Dan Dang,Qian Feng,Nie Er and many other famous peop1e and left numerous historical relics.The city has 331 key historical reservations of which seven (i.e.,the Golden Temple at the Taihe Palace,the Stone Buddhist Scripture Pillar of the Kingdom of Dali,the site of the Yunnan Military Academy,the Tomb of Nie Er and the Guardian Pagoda at the Miaozhan Monastery,the Bamboo Temple and the Shizhai Mountain Ancient Graveyard) are national,49 are provincial,35 are municipal and 240 are of county or district level.Yunnan Provincial Museum,located on West Dongfeng Road,has a collection of more than 50,000 historical artifacts of which over 1,000 are treasure ones.Situated in Haigeng,Kunming,Yunnan Ethnology Museum houses a variety of ethnic cultural relics that represent the historical development of all the ethnic groups in Yunnan.And the Kunming Municipal Museum,which is located on Tuodong Road,has individual exhibition halls for bronze,dinosaur fossils,a stone Buddhist scripture pillar,and the history and new looks of Kunming as a famous city;these exhibitions embody the history,culture,art, natural science and technology,and other aspects of Kunming.
Additionally,as an excellent tourist city in China,Kunming has three national tourist areas (the Stone Forest,Dianchi Lake and Jiuxiang) ,one national tourist and holiday zone (Kunming Dianchi National Tourist and Holiday Zone) and five national 4A scenic areas (Kunming EXPO Garden,Yunnan Ethnic Villages,the Stone Forest,the Golden Temple and Jiuxiang of Yiliang) .Kunming is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan,the communications hub of the province,the center of tourism of the province and its largest gathering and distribution center of tourists.

Stone Forest Scenic Area

  The Stone Forest Scenic Area is a national scenic area and a national geological park.In February2004,it was declared by UNESCO as one of the first 28"world geological parks".Situated in Shilin County,the Stone Forest is 78 km from the city of Kunming proper.This scenic area has such natural tourism resources as the Stone Forest,underground caves,underground rivers,lakes,springs and waterfalls.As the most typical karst landform in the world,the area is called"the first mysterious scene in the world."And as the hometown of Ashima,it has a strong flavor of ethnic customs.In this sense,the Stone Forest is an enormous and comprehensive tourist area for natural landscape,ethnic customs,holiday entertainment and scientific research.
  The Stone Forest Scenic Area covers an area of 350 km² and consists of 7 tourist sections:Plum Valley Stone Forest,Naigu Stone Forest,Zhiyun Cave,Qifeng Cave,Changhu Lake,Yuehu Lake,and Dadieshui Waterfall.Of these,the Plum Valley Stone Forest is the main area.
  The Plum Valley Stone Forest covers 12.9 km² and is mainly made up of such parts as Stone Forest Lake,Major Stone Forest,Minor Stone Forest and Outer Stone Forest.The Major Stone Forest,the earliest part opened for tourism,features clusters of giant gray-black stone peaks,stone columns,and stone swords with their tips pointing towards the blue heaven like a boundless forest,thus the name"Stone Forest".Its main sites include such scenes as the Wonderful Scene of the Stone Forest,A Critical Moment,Lotus Peak,Sword Peak Pool,Two Birds Feeding Each Other,and Peak Observing Pavilion.Of these,the Wonderful Scene of the Stone Forest best typifies the whole Stone Forest and thus has the two bright red and well-known characters Shi Lin (Stone Forest) inscribed attractively in Chinese li script.
  The Minor Stone Forest lies to the northeast of the major one.The Major Stone Forest was famous for its magnificence and splendor,while the Minor Stone Forest is known for its delicacy and grace.It includes such spots as Ashima,Journey of Tang Seng to the West,and Sword of the King of the Yue State.Ashima,a tall and slender peak standing by the Jade Bird Pool,looks just like a profiled charming and graceful Sani girl.She is the incarnation of the heroine of the Sani epic "Ashima".Now this masterpiece of nature has become a symbo1 of tourism in Yunnan.The Outer Stone Forest refers to the part of this scenic area outside the other two stone forests.With a circumference of scores of li,it has an open terrain and is verdantly wooded.The main scenic spots included in this stone forest are the Shepherd Su Wu,Mother and Son Traveling Together,A Glossy Ganoderma of Ten Thousand Years,Camel Riding on an Elephant and others.
  The Naigu Stone Forest,10 km northeast of the Plum Vailey Stone Forest,covers 7.83 km² "Naigu"is a Yi word which means"black".Thus the Naigu Stone Forest means literally the Black Stone Forest.The main spots of this stone forest are Meeting between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai,the Meeting Platform for Immortals,Watching above Peaks,and A Forest of 0ne Stone.
  The Dadieshui Waterfall is located near the Village of Xiantang in the lower reaches of the Bajiang River (a branch of the Nanpan River) 23 km southwest of the county seat.With a width of more than 30 meters and a drop of over 90 meters,it is the most magnificent waterfall in Yunnan.The most characteristic ethnic feature of this scenic area is the yearly Yi Torch Festival on the 24th of the sixth month of the lunar calendar.On that day,the Sani people gather at the Stone Forest in the daytime wrestling,bullfighting and doing other games.After night falls,they gather around a flaming campfire singing and dancing heartily to their dasanxian (a large three-string  musical instrument) throughout the night.
World Horti-Expo Garden

