Jingzhen Octagonal Pagoda
The Octagonal Pavilion at Jinzheng locates on the hill of Jingzhen village, Mengzhe area, Menghai County of Yunnan Province. And Located on the Jingzhen Mountain 14 kilometers away from Menghai Town
According to the historical materials, this pavilion was constructed in 1701. In Ch'ing Dynasty, some Buddhists of "Han" the majority tribe, from inland China and Buddhists of Dai from the area want to commemorate the founder of Buddhism named Sakyamuni, therefore they designed the building according to his gold cap.
As one of the important relics of Xishuangbanna, the Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion is named after the place where it is located. The octagonal pavilion, called "Wo Su" in the Dai language, is a place where the senior Buddhist monks giving sutra, repenting, holding meetings and memorizing Buddha. In the village of Jingzhen, about 14 km northwest of Menghai, is the Octagonal Pavilion, first built in 1701 as a place of Buddhist worship. The original structure was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution but renovated in 1978 and the ornate decoration is still impressive. The temple also operates as a monastic school. The paintings on the wall of the temple depict scenes from the Jatatka, the life history of Buddha.
The pavilion was built with bricks, four doors, eight-sides and many angles. Decorated by brilliant craftsmanship, it covered with colorful flowers pattern and numerous lively birds made of clay fill the ridges through out the building. The building top is all wood, and the structure appears cone shape with many layers of eaves. The roof laded with tile looks as the fish scales and is similar with the look of the Sakyamuni Buddha's hair.
On it umbrella shape top covered with thin metal slices, each come with small hole, when light breeze blows it will release gentle sound. The architecture is magnificent and structure is beautiful, the construction art of the building truly represents goodie of Buddhism among Dai. This building also is the symbolic of culture exchange between Dai and Han.
The most interesting is that the location of pavilion, were in the same place of the Dai folktale "Calabash Letter". The bridge over Liusha River from Menghai to Lancang the former address of Jinzheng bamboo bridge in "Calabash Letter". The story spread the moving love story between the prince of Nanman (another minority tribe) and a princess named Nanmuhan. This story created many more stories in the area.
Allegedly in Ch'ing Dynasty, this octagon pavilion was used as meeting chamber. On 15th and 30th of each month in Dai calendar, the faithful Buddhist of Jinzheng area gather here, listening to the high monk preach and have discussions about religion event. It is also the place that the many locals discussed their important issues. It is a place to promoted monk to a higher position. Today, it is the tourist spot for many Buddhists when they travel to Menghai area.
Do not miss out the Dai annual Water-splashing Festival if you are there. Many minority tribes of Yunnan will emerge here and their mass celebrations, entertainment from different tribes will be exhibit at this annual event.