Standing on the picturesque Xiushan Mountain, the pagoda was constructed in memory of a monk called Li Panfu, who had relieved the people there from flood. According to legend Li Panfu was a native of Xingzhou (today's Yuxi). Later he had his head shaven and became a monk in Puguang Temple on Xiushan Mountain. When he found that the farmland was flooded by the lake water and the people couldn't make a living, he managed to have a pond dug to divert the flood water. Thanks to his effort people there could again live happily in peace. After his death the local people built the pagoda in his honor.
The square, multi-eave, brick and stone structure was first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Although it has undergone many repairs later, the pagoda retains the Yuan style and some component parts of the pagoda remain original. Most pagodas built in the Yuan Dynasty are inverted-bowl-style Lamaist dagobas. This one, however, as an unusual exception, has modeled on the style of pagodas of the Tang and Song dynasties.