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Bamboo Temple

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Bamboo Temple is located in Yu'an Mountains in the Northwest of Kunming, about 7 Kilometers away from the center of the city. Arhats are famous monks and "saints" of Chinese Buddhism, usually displayed in large groups of 500 or more. The Arhats of the Bamboo Temple were made over a period of seven years by a famous craftsman from Sichuan called Li Guangxiu, a great sculptor from Sichuan, with the aid of his disciples. His masterpieces are extremely realistic and lifelike, even if some of the statues are a bit surreal.

In addition to the arhat statues and the parts of the temple that survived its several renovations, there are some living residents of the temple that are more than a century old, including several massive cypress trees that are supposedly 600 years old and a pear tree that is reputedly a century old and is currently full of fruit.

As more old buildings are demolished and urban sprawl creeps throughout the Dianchi Basin, it can be easy to feel that Kunming is a city that has lost its connection to history. But there are still some places like Bamboo Temple that can still make you feel the presence of the past.