In the ancient city of Kunming stand two ancient pagodas, one in the east and the other in the west. West Pagoda used to be located in the now nonexistent Huiguang Temple. The temple used to be called West Temple, so the pagoda was named West Temple Pagoda. Now only the pagoda remains.
Historical records show that both the temple and the pagoda were built between 824 and 859 in the Tang Dynasty. In appearance and structure the pagoda resembles Small, Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an. The square, thirteen-storey, rnulti-eave pagoda is some thirty-six meters high. Its interior is hollow, with wooden flooring and a staircase. The bricks of the pagoda are inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and incantations in Chinese and Sanskrit and the stamps of brickmakers, all invaluable relics. The pagoda has undergone repairs several times over the past more than a thousand years, so some parts have been changed, but as a whole it has retained its Tang Dynasty style.
East Temple Pagoda used to be in Changle Temple on Shulin Street in Kunming City. Changle Temple was also called East Temple, thus the pagoda's name. According to historical records, the temple and pagoda were built at the same time as the West Temple and Pagoda, but the pagoda was destroyed in a strong earthquake in 1833. In 1882 it was rebuilt on a new site hundreds of steps east of its original location, which lay too low for the pagoda's foundation. The existing pagoda, a multi-eave, square, thirteen-storey, brick structure, dates back to 1882 during the Qing Dynasty. In appearance, structure and size it resembles the West Pagoda. Although it was rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty, it retains the style of the Tang Dynasty.