The temple lies on the northwestern outskirts of Kunming, some 8 miles (12 km) from the downtown area.
According to the data recorded, the Qiongzhu Temple dated back to the Song Dynasty, but it was during the Yuan Dynasty (around 1280) that a highly renowned monk, who was reputed to have learned Buddhism from central China, gave his teachings here which brought great fame to the temple as a spiritual center. After a devastating fire, the Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty rebuilt the temple by adding five pavilions during the late 1880's. It was the first temple where Buddhism was preached to the believers in Kunming.
The most spectacular attraction in this temple is the 500 life-size Buddha statues, which were the artistic creation of a well-known sculptor from Sichuan and his three apprentices. The work started in 1883 and was completed in 1890, in the reign of Emperor Guangxu, Qing Dynasty. Highly appreciated by tourists and artists both at home and abroad, this group of statues is reputed as "a pearl in the treasure-house of oriental sculpture". Throughout the temple are numerous inscriptions and couplets on columns and tablets. These inscriptions date back to the 1200's and give us glimpses into the life and culture of those times.