History of Dali
The Dali area was formerly known as Xiemie. The old town was the medieval capital of both the Bai kingdom Nanzhao (fl. 8th and 9th centuries) and the Kingdom of Dali (937–1253). That city was razed and its records burnt during its conquest by China’s Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. The present old town was organized in the late 14th century under the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. The area became significantly Muslim (Hui) under the Yuan and Ming and was the center of the Panthay Rebellion against the Qing from 1856–1863. It was severely damaged during a massive earthquake in 1925.
Rail and then air transport have permitted the area (particularly Dali Old Town) to become accessible to tourists in the 20th century. It is now one of China’s official tourist cities and, along with nearby Lijiang, one of the most popular towns. In order to preserve the appeal of the old town, industrial development is restricted to newer townships such as Xiaguan. Building codes mandate that new construction in the old town and surrounding countryside must conform to the traditional Chinese style, with tiled roofs and bricks, plaster, or white-washed walls.
Source From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dali_City#History