Exploring the ancient town of Dukezong in Shangri-La

By Du Mingming (People's Daily Online) 13:15, November 22, 2023
Exploring the ancient town of Dukezong in Shangri-La
Photo shows the northern entrance gate of the ancient town of Dukezong in Shangri-La city, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province. (People's Daily Online/Du Mingming)

With a history spanning over 1,300 years, the ancient town of Dukezong sits at an altitude of 3,300 meters in Shangri-La city, within the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province. It is the country's largest and best-preserved Tibetan residential area.

In Tibetan, "Dukezong" means "a castle built on stone" or "moonlight city."

Nestled on mountain slopes, the ancient town features roads paved with stone slabs. Its architectural design resembles a lotus flower with eight petals, centered around Moonlight Square with traditional Tibetan wooden houses encircling it.

Atop Guishan Hill in Dukezong stands a magnificent, gilded copper prayer wheel, which has a height of 21 meters and weighs over 60 tonnes. This prayer wheel was constructed in 2002 to commemorate the renaming of Shangri-La city. It is an iconic symbol of the town, offering visitors a panoramic view of the entire area.

The town is home to various ethnic groups, including Tibetan, Naxi, Yi, Lisu, Bai, Hui, and Han. These communities coexist harmoniously, contributing to the creation of a distinctive cultural landscape.


(Web editor: Hongyu, Wu Chengliang)


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