  The World Horti-Expo Garden,the site of the 1999 Kunming International Horticultural  Exposition,is situated in the northern suburb of Kunming and adjoins the Golden Temple Scenic Area.The garden covers an area of 218 hectares.As an enormous world classic horticultural garden,it offers a grand view of both the natural landscapes and the horticulture of home and abroad.
  At the gate of the garden can be seen the emblem of the exposition,which looks either like a palm holding a green life flower,or movements of the stars,clouds,air,and wind in nature.The emblem symbolizes a harmonious development of human beings and nature,and thereby reveals the theme of this exposition,i.e.''Man and Nature-Marching into the 2 1st Century" .On the square outside the gate,the Dian golden monkey "Lingling" ,a rare animal in China and the mascot of the exposition,welcomes guests with flowers in its hands.On the right side of the gate,flags of the 69 participant countries and the 26 participant international organizations wave in the breeze.
  The whole garden is made up of five exhibition halls,seven theme parks,and three outdoor showplaces,all connected by nine paths of altogether ten km.
  The five exhibition halls are tall and magnificent buildings on both sides of the main road of the garden.They are China Hall,Man & Nature Hall,Green House,Science & Technology Hall and International Hall.Of the five halls,China Hall is the largest,Man & Nature Hall is the theme hall of the garden,and Green House the most scientific of the five.
  The seven theme gardens are Tree Garden,Tea Garden,Bonsai Garden,Medicinal Herb Garden,Bamboo Garden,Vegetable&Fruit Garden and Famous Flower & Artistic Stone Garden.Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the three quintessences of Chinese culture.China is the birthplace of the art of Bonsai.Yunnan is the place where the earliest tea in the world grew.These have been best displayed in the theme gardens.The Bamboo Garden has the largest variety of bamboo in the world.
  The three outdoor exhibition areas are:Domestic Outdoor Exhibition Area,International Outdoor Exhibition Area and Exhibition Area for Enterprises.In the International Outdoor Exhibition Area.there are 34 exhibition sections for 32 countries and two international organizations from the five continents.Gardens built by various countries have turned the EXPO garden into a showplace of the treasures of the world's horticultural and gardening art.The Domestic Outdoor Exhibition Area includes 34 gardens built by 31 provinces,cities directly under the jurisdiction of the Central Government and autonomous regions,as well as Hong Kong,Macao and Taiwan.It is a miniature of beautiful China and the best part of the whole EXPO garden.
  In the history of the World Horticultural Exposition,the Kunming World Horti-Expo Garden has created eight Guinness records:the fastest construction,the largest area of construction,the largest joint building for cold,warm and hot areas,the bamboo garden with the most varieties of bamboo,the most transplanted ancient cypress trees,the most types of plants,the best display of Chinese horticulture and gardening,and the best artificial gardening and bluffs.
Yunnan Ethnic Villages

