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Guihua Temple - Songzanlin Monastery

In the year 1993, James Hilton described an eternally peaceful and quiet place among mountains in the East – “Shangri-La” in one of his novels for the first time. In the novel “Lost Horizon”, an English diplomat Conway and his brother Gorge scattered the English citizens and helped them leave the dangerous region. On their way home, their plane was hijacked and fell down into the mountain in the Tibetan region. Some lucky survivors were taken to Shangri-la where Conway found lots of fantastic things in such a state founded nearly 200 years ago, in which the local people lived up to more than one hundred years old and lived peacefully and harmoniously with the other people, animals and everything here. The place was called “Shangri-La” by the local folks.

Guihua Temple - Songzanlin Monastery

James Hilton located “Shangri-La” in a mysterious valley which was surrounded by snowcapped mountains; near where there were snow-clad peaks, blue lakes, broad grassy marshlands, and lamaseries, Buddhist nunneries, mosques, Catholic Church; the human beings and the nature were in perfect harmony, several religions and varies of nationalities exited at the same time; Baishui terrace, the temples looked splendid in green and golden; though people contacted the outer world by caravan for a long time, many foreign experts and scholars had come here to investigate and remained much relics.

Obviously, that is not only a beautiful scenery, but also a kind of artistic conception. With the novel and the film coming out, Shangri-La became very famous in western countries. Later, a Chinese named Guo Huonian used the name of this place and set up “Shangri-La” Hotel Group which has become one of the most successful hotel group in the world.

At the same time, people didn’t give up looking for the legendary Shangri-La. Up to the end of this century, they finally have found–After inspecting and proving on many aspects, people found that Diqing Prefecture, the only Tibetan region in Yunnan, China, has striking similarity with what’s described in the tale regarding either on natural scenery or people’s way of living. Therefore, the name of “Diqing-Shangri-La” spreads worldwide.



Guihua Temple is known for its stunning architecture, which includes ornate pagodas, colorful frescoes, and intricate wood carvings. The monastery is also home to a large collection of Buddhist scriptures, artifacts, and relics, as well as a large prayer wheel and a statue of the Buddha.

Assailants, robbers, fire, assassins, and wild animals are all things that Avalokiteshvara guards against. The genuine universe, the fourth planet, was made by him. His head once reportedly split in two from anguish when he saw how many evil souls still needed to be rescued from the world.

The best time to visit Guihua Temple or the Songzanlin Monastery is from May to October, which is the peak tourist season. During this time, the weather is generally mild and the natural scenery is at its most beautiful. However, visitors should be prepared for large crowds and higher prices during this period.

Visitors to Guihua Temple or the Songzanlin Monastery can engage in a variety of activities, including attending Buddhist ceremonies and rituals, exploring the monastery’s various halls and temples, and learning about Tibetan Buddhist culture and history. The monastery is also a popular spot for hiking, trekking, and photography, and visitors can explore nearby attractions such as the Pudacuo National Park and the Shudu Lake.