Bao’en Pagoda, Chongqing – Location and Highlights

Bao'en Pagoda, Chongqing

Built during the 22nd year of the Qing Dynasty’s Qianlong era (1757) and completed 16 years later in the 38th year, the Bao’en Pagoda of Juelin Temple (觉林寺报恩塔) stands as an enduring testament to both architectural ingenuity and spiritual gratitude.

This distinctive pagoda adopts the eight-sided, nine-story architectural style, a captivating blend of brick and stone. Soaring to a height of 45 meters, the pagoda occupies an area of 150 square meters on the ground and boasts a construction area of 690 square meters. The pagoda’s base has a circumference of 46 meters. Its unique design showcases a gradual tapering of each layer, with outward protruding corners adorned with sharp angles.

Internally, the pagoda is meticulously crafted, featuring stone steps spiraling upward, enabling direct access to the top from the ground floor. The lower six levels have a single entrance each on the front side, while the upper three levels sport four entrances, with each level adorned by a stone gallery with upturned eaves for added elegance.

According to historical records in the “Ba County Annals,” Juelin Temple was originally established during the Southern Song Dynasty, only to suffer destruction during the upheavals at the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. In the Qianlong era of the Qing Dynasty, Monk Yuejiang undertook the task of reconstruction, expanding the temple with additional halls, meditation rooms, and a mountain gate. Concurrently, as an expression of gratitude towards his mother, Yuejiang decided to construct a pagoda at the foothills of Tushan (涂山). The construction of the Bao’en Pagoda spanned 16 years, with its completion overseen by Yuejiang’s disciple, Shanming, following the master’s passing. The two inscriptions on the pagoda pillars read, “因传心法分三教” (Spreading the teachings across the three realms through the transmission of the heart method) and “为建浮屠报四恩” (Building the pagoda to repay the four kinds of grace), while the back is engraved with the four characters “佛光普照” (Buddha’s light illuminates universally).

While Juelin Temple may no longer stand, the Bao’en Pagoda remains steadfast in its original location, echoing the enduring gratitude and cultural heritage embodied in its graceful structure.


Location and Transportation

Bao’en Pagoda of Juelin Temple is situated at 95 Juelin Temple Street, Xiaohao, Nanan District, Chongqing. This cultural masterpiece is recognized as a provincial-level cultural heritage site in Chongqing, China. To get there, tourists can take bus 304, 320, 321, 354, or 376 and get off at Juelin Temple Stop (觉林寺站).


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