  For a long time,the numerous ethnic groups,the long history,the exotic customs,the peculiar residential architecture,the beautiful landscape and the interesting legends of Yunnan have attracted and haunted people.However,visitors from far away find it difficult to cover the whole province during a short stay.To cope with this situation and epitomize all these in the landscape on the Dianchi Lake in Kunming,"Yunnan Ethnic Villages" represent and exhibit the history,cultures,customs and village residential architecture of the 26 ethnic groups of the province.
  Located in Haigeng on the Dianchi Lake in the south of Kunming,"Yunnan Ethnic Villages"is only 8 km from the city proper and has an area of 133.3 hectares.It is a major part of the National Tourist Resort of Dianchi Lake,kunming (the only inland one of the 1 2 national tourist resorts approved by the State Council in 1992).As planned,the whole area will contain 26 villages,completed so far are villages of the Dai,Bai,Yi,Naxi (including the home of the Mosuo),Wa,Bu1ang,Lahu,Jinuo,Hani,De' ang,Jingpo,Tibetan and Zhuang.Also completed are the Ethnic Song and Dance Hall,National Unity Square,the Nationality Museum,the Waxwork Ethnic Museum,the Large Overwater Fountain,Water Screen Films,Ethnic Food World, Performance of Asian Elephants and Dianchi Tourist Pier.The villages integrate the customs and architecture of all the ethnic groups in Yunnan,their music and dance,and their religions and cultures,and include precipitous hills and beautiful lakes,parks and woods,thereby exhibiting the old,mysterious yet modern and rich ethnic cultures of Yunnan.
  Opened to public on February 18th ,1992,the villages have attracted a large number of tourists from home and scores of foreign countries.And some international or national large-size festivals have been held here.Now this scenic area has become a"must-see"for domestic and overseas tourists traveling in Yunnan.
Western Hill Forest Park (Tomb of Nie Er)

   Also known as Green Peacock Mountain,Western Hill lies on the west bank of Dianchi Lake and is 1 2 km from Kunming proper.Viewed from a distance,it looks either like a tremendous sleeping Buddha,or a sleeping maiden lying on her back by Dianchi Lake.For this,it is also known as"Sleeping Buddha Mountain"or"Sleeping Beauty". The main scenic spots included in this area are Huating Temple,Taihua Temple,Sanqing Temple,Dragon Gate and the Tomb of Nie Er.
    The Huating Temple is located half way up the Huating Hill which has an elevation of 2,050 meters.The present buldings of the temple, constructed by the monk Xu  Yun in 1920,include the Hall of the Heavenly King,Hall of the Great Hero,the Scripture Building,Bell Tower,etc.Designed with the typical style of the"seven guardian buildings",the temple is the most magnificent Buddhist temple in Kunming.Inside and outside the Hall of the Heavenly King,there are famous column couplets.The outside one,written by Yang Shen in the Ming Dynasty,says:  "An expanse of water embraces the city in the west,misty or clear,a monk holding a staff is seen returning from the shadowing distance at dusk.A number of peaks look down at the pavilion,in rain or shine,anyone leaning against the balustrade looks like a figure in a painting."The couplet could be either a landscape painting of light ink or a lyric.The inside couplet,written by Qian Feng in the Qing Dynasty,says:"Green mountains are lofty and green waters are extensive,but it is not Buddha alone that could laugh heartily;Walking with ease is not tiring and strolling with firm steps is not stumbling,so everyone can enjoy his stroll to his heart's content."Both dialectical and philosophical,this couplet suggests that people should cherish the beautiful landscape of mountains and rivers.

