Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 4 kilometers from the downtown of the city. Standing in theCi'en Temple complex, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion, with its simple but appealing style of construction, and its new square in front of the temple. It is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction.
This attraction can be divided into three parts: the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, theCi'en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Big Wild Goose Pagoda functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.
started off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism. Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics. Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled 'Pilgrimage to the West' in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance.
First built to a height of 60 meters with five stories, it is now 64.5 meters high with an additional two stories. Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can climb and overlook the panorama of Xian City from the arch-shaped doors on four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty. Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the pagoda.
As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches,one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn't find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: 'Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.' At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. Hence it got the name 'Big Wild Goose Pagoda'.
Ci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, royalty ordered the building of a temple named 'Ci'en' (Mercy and Kindness), for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 32,314 square meters, one seventh of the original area, it still retains its grandeur.
Before the temple, there stands a statue of hierarch Xuanzang, the meritorious hierarch. Walking on and across a small bridge, visitors will see the gates of the temple. With guarding lions, the temple seems statelylions which were said to function as talismans.
Entering the temple you will see two buildings-Bell Tower in the east andin the west. Inside the Bell Tower hangs an iron bell 15 tons (14.76 gross tons) in weight. It was molded in 1548 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Along the central axis are arranged the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang. In the Hall of Mahavira are three carved statues of Sakyamuni, and 18as well as Xuanzang. The Sermon Hall is where Buddhist disciples would listen to a sermon. A bronze statue of Amitabha is dedicated and a Buddha statue is collected by Xuanzang as oblation. The Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang is