Pingwu County 平武县
Pingwu County is the centre of the biggest remaining giant panda wild habitat in China. It is close to the Baima ethnic township. The World Wildlife Fund has conducted an ‘Integrated Community Development’ project in Baima to eliminate direct and indirect poaching threats to the panda population.
The Baima Tibetan Village is a sub group of Tibetans who refer to themselves as Bai. Unusually the Bai do not use a written script, like the Tibetan language, although a hieroglyphic system is used within a religious context.
Today they still maintain their traditional religious practices which involves nature and totem worship. This is influenced by the prehistoric Tibetan religion of Bon. Traces of Buddhism and Daoism influence can also be found although there are no monks or Lamas. The Baima people are said to be descendants of Baima Di.
The wearing of hats is a particular characteristic of their culture.
The 15th century Bao'en Temple was one of the most well preserved Buddhist monastery temples in China and highly regarded as an architectural gem, in the same league as Beijing’s Summer Palace. The complex is hailed as a significant example of Ming Dynasty architecture. It was built in 1440 and covers 27,800 square metres. Its area includes a main hall and numerous pavilions such as the Dabei Hall and the Huayan Hall.
However, during the earthquake it was badly damaged and is now undergoing major repairs.