    At an elevation of 2,200 meters,the Sanqing Temple is a complex of ancient buildings constructed among steep cliffs and overhanging rocks of the Luohan Mountain.In the Yuan Dynasty,it served as a temporary summer palace of King Liang,and was later reconstructed as a temple.During the Qianlong and Daoguang Periods of the Qing Dynasty,it was enlarged into a temple of 9 stories and 11 pavilions.
    Dragon Gate stands on the cliffs and rocks of the Luohan Peak at an elevation of 2,414 meters.The whole project took 72 years,i.e., from the 46th year of the Qianlong Period (1781) to the third year of the Xianfeng Period (1 853).The stone archway of the gate stands high and the statues of the literature and other gods in the stone room of the Datian Pavilion are vivid and delicately carved.Looking down from the railings one could see overhanging rocks and steep cliffs and Dianchi Lake which merges into the sky,the best scene of the Western Hills.South of Dragon Gate lies the Guabang Peak,one of the peaks of the hill which looks like a successful candidate list hanging high.This,together with"the Carp Leaping into the Dragon's Gate","Enlight-ment of the Literature God"and "Topping the List" in the Longmen Grottoes of Luoyang,vividly embodies the whole ideology of the distant imperial examination system popular in ancient China.
    The Tomb of Nie Er lies between Taihua Temple and Sanqing Temple.Nie Er (1912-1935) was the composer of the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.The Tomb was designed and constructed with an original and profound meaning.The who1e graveyard takes the form of a Yueqin― a local musical instrument in Yunnan and the tomb itself is situated where notes are produced. Above it stands a horizontal black tablet inscribed with nine Chinese characters by Guo Moruo meaning"The Tomb of Nie Er-A Musician of the People."In front of the tomb is a huge camellia wreath made of white marble.Among the parterres stands the marble statue of Nie Er deep in meditation.The seven parterres represent the notes of a gamut,and the 24 steps on the path of the tomb imply the age of Nie Er when he died.Behind the tomb stands a stone wall with a colossal relief sculpture reflecting the magnificent scene in the national anthem"March of Volunteers"一the Great Wall and the whole national war of China against the Japanese invaders.The Tomb of Nie Er is now a key national cultural reservation in China.
Golden Temple

  The Golden Temple lies on the Phoenix Song Mountain (Parrot Mountain) in the northeastern suburb of Kunming and is 7 km from the city proper.The main scenic spots here are the Golden Temple itseIf,the Bell Tower and the Plant Garden.
  The Golden Temple was constructed by Wu Sangui in the 10th year of the Kangxi Period (1671 A.D.).Its beams,colurens.roof and ceiling,bucket arches,decorations,altars,statues,curtains.Horizontal and vertial inscribeds and other parts are all made of copper.The whole temple reflects the excellent metsllurgical and casting technology more than 300 years ago in Yunaan, The temple weighs 250 tons and is 6.7 meters high;it is the largest and heaviest as well as the best preserved copper temple in China. it is a key national cultural and historical relic. The "China Golden Temple Exhibition Center " here also presents miniatures of the other four golden temples extant in China now at a ratio of one to two: the Baoyun Pavilion on the Wanshou Mountain in the Summer Palace of Beijing  (207tons) , Golden Temple on Mount Wudang in Hubei (more than 80 tons),Cooper Palace on the Wutai Mountain in Shanxi (50tons ), and Golden Palace on Mount Tai in Shandong (more than 20tons ) .In this way ,people could know by comparison that the Golden Temple in Kunming is the most important of all the golden temples in China.
  The Bell Tower was constructed in 1983. In the middle of the tower hangs a copper bell which is 3.5 meters high , has a circumference of 6.7meters, and weighs14tons. The bell , cast in 1423A.D., the 21st year of the Yongle Period of the Ming Dynasty ,was previously installed in Xuanhua Tower at the south gate of kunming ,It ranks fourth on the list of ancient bells in China ,just next to the copper bell in Beijing Bell Tower (63tons ),the bell in Beijing Bell Temple (46tons )and the one in Nanjing Bell Pavilion (23tons ) .
The Landscape and Botanical Garden of Kunming covers 33 hectares. So far nine flower gardens,such as the Camellia Garden, Yulan Magnolia Garden and Azalea Garedn,have already been established in it .The Camellia Garden,the largest camellia garden with the most varieties of camellia trees in China covers an area of more than 10 hectares and has more than10,000 camellia trees of 40 varieties.
  Golden Temple and Yongle Bell vividly show that Yunnan has been the"kingdom of nonferrous metals" ,and the botanical garden exhibits the beauty and elegance of Yunnan as the"kingdom of plants" and the"kingdom of flowers" .
Bamboo Temple

