Shibaoshan Town – grottoes with unique sculptures from the Nanzhao Kingdom
Last Update: 20th October 2020
Located around 125 kilometers north of Dali Old Town, Shibaoshan Town offers rocks with cracks similar to those on the back of turtles, old sculptures on the cliff, grottoes and several ancient temples in ancient times to explore. You could also see wild monkeys in the town.
Shibaoshan Town Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Shibaoshan (石宝山)
- Area: 25 x square kilometers
- Things to do there: Photography, Sculptures, Grottoes, History of Nanzhao Kingdom
- Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Buddhist Believers
- Time required: 2 – 3 x hours
Grottoes created in the Naozhao (738 – 902) and Dali (937 – 1094 and 1096 – 1253) Kingdoms are a must-visit in Shibaoshan Town. Statues in the grottoes reflect Acarya – Buddhist tantra in Yunnan. There are 16 grottoes with some 140 sculptures on Shibaoshan Mountain. You will see sculptures of the families of Nanzhao King, Buddha, monks from India in ancient times and animals. The 8 grottoes in Shizhong Temple are the most important. They have the finest sculptures than others. The sculptures of Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Kasyapa, Manjusri, and Samantabhadra are carved exquisitely in the grottoes.
Baoxiang Temple was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368). Buildings of the temple were built against the large rocks on the mountain. The natural environment in and around the temple is home to wild monkeys. Haiyunju Temple is situated around 1.5 kilometers from Baoxiang Temple. It takes about 40 minutes walk to Golden Peak Temple from Baoxiang Temple. Golden Peak Temple is worse-preserved than Baoxiang Temple. Shizhong Temple is located around 7 kilometers away from Baoxiang Temple. It is at the end of the road.
From the lunar 27th of July to the lunar 29th of July, Shibaoshan Singing Festival (石宝山歌会) is regularly celebrated on Shibaoshan Mountain. If interested, you could visit the mountain during the festival to experience the customs of Bai people as well. There are shuttle buses to every main spots on the mountain.
The best time to visit is in the morning.
The best months to visit are from April to October.
As Shibaoshan Town is located in Jianchuan County, you could take a direct bus from Jianchuan County to the town. Or you could rent a vehicle to the town from Dali directly.
- Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- As at 20th October 2020, the entrance pricing to Shibaoshan Mountain is 65 CNY per person; the entrance ticket for the shuttle bus on the mountain is 50 CNY per person; children under 1.2 meters tall (1.2 meters tall not included) are free of charge. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- Parts of the mountain roads are not good for the elders or those whose body conditions are weak.
- It is forbidden to take pictures of the sculptures in Shizhong Temple.
- Please take enough drinking with you if you would like to explore the mountain during half a day.
- Please wear the sunscreen cream and sunglasses.