Golden Temple City of Kunming Yunnan Province
21. Golden Temple, Kunming

The Golden Temple lies 7 miles northeast of Kunming. The Golden Temple is surprisingly small, but exquisite. Built in 1602 and then moved to this hill in 1637. Its present form was cast in 1671. Weighing 250 tons, it is the largest bronze work of architecture in China. Double-tiered, 25 feet wide, 21 feet high, ensconced on two platforms of marble, the Golden Temple has a dark patina and looks its age. Inside, the statue of the Zhengwu Emperor, with a Gold Boy and a Gold Girl on either side, dominates the altar. An image of a fierce tortoise and a snake guard the altar.

The park, sprawling for more than 133.3 hectares on the Mingfeng Mountain seven kilometers northeast of Kunming, is a national forest reserve. With a natural scenery mingled with sites of historical interest and man-made gardens, it is also a large scenic resort in Kunming. The '99 International Horticultural Exposition will take place there. It covers a total area of 218 hectares, and 76.7% of the site is vegetated.

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