  Bamboo Temple lies on the Yu'an Mountain in the western suburb of Kunming and is 1 2 km from the city itself.Constructed during the Song and Yuan dynasties,it was the first monastery in Yunnan where Zen Buddhism was preached.The existing temple was reconstructed in the Qing Dynasty during which the famous 500 painted clay arhats were also completed.These 500 arhats were sculpted by Li Guangxiu (a folk sculptor from Sichuan)  and his six disciples;the construction took seven years,from the 9th year to the 16th year of the Guangxu Period  (1883 to 1890 A.D.) .
  The 500 sculpted arhats are presented in the three halls of the temple,of which the Hall of the Great Hero has 68,and Tiantai Hall and Fanyin Hall each has 216.Rather than based on traditional stereotypes,these arhat sculptures were modeled on real-1ife people.Created in a realistic and romantic way,they are of higher artistic value and regarded as "gems of Oriental sculpture" and a key national cultural and historical relic.They are realistic in that the arhat sculptures in both the Tiantai Hall and the Fanyin Hall characterized real aspects of the human social life at that time:the passions of happiness,anger,sorrow and joy,ear tweaking and cheek scratching,1eg crossing and tiptoeing,whispering and close talk.Those in the Hall of the Great Hero,on the other hand,tend to be more romantic:taking the moon into one's long arms,walking in the ocean with long legs,cleaving through the waves,the face-stripping arhat and the like,all intended to represent the power of the arhats and people's good wish for conquering nature.
  The creation of the 500 arhats clearly displays the principles of Zen Buddhism.Specifically,one could find among the arhats not only Emperor Kangxi,Emperor Qianlong,generals,ministers,dukes and other officials,but also common people,beggars,merchants and pawns.This is where the unique originality of Li Guangxiu is truly realized:emperors are sitting with ordinary people,and beggars are talking with noblemen.Images of this kind embody the ideaology of Zen Buddhism that all human beings are created equal and can thus become a Buddha.The same idea has also been represented in a couplet by Master Li Guangxiu himself:"The unselfish road of  Buddhism is open to all who are devoted to taking it;The fair chance of becoming a Buddha lies in the hand of everyone who practices the doctrine of Buddhism."
Yuantong Temple

