Golden Temple Park

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Entrance gate to the Golden Temple

Golden Temple Park, or Jindian Park (simplified Chinese: 金殿公园; traditional Chinese: 金殿公園; pinyin: Jīndiàn Gōngyuán), is a large Taoist (bronze-tiled) (Tongwa) temple in Yunnan, China and has been preserved almost completely since it was first built.

Location[edit]

It is located on the Mingfeng Mountains, seven kilometres to the east of Kunming city, there is a fine building made of bronze. It is commonly known as Jindian (the "Golden Temple").

History[edit]

The Golden Temple was first built in 1602 during the Ming dynasty. Yunnan was ordered to send the bronze ore from Dongchuan to central China to make coins. But a war blocked the road. The governor of Yunnan, Chen Yongbing, and Mu Changzuo, the Duke of Guizhou Province, ordered that the bronze be used to build a temple in imitation of the Taihe Palace and the Golden Temple on Tianzhu Peak in the Wudang Mountains, Hubei province. The temple was later moved to the Jizu Mountains in western Yunnan. During the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722) in the Qing dynasty, Wu Sangui, a military general who had defected from the Ming dynasty to the Manchu-led Qing dynasty and opened Shanhai Pass for them, rebuilt the temple, keeping the original Hubei design. The bronze used weighed over 200 tons. The temple walls were made with cast panels covered with exquisite and diverse designs. They are examples of the smelting and casting techniques in Yunnan a few centuries ago.

In front of the staircase outside the Golden Temple, the wide branched camellias are called "Diechi" (Butterfly Wings). They are covered with thousands of flowers in the depth of winter. The two myrtles close by were planted in the Ming dynasty.

At the top of the mountain behind the temple hangs a 14-ton "Great Bell of the Ming Yongle Era". 2.1 meters tall and 6.7 meters in circumference, the bell was cast in 1424 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor in the Ming dynasty. It used to hang in Xuanhua Mansion in Kunming to announce the time. When Kunming expanded however, it was moved to the Golden Temple. In recent years, the Temple has been expanded several times when the "Parrot Garden", the "Camellia Garden", and the "Orchid Garden" were added.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 25°05′25″N 102°46′10″E / 25.09028°N 102.76944°E / 25.09028; 102.76944