Explore the cities ancient wells and one of the largest Confucian Temples
Jianshui (Lin An) is located 190 km south of Kunming. Its history dates back to the Jin Dynasty (256-420) and it later became a part of the Ningzhou and Nanzhao Kingdoms. During the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) Jianshui (Lin An) became an important military outpost which resulted in the development of the contemporary town. The surrounding hills are home of the Dai, Hui and Yi ethnic groups. The town is dominated by the Chaoyang Lou.
Built in the early Ming Dynasty (1389) Chaoyang Lou used to be the east gate of old town Jianshui. On top of the 24m high structure hang two huge copper bells, which used to signify the opening of the gate in the mornings. Within walking distance lies the lovely Wenmiao or Confucian Temple. The huge temple complex, dating back to 1285 has recently been renovated. There is a small lake (“the sea of knowledge”) within the compound which, during the early summer months, is full of beautiful, blooming Lotus flowers.
Other attractions are the “Zhu Family Garden” a lovely, late Qing Dynasty ancestral home with its beautiful garden, and the “Twin Dragon Bridge” (Shuanglong Qiao). Twin Dragon Bridge (Shuanglong Qiao) dates back to the late 18th century and originally only had 3 arches. In 1839 another 14 arches and a beautiful Qing Dynasty tower have been added. The Bridge has a total length of 148 meters. “Twin Dragon Bridge” (Shuanglong Qiao) originally spanned over the two Rivers, Lu Jiang He and Ta Chong He, which have both since changed their original water course.
About 20km east of Jianshui, directly beside the new highway that connects Jianshui with Jijie, is the location of the Swallow‘s Cavern where, over millions of years, the Lu River created an impressive cave system. The unusual name „Swallow‘s Cavern“ comes from the hundreds of thousands of Swallows flying around during Spring and Summer. Chaoyang Lou, Wenmiao or Confucian Temple, Zhu Family Garden, the Swallow's Cavern and the Twin Dragon Bridge combine, make a visit to the laid back town of Jianshui well worth wile.