  Yuantong Temple which lies on the Yuantong Road in Kunming is the largest Buddhist temple in the city itself and one of the key Han Buddhist temples approved by the State Council in 1 983.
  Originally known as"Butuoluo Temple",Yuantong Temple was first built in the Kingdom of Nanzhao in the Tang Dynasty. A transliteration from Sanskrit,"Butuoluo" could also be translated as "Putuo"or"Budala".Butuoluo is a sacred Buddhist mountain in the South Sea of India and a place of Buddhist rites for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin Pusa).When it was rebuilt in 1319,the 6th year of the Yanyou Period of the Yuan Dynasty,it got the present name: Yuantong Temple.Since"Yuantong"is one of the 32 names for Avalokitesvara,Yuantong Temple has been a temple of Avalokitesvara since the Tang Dynasty.It is more than 100 years older than the place for Avalokitesvara rites in Mount Putuo in Zhejiang:the latter Was built during the Five Dynasties (907-960 A.D.).It could be claimed thus that the Yuantong Temple and the Potala Palace which was als0 built in the Tang Dynasty are the earliest temples of Avalokitesvara in China.
  The whole temple is designed and arranged symmetrically along its axis and it is made up of such buildings as the gate,Yuantong Wonderland Archway,Hall of Heavenly King,Octagonal Pavilion,Yuantong Precious Hall,Winding Corridor,Hall of Copper Buddha,and Hall of Tantrism.
  Yuantong Precious Hall is the central building of the temple.Enshrined here are the three forms of Sakyamuni.In the middle is his Dharmakaya (embodiment of truth and the law),on the right is his Sambhogakaya (reward body),and on the left his Nirmanakaya (metamorphosic body).This arrangement characterizes the traditional worship of Mahayana Buddhism.
  Behind the Yuantong Precious Hall sits the Hall of Copper Buddha.As a typical Hinayana Buddhist building,this hall was constructed in 1985 for the copper figure of Sakyamuni presented to China by the Thailand Buddhist Association.
  In the east of the temple is the Hall of Tantrism,a Tibetan Buddhist consecrating hall.Enshrined in the middle of the hall is the Qiangba Buddha,or the Buddha Sakyamuni.On the left is the statue of Tsong-Kha-Ha,leader of the Dge-lugs-pa (Yellow Hats),the largest sect of Tibetan Buddhism.On the right is the statue of Master Padmasambhava,founder of the Rnying-ma-pa (Red Hats) of Tibetan Buddhism.
  As a mixture of the three major sects of Chinese Buddhism,the Yuantong Temple may be the only one of its kind in China or even in the world.In this sense,it is not unreasonable to claim that"the Yuantong Temple is the museum of Chinese Buddhism."Further, Yunnan is the only province with the most complete range of Buddhist sects in China:notably Hinayana Buddhism in china can only be found here.Also in this temple are the Provincial Buddhist Association of Yunnan and the Municipal Buddhist Association of Kunming.
Site of the Yunnan Military Academy

The Yunnan Military Academy is situated at Chenghua Garden on West Green Lake Road in Kunming. The main buildings that have remained of this academy are four brick and wood buildings of two storeys. The four buildings located in the east,the south,the west and the north are symmetrically connected with each other and thus constitute a square compound with an area of approximately 14,400㎡. The two buildings in the east and the west are 119 meters by 10 meters; those in the south and the north are 116 meters by 7 meters,all with an average height of approximately 12 meters. The enormous drill-revie-wing platform in the middle of the building in the south is about 15 meters high. The Yunnan Military Academy is a key national historical relic .
Displayed in the site of the academy is its history. In 1 909,Li Genyuan (1 879-1 965), director of Yunnan Branch of the Chinese Revolutionary League and a returned student from Japan,made use of friendship of the governor of Yunnan and Guizhou and participated in establishing the academy. Before long,some graduates from Japanese military academies and members of the league came to serve as instructors in this academy. With their great efforts,this academy held the best record among the military training schools of all the provinces in China during the late Qing Dynasty and became an important stronghold for the democratic revolution in Yunnan,thereby training and preparing leaders for this revolution. 
This academy was established in 1 909,and by 1 928,1 9 terms of training class had been run with each term lasting for one and a half years to two years. Courses were offered in four subjects:infantry,cavalry,artillery and engineering. It also enrolled overseas Chinese and students from North Korea,Vietnam and other countries. During those 20 years,more than 5,000 students were trained here,the famous of whom cover Marshal Zhu De and Marshal Ye Jianying,Zhou  Baozhong,Fan Shisheng,Tang Huaiyuan,Long Yun,Lu Han,and many others;it was "a real cradle of marshals and generals" .These students became the main force of the 1911 Revolution and the State- Guarding Uprising in Yunnan,and made important contributions to the Northern Expedition,the Anti-Japanese War and the Liberation War. For this,the Yunnan Military Academy has become famous as a revolutionary melting pot,a cradle of generals and marshals. 
Also noteworthy is that the Yunnan Military Academy exerted great influence on the famous Huangpu Military Academy in China. Indeed,some of its instructors and excellent graduates like Wang Boling,Ye Jianying and others participated in the establishment of the Huangpu Military Academy and later became important administrators and instructors of that academy.
Daguan Pavilion

