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Located just to the east of Cuihu, Cui Lake, is Kunming's major Buddhist temple. A temple was first built on this site during the 南詔國 Nanzhao Period (738-902) when Yunnan and surrounding areas were ruled by the 蒙舍詔 Mengshi people of the Nanzhao Dynasty. Later it was destroyed. During the Yuan Dynasty the 圓通禪寺 Yuantongchansi was built on the site of the ancient temple. During the Qing Dynasty it was repaired and expanded by 吳三桂 Wu Sangui, a former Ming general who defected to the Manchu.

During the Qing Dynasty the famous scholar and poet 孫髯翁 Sun Ranweng spent his last years living in a cave behind this temple. A native of Shanxi, his father served a govenor in Kunming, so Sun Ranweng lived and studied here much of his life. Sun never took the examinations because he felt he was insulted when he was body searched as he entered the examination area. he wrote many poems in and around Kunming.

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