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Octagonal Pavilion

Octagonal Pavilion is situated on a hill in Jingzhen Village, in the county of Menghai, Yunnan Province, which is about 87 kilometers Banna 00.jpgaway from the city of Jinghong. It represents the superb craftsmanship of the Dai Minority in both construction and decoration.

The half-timbered pavilion was built in 1707 and was originally used as a Buddhist meeting chamber. It is said that the pavilion was constructed in honor of Sakymuni by the Dai Buddhists.

The construction is over 20 meters (65.6 feet) high and composed of three parts: the base, the body and the roof; appearing in octagonal splendor. On every metope of the sides are exquisitely carved relievo in patterns of animals, such as elephants, lions and tigers.

Inside the pavilion are twenty-four walls with many kinds of gilded pictures. There are four doors with beautifully designed pictures reflecting a distinct ethnical characteristic. Above the vaulted frontispiece is a niche where is enshrined a figure of Buddha. The exterior surface of the pavilion is enchased and studded with numerous small pieces of mirrors and colored glass which makes the pavilion flickeringly beautiful.

The roof comprises ten layers of eaves ranging in degressive sizes from the bottom up. The roofs are found to be elaborately decorated, and the surfaces are covered with delicately-designed glazed tiles in the shape of scales. There are figuline flowers and pagodas ornamented on the fastigiums and each tip of the horn decorated with figurine sculptures. At the pinnacle, the roof covers a baldachin in the shape of lotus, and a long mast with lots of wind-bells stands high on it. These melodious sounds drifting on the gentle breeze will make you feel relaxed and happy.

With a history of more than 300 years, the Octagonal Pavilion has undergone several renovations, still stands firmly with great elegance and grace. It was put onto the list of major historic and cultural sites under state protection in 1988.

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