Daguan Park is a beautiful park on Dianchi Lake in the southwestern suburbs of Kunming.Overlooking the Taihua Mountain on the other side of the lake,it used to be called"Jinhua Beach" ,meaning a beach close to the Taihua Mountain.
Daguan Pavilion itself was initially constructed as a two-storied building of wood and brick in the 29th year (1690) of the Kangxi Period of the Qing Dynasty.In the 8th year of the Daoguang Period (1828),it was reconstructed as a three-storied square pavilion of about 15 meters high?.Inscribed on the posts of the pavilion facing the lake is a long couplet of 180 characters by Sun Ran,a poor scholar living during the Qianlong Period.The two scrolls of the couplet are as   follows:
Waves of the Dianchi Lake of 500 li are surging swiftly towards my eyes.With my gown unbuttoned and my headdress pushed up,I delight in so greatly and enjoy so heartily the vast expanse of the boundless waters and blue waves!Just look!In the east is the Golden Horse Mountain galloping like a steed;in the west is the Green Peacock Mountain fluttering like a phoenix;in the north is the Serpent Mountain writhing and wriggling like a fairy snake;in the south is the Crane Mountain soaring like a white crane.On such a pleasant day,how could one who is a poet in his heart refrain from ascending this tall pavilion to appreciate the lovely crablike islets,the spiral shell-like sand bars and the weeping willows leisurely dressing their misty hair in the gentle breeze? And also the vast expanse of waterweeds and reeds flourishing everywhere on the shore is beautifully decorated by small jade-green birds hovering cheerily and rosy clouds radiating brilliantly.What one is not supposed to let slip are the fragrance of the golden rice growing here and there on the lake,the long stretch of the sandy beach in the sunshine,the summer lotus exuberating with green leaves and red flowers,and the willows weeping in sparking spring.

Historical events of thousands of years are racing back through my mind.With a brimming cup of wine in my hand,I look up into the sky sighing whoever of the multitude of heroes is still alive?Just think!The great efforts made by the Han emperor Wudi to conquer Yunnan,the iron post erected by the Tang general Tang Jiuzheng to commemorate his restored control of Nanzhao,the jade hatchet of the first Song emperor Zhao Kuangyin waved to cut Yunnan out of his territory,and the leather rafts taken by the Yuan emperor Kublai Khan and his soldiers to cross the Jinsha River and conquer Yunnan.What great energy these glorious victories and brilliant feats of valor have cost!But their valiant glory and their dynasties did not last much longer than a passing shower in the evening or a dissipating cloud in the morning like the rapid change of stage scenes,leaving no time to drop and lift again the curtain.And even the crumbling monuments and dilapidated tombstones erected to record their achievements are now lying in the setting sun or the evening mist.What they have earned are merely some twinkling lights on fishing boats when dusk thickens,a few solitary chimes from the Huating Temple on the Western Hill,two flights of lonely geese flying across the autumnal sky,and finally,a chilly frost that stealthily sets on the lakeside.
The upper scroll depicts the landscape around Dianchi Lake while the lower scroll describes the history of Yunnan and the author's emotion.With such an unprecedented artistic quality and ideological content,it has been known as"the longest couplet in China".Mao Zedong praised it as "the only one of its kind and having its own distinctive style." Dong Biwu,Guo Moruo, Chen Yi and others also set a high value on it.
Due to this long couplet,the Daguan Park has become famous. Today "the four famous pavilions in China" have been widely acclaimed. Just as the Prince Teng' s Pavilion owes its fame to its poem and preface,the Huanghe Pavilion owes its fame to its poem,the Yueyang Pavilion to its essay,so the Daguan Pavilion owes its fame to its long couplet.Thus the famous pavilions and the well-known literary works in their connection contrast beneficially with each other,shining beautifully on the land of China.
Jinning Shizhai Mountain Ancient Graveyard

