Bibliography Reading List: Buddhism in Yunnan

Starting from the Nanzhao Empire, Buddhism has played a significant role in Yunnan, developing its unique style.

Yünnanese Images of Avalokiteśvara

李朝真 (Li Chaozhen) and 张锡禄 (Zhang Xilu):


Comprehensive coverage of all the pagodas in the Dali region.

Angela F Howard:

The The Dhāraṇī Pillar of Kunming, Yunnan

A Legacy of Esoteric Buddhism and Burial Rites of the Bai People in the Kingdom of Dali

黄德荣 (Huang Derong):


Account of the excavations in Weishan Longyu Mountain of early Buddhist sculptures.

黄杰华 (Huang Jiehua):



PhD thesis on 大黑天 in Buddhism in Yunnan.

Walter Liebenthal:

Sanskrit Inscriptions from Yunnan I

李家瑞 (Li Jiarui):


李家瑞 (Li Jiarui):


A investigation of the relics that prove monks from India came to Nanzhao.

刘长久 (Liu Changjiu):


Book Cover Image

Detailed description of religious art of the Nanzhao and Dali period, perhaps one of the best introduction of the few artefacts that have survived. 

刘喜树 (Liu Xishu):


Archeological report about the find of pre-Nanzhao Buddhist statue fragments at a quarry in Weishan. It is thought that the statues are discards of a local workshop.

马愉 (Ma Yu):



Buddhist art from Nanzhao and the Dali Kingdom.

聂葛明 (Nie Geming):


Abstract: Twentieth century witnessed a mass discovery of Dali State Buddhist manuscripts in Qianxun Temple of Chongshengsi, Beitangtian of Fengyi, Three Pagodas of Chongshengsi, Fotu Temple of Xiaguan. After that, some scholars did some recording and sorting work, some other scholars as LI Lincan, ZHOU Yongxian, YANG Yanfu, LI Xiaoyou, YANG Mingtang, ZHANG Xilu, YANG Shiyu, HOU Chong made some monographic studies. A research summary of these predecessors' achievements offers a better understanding of the present research and a clearer guidance for future studies

王海涛 (Wang Haitao):


Comprehensive history of Buddhism in Yunnan. 

杨学政 (Yang Xuezheng):


Comprehensive and authoritative history of religion in Yunnan. Covers the history of all the main religions in Yunnan. 

Yang Yusheng:


Art History of Bai

杨政业 (Yang Zhengye):


Collection of articles about Dali religion (Benzhu, Christianity, Daoism) by the author.

袁嘉谷 (Yuan Jiagu):


History of Buddhism in Yunnan by famous historian Yuan Jiagu. This book claims that Buddhism entered Yunnan in the 5th century BCE, via one of the disciples of Shijiamouni who went to Jizushan to teach the doctrine. This is not a theory that has found much support. 

张胜温 (Zhang Shengwen):


Reprint of the 16m long scroll by the Dali Kingdom period painter Zhang Shengwen, depicting Buddhist topics. This large and important scroll was finished about 1180AD.

张锡禄 (Zhang Xilu):


Investigation of how Azhali Buddhism entered the Dali area.

张锡禄 (Zhang Xilu):


Abstract: 清代的大理与中原地区一样有过“康乾盛世”,政治统一,经济发展,文化繁荣,人丁兴旺。但后期,政治腐败,经济衰败,发生了以回族领袖杜文秀为首的农民大起义。被镇压后,人口锐减,生产下降,各族人民生计艰难.

张云霞 (Zhang Yunxia):


Research into the Bai Lotus Pond Associations, religious associations in charge of rituals in the Dali area.