Shibao Mountain, Jianchuan – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

shibao mountain, jianchuan

Located in Jianchuan County, Yunnan Province, Shibao Mountain (石宝山) is renowned for its unique peaks and rocks formed by Danxia landforms and spherical weathered stones. These peculiar rock formations, resembling bells, arrows, lions, and elephants, among others, are scattered in a picturesque arrangement, each with its own distinct character. The turtle-back-shaped cracks formed by red sandstone further enhance the mystique and charm of Shibao Mountain.

The scenic area boasts various attractions, including the Shizhongshan Grottoes, the Baoxiang Temple, the Golden Summit Temple, the Haiyunju Temple, and the Shizhong Reservoir. Among them, the Shizhongshan Grottoes are hailed as the “Southern Sky Treasure.” Every year, from the 27th to the 29th day of the seventh lunar month, Shibao Mountain hosts a singing festival, adding to the lively atmosphere of the area during that time.

Exploring Shibao Mountain typically takes around 2-3 hours, and there’s no need to stay overnight on the mountain. Visitors can bring along an adequate amount of drinking water. Near the parking lots by the Baoxiang Temple and the Shizhong Temple, there are small restaurants offering food and refreshments at reasonable prices, providing a place for tired hikers to rest briefly. If you have the stamina, it’s recommended to return to Shaxi Ancient Town for accommodation and meals.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 – 3 hours
Ticket Price22 RMB
Shuttle Bus40 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00
Telephone Number0086-0872-4787029

Location and Transportation

Shibao Mountain is situated approximately 25 kilometers southwest of Jianchuan County in Dali City, Yunnan Province, China. To reach Shibao Mountain from Dali City, visitors can take a minibus from the Dali City Bus Station (on Jianshe Road) heading to Jianchuan (about 70 kilometers, ticket price around 30 yuan). From Jianchuan, they can then transfer to another minibus heading to Shibao Mountain (approximately 20 kilometers, ticket price around 12-15 yuan). The journey provides scenic views and takes travelers through picturesque landscapes, offering an enjoyable experience en route to the mountain.

Highlights of Shibao Mountain

Shizhongshan Grottoes

shizhongshan grottoes in shibao mountain jianchuan

The Shizhongshan Grottoes stand as one of the largest and best-preserved grotto complexes in Yunnan Province. Renowned for their rich carvings depicting Buddhist esotericism and historical figures from the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms, these grottoes are a testament to ancient craftsmanship. Most of the carvings were created during the Tang Dynasty of the Nanzhao Kingdom and the Song Dynasty of the Dali Kingdom. In total, there are 16 caves with 139 sculpted figures, each displaying unique forms and lifelike features, earning the grottoes the moniker of the “Southern Sky Treasure.” Particularly noteworthy is the statue of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in Cave No. 7, which is often likened to the “Venus of the East” for its exquisite beauty. Another remarkable feature is the “Ayangbai” cave, which resembles female reproductive organs, leaving visitors astonished. The mystery behind why fertility worship coexists with Buddhist imagery remains unsolved to this day.

Ancient Temples

ancient temples in shibao mountain jiachuan

Haiyunju, serving as the first Buddhist temple upon entering Shibao Mountain, has a long history dating back to the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. In the 23rd year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty, monk Pulian expanded the halls and pavilions, establishing a layout of one entrance and three courtyards. Ancient trees such as ancient plum, ancient hawthorn, and ancient viburnum adorn the surroundings, while inside the temple, an ancient bronze bell bears witness to the passage of time. About 1.5 kilometers ahead of Haiyunju lies the Baoxiang Temple. Built during the Yuan Dynasty, the temple is situated on a towering and precipitous cliff, with the lower level being the main hall and the upper level serving as the temple. With its stone-carved beams and suspended appearance, it is often referred to as the “Hanging Temple of Yunnan.” Continuing uphill from the Baoxiang Temple for about half an hour, visitors will reach the slightly dilapidated Jinding Temple. Both temples boast a long history and are significant ancient religious sites.

Shibao Mountain Singing Festival

shibao mountain singing festival jianchuan

In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, Shibao Mountain is also renowned as the venue for the grand traditional festival of the Bai ethnic group known as the Shibao Mountain Singing Festival. Taking place from the 26th day of the seventh lunar month to the first day of the eighth lunar month, this festival is one of the most charming cultural spectacles in Jianchuan, Dali. During the festival, people from Jianchuan, Eryuan, Lijiang, Dali, Lanping, and other areas gather in their traditional Bai costumes, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere. The mountain paths, stretching for miles around, become bustling thoroughfares, resembling colorful rivers of people.

Bai girls, dressed in their finest attire, add to the beauty of the occasion as they showcase their singing talents along the mountain trails, filling the air with melodious Bai tunes. Bai boys, adorned with unique three-stringed instruments resembling dragon heads, play lively tunes, adding to the festive ambiance. As night falls, the grand bonfire party becomes the highlight of the festival, where people gather to sing and dance, celebrating this magnificent cultural event.

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