Situated in the west of Yunnan Province, Dali with a population of 3 million covers an area of 12,800 square miles. It possesses one of the country's seven freshwater lakes - Erhai Lake. It belongs to the subtropical monsoon climatic zone with conspicuous dimensional climatic character, the annual average temperature of which is 15.1? and the yearly rainfall of 1100 mm. It has rich resource such as platinum, marble, gold, lead, brown coal (lignite), copper and rock salt (halite), etc. It is also rich in such resources as hydraulic power, forestry and mountainous grassland. Dali City is a famous historic cultural city of China, once the capital city of Nanzhao regime and Dali Regime in the ancient China, a city with picturesque scenery. With the verdant greenery Erhai Lake as its center, Dali's the scenic spots and place of historic sites have made Dali one of the major places of historic interest and scenic beauty of China. Traditionally well-known local products and specialties are the Bowl-Shaped Compressed Mass of Tea Leaves, Cigar, Zha-dyed cloth, Bow Fish and snow pear.
History of Dali
The ancient city Dali is one of our country's historical and cultural cities, as the capital of Nanzhao State and Dali State in history. From 8-13th century A.D., it is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan, as well as a important gateway for our country to communicate and have trade relations with southeast countries. There were ancient residents living here even since remote antiquities, which enabled Dali area to be one of the cultural cradles of yunnan. According to documentations, in the 4th century B.C., there were many dispersive clans in Dali, which were called 'Kunning Residents" or "Kunming Clans" in history.
211 B.C.: Qin Dynasty established administrations here.
West Han Dynasty, when emperor Wudi was establishing the trade route from Shu (today's Sichuan) to India, he met with the obstruction of "Kunming clans", who were good at fighting on water. Thus, he built a lake called Kunming Lake in the capital, resembing the shape of Erhai, to practice his warship, this is the right allusion of what is described as "terraced warships teemed with Han soldiers" in the Lengthened Couplet of kunming Daguanlou Mansion.
East Han (67 A.D.): the East Han Dynasty divided Dali into six counties to strengthen its governance over Dali area.
The beginning of Shu Han: Meng Huo rebelled, Zhu Geliang led his troop to put down the rebellion. He re-established Yunnan Prefecture, whose capital was in Yunnan county (today's Xiangyun county).
585 A.D.: Sui emperor Wendi established Kun state in Dali after he unified Central Plains.
621 A.D. Tang government sent people to offer amnesty to "Kunming clans", and established the office of province governor of Rong state.
Naozhao period (7th century A.D.): after a longterm contact and annexation, six comparatively big tribes came into being, which were called "Liu Zhao", among which Mengshe Zhao was in the southest, thus called "Nanzhao".
8th century, A.D.: Nanzhao unified Dali area and established its reign. During Yi Mouxun's reign, he moved his capital to Yang Jumie city (today's west part of Dali), which was also the capital of Dali State.
937A.D: Duan Siping, the Jie-du-shi (an official at that time) of Tonghai, allied with thirty-seven tribes in the east of Yunnan, overthrew the reigh of Nanzhao, and established Dali State, whose territory was almost the same with that of Nanzhao.
Yuan Dynasty (1253 A.D.): Hu Bi Lie and his army crossed Da Du River, as well as crossed the turbulent Jin Sha River by leather rafts, and then overthrew Dali State. In 1274 A.D., Sai Dian Chi was appointed the Ping Zhang Zheng Shi (an official similar to vice minister) of Yunnan. He set up Dali Lu and Heqing Lu in Dali area to manage Dali affairs. Since then, the political center of Yunnan had transferred to Kunming from Dali.
Ming Dyansty: the government established administrations in Dali Area. Dali government office managed four prefectures, three counties, and one official department. Situations were almost the same in Qing Dynasty.
1856 A.D.: after the Taiping Revolution of Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, Hui People's uprising, leading by Du Wenxiu, broke out in Yunnan. The uprising army took Dali as its political and military center to kept fighting tenaciously with Qing government for more than sixteen years.
1911 A.D., the year of Republic of China: the military government of Yunnan Province was established after "Chong Jiu Uprising" in Kunming. Thirteen counties were set up in Dali area, including Dali, Xiangyun, Fengyi and so on..
1950, after the foundation of People's Republic of China: Dali prefecture was set up, having jurisdiction over fourteen counties.
1983, Xiaguan town and Dali county were amalgamated into Dali City as a autonomous state, administering one city, nine counties and two autonomous counties.