108 Buddhist Pagodas in Yinchuan

Brief Introduction

108 Buddhist Pagodas is located in the east of Xiakou Mountain on the western shore of the Yellow River. They are the primary attractions in Qingtongxia Reservoir near Yinchuan City. Here used to be grand temple buildings, but nowadays, most of the temples were ruined, only left pagoda. This 108 pagodas form in 12 rows, the overall layout is narrow on the top and wide on the bottom, form an isosceles triangle, which is a unique style.

108 is really an idiomatic number in Buddhism. Buddhism says that there are 108 kinds of trouble and disasters for life, to eliminate all of them, people need to pray to Buddha for 108 times, knock a bell for 108 times, etc… Those 108 towers should contribute the “merits and virtues”. Building a tower here is to eliminate the trouble of life and affliction

History of 108 Buddhist Pagodas

It was said that these special pagodas were built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). All of them were built a pearl-shaped top covered with lime, looks like the white pagoda of the Yuan Dynasty at the Beijing Miaoying Temple. Due to the 108 dharma bodies, it had such name.. In 1958, when the government built the Qingtongxia Reservoir, it was considered that the construction of the barrage would inundate the lower riverside of the tower area. Therefore, the ancient temple site and two towers under the Tallinn were completely demolished, and 108 blocks were prepared. The Lama Tower was completely relocated, but the Qianfotu paintings and the Buddhist scriptures with Xixia were excavated from the two towers that had been demolished, and the overall migration plan was abandoned.

In 1963, when the country built the Qingtongxia Hydropower Plant, it was considered that the construction of the barrage would inundate the lower riverside of the tower area, and the original one ancient temple site and two covered brick towers would be demolished.

Architectural Features of 108 Buddhist Pagodas

Building structure

The brick structure of the 108 Buddhist Pagodas has only the outermost layer, and the inside is covered with an adobe tower. There are three specifications of 28×15×5, 30×16×4, 30×14×5 cm. The adobe tower has a wooden column in the center. When the govermengt’s maintenance began in 1987, the adobe towers in the tower were completely damaged. Some of the brick towers were covered with white stucco, and some were exposed with three layers of white gray skin. Different layers of white ash were painted with different colors of cinnabar and other paints. The outermost layer of some of the remnant towers is painted with a lotus flower pattern painted with cinnabar.

Architectural style

108 Buddhist Pagodas has a stepped platform for level 12, which is gradually contracted and raised from the bottom to the top. The overall shape is an isosceles triangle. The first-level platform is 5 meters high, 54 meters long and 5.67 meters wide. The total height of the first-grade slope protection platform to the tenth-level slope protection platform is 31.82 meters and the total width is 59.1 meters. The plane of the tower has an octagonal or sub-shaped sacred seat, and the tower body is built on the top of the tower.

The tower body is divided into four types: the first layer is covered with a tower body, the second to fourth layers are octagonal ventral cones, the 5th to 6th layers are gourd-shaped, and the 7th to 12th layers are in the shape of a bottle.

The tower at the highest point in the tower is relatively tall. In 1987, the residual height was 5.04 meters. The bottom of the tower was 3.08 meters in diameter. The other 107 towers were basically the same size. They were all solid towers with a residual height of 2 to 2.5 meters. The bottom diameter of the tower is between 1.9 meters and 2.1 meters. The tower body uses more than half of the residual bricks, while the base uses more bricks.

What to See at 108 Buddhist Pagodas

Those 12 rows pagodas, with each row containing an odd number of pagodas starting from the top, are forming a huge triangle, giving tourists an amazing view. Below these magnificent pagodas, you can see a big dam across the roaring Yellow River with a lake created by the dam. While sailing on the lake, tourists have a good chance to appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the lake as well as enjoy the gorge with the 108 pagodas on its slope. Then, tourists can enjoy the whole scenery of the 108 pagodas from a distance.

How to Get to 108 Buddhist Pagodas

  • Yinchuan direction: Starting from Yinchuan, Shangjing-Tibet Expressway is under the Qingtongxia Expressway, along the Xibinhe Avenue to the Qingtongxia Town Visitor Center, 74 kilometers away from Yinchuan City, and arrives at the scenic spot.
  • Wuzhong direction: Starting from Wuzhong City, along the River East Binhe Avenue to Qingtongxia Town Tourist Center, 15 kilometers away from Wuzhong City, reaching the scenic spot.
  • Xiaoba(小坝) direction: Starting from the Xiaoba, along the Qingtongxia River West Binhe Avenue to the Qingtongxia Town Visitor Center, 17 kilometers away from the Xiaoba, you can visit the Chinese Yellow River Tower along the way to reach the scenic spot.