For those who are looking for a place to visit that is steeped in history, then a trip to the Great Jiele Golden Towers in Dehong in the Yunnan Province is an amazing destination. The long history of these remarkable towers that have been destroyed and rebuilt eight times is an astounding story in itself, and makes it one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in the area.
It’s honored to be the very first Buddhist pagoda in this province and certainly one of the most prominent. It is the great symbol of friendship between the people of Burma and the people of China and a magnificent achievement of the Dai artisans and craftsmen of that region over four centuries ago.
In order to get to these Great Jiele Golden Towers the traveler has to arrive in Ruili, the capital of this lush subtropical frontier, which lies on the east bank of the Ruili River. This town is specifically called the “foggy town” because typically each morning in the winter, a mantle of fog covers the entire area until after the midday sun finally burns it away.
Ruili is about 521 miles from Kunming and travelers can either go by bus or plane or by ferry from Myanmar. Ruili is a paradise for those who love jewelry because it’s one of the major distribution centers in China for the magnificent Myanmar emeralds and other spectacular gemstones. With its location just north of the Tropic of Cancer, the climate is humid and the Moli Rainforest is a great place to see unique plant and animal life.
What Makes these Towers Special?
The Great Jiele Golden Towers is one of the most famous Buddhist temples and it was built in the 1600. The foundation is constructed of quadrate bluestones that are a remarkable construction. It consists of 17 towers golden towers that are themselves constructed with a combination of concrete and steel; with the man tower being the focal point and covered in golden tiles of ceramic. The 16 smaller towers are clustered around this main tower that has a cone-shaped top and stands nearly 130 feet tall. The structure is paved with ceramic tiles that are golden in color and shined to perfection. The smaller towers are designed to make the main tower look even more glorious and spectacular.
At the top of the main tower sits a weather vane and an umbrella that are cast of aluminum and tied with several hundred of tiny bells that are constantly chiming in the breezes. All combined, this makes one of the most remarkable Buddhist pagodas in the region.
The Water Splashing Festival is one of the most famous of all the festivals held at the Great Jiele Golden Towers. It is an historical festival of the Dai people that celebrates the coming of the New Year from the 13th to the 15th of April. The Festival dates back to an old folklore tale involving the seven “wives” of the Fire Dragon, and celebrates the destruction of the dragon.
When looking for one of the most beautiful Buddhist pagodas in China, the Great Jiele Golden Towers in Dehong in the Yunnan Province is a great destination site and one of the most remarkable sites in the world.