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Nan Zhao Stele

In A.D. 766 Geluofeng, King Piluoge’s son, ascended the throne and erected the stele of Nanzhao in the city proper of Taihe. The stele measures 3.03 X 2.27 X 0.58 metres. It is the largest stele of the Tang Dynasty kept in good condition in Yunnan.

Nan Zhao Stele

On the facade, there are carved 3,800 Chinese characters which vividly describe the early history of Nanzhao Kingdom, its relationship with the Tang emperors and the whys and wherefores of the Tianbao warfare. The language is touching and eloquent and the calligraphy powerful, very similar to the handwriting of Li Beihai (Li Yong).

But actually, they were written by Zheng Hui, the Qingpingguan or prime minister (second only to the king) of Nanzhao Kingdom at the time. On the back of the stele, there are engravings of the names of the high ranking officials, generals and administrators.

The inscriptions carved on the stele are important information for the study of Nanzhao Kingdom’s history and her relations with the Tang Dynasty.



The Nan Zhao Stele is a stone monument that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and is located in the ancient city of Dali in Yunnan province, China. It is situated in the temple of Guanyin, which is located on the western shore of Erhai Lake.

The Nan Zhao Stele is significant because it is the only surviving written record of the Nan Zhao Kingdom, which was a powerful kingdom in what is now Yunnan province during the 8th and 9th centuries. The stele is also significant for its historical and cultural value, as it contains inscriptions detailing the Nan Zhao people’s way of life and customs.

The Nan Zhao Stele is a rectangular stone tablet that stands over 3 meters tall and is over 1 meter wide. It is covered in inscriptions written in Chinese and Sanskrit, and the top of the stele is adorned with a carving of the goddess Guanyin.

The Nan Zhao Stele was discovered in 1173, during the reign of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), when workers were digging a foundation for a temple. The stele was found buried in the ground and was subsequently moved to the Guanyin Temple, where it remains to this day.

Yes, the Nan Zhao Stele is open to the public and can be visited. It is located in the Guanyin Temple, which is open to visitors from 8:30am to 5:30pm every day. Visitors can view the stele and learn more about its historical and cultural significance.