  The graveyavd is 50 meters west of Shizhai Village,Shangsuan Township,Jinning County,and near Dianchi Lake.The top of the mountain is 33 meters above the lake.Between 1955 and 1960,50 graves from the Warring State Period to the Western Han Dynasty were discovered.It is one of "the most important and internationally significant discoveries since the 1950s" in China.
  The unearthed objects are bronze articles,gold,silvery,jade,iron, pottery and other articles,totaling more than 4,000 articles.which are delicately and uniquely styled,and mainly classified as weapons,tools of production,utensils for daily life,musical instnmaents,and ornaments.Among them is the gold "Seal of Dian King" discovered in the 6th grave unearthed in November 1956.This seal is square with a twisting-snake handle and sides of 2.4 cm.With a height of 2 cm,it weighs 90 grams and has Chinese seal characters on it.The discovery of this seal is significant in that it proves that the ancient Kingdom of Dian existed and that these graves belong to the family of the king;it also confirms the truth of the record made by Sima Qian in his Records of the Historian that the Han Emperor Wudi made the Dian ruler a king and granted him a gold seal.
  On the bronze drums and the covers of the shell containers unearthed are carved such events as wars,sacrifice offerings,tributes,hunting,weaving and dancing.These vividly reflect the historical facts of politics,economy,military affairs,culture and other aspects in the kingdom at that time.Among them,the Gilded Four-Ox Cavalier Shell Container,the most precious of all,is rated as a national treasure.Also found here are "Dian King' s Chimes" .the Model of a Pillar-Railing Copper Hou,the Umbrella-Holding Copper Man and a Three-Tiger-Eating-Ox Ornamental Button,all vividly shaped and characterized.The Shizhai Mountain Ancient Graveyard is a key national historical and cultural relic.
Jiuxiang Scenic Area

  A national tourist area,Jiuxiang Scenic Area is located in the northeast of Yiliang County,90 km from Kunming and 40 km from the seat of the county.It is a comprehensive scenic area that includes not only karst caves as its theme but also mountains,rivers,deep valleys,and ethnic customs.In the scenic area of the Maitian River,a branch of the Nanpan River,there are more than 100 caves,of which more than 60 are worth exploiting.
  Reputed as"the hometown of caves" ,Jiuxiang has the largest network of caves in Yunnan.Because of its large caves,their crisscross network,and its complete range of types,Jiuxiang has been labeled by speleologists as the "museum of caves" .The network of caves here is quite similar to that of the natural world heritage― the Skocjan Cave in the Dinaric Plateau,a karst plateau in Yugoslavia.For this,it can be regarded as the Oriental "Skocjan" .In 1995, Jiuxiang was designated as a member of the International Caves Association.
  Jiuxiang Scenic Area has an area of 200 km² and consists of five major sections:Diehong Bridge,Sanjiao Cave,Shangda Cave,Dasha Dam and Moon Lake.Of these,the one that has now been developed for tourists is the Diehong Bridge.
  Diehong Bridge is located in the Maitian River Valley. It got the present name because it has many bridges which are overlapping even in caves.The whole section includes four major sites:Green Shady Valley,White Elephant Cave,Goddess Cave,and Lying Dragon Cave,all of which constitute a tourist course of 3.2 km.Further,the difference between the surface of the ground and the bottom of the caves is as high as 120 meters.Green Shady Valley,6, 00 meters long,has toweri, ng old trees and jagged rocks on both sides and can be toured by boat.White Elephant Cave has its own small caves,gorges,rivers,bridges and sky.The gorge inside it has a reputation as the Frightening Gorge.Boating inside,one can see the sky which looks as narrow as a line and the natural statues along the way are too numerous to enjoy all of them.Inside the Goddess Cave are fully developed and exquisite stalactites reminding one of a beautiful lady just coming out of a  bathing.Inside Lying Dragon Cave are the male and female waterfalls cascading together into a deep pond of more than 30 meters and becoming one with a moving "infatuation and loyalty"between them.With fields and hills adjacent to each other and the crystaline glistening light of waves,the Mysterious Land looks magnificent.The whole area of Diehong Bridge can be characterized generally as grand,strange,dangerous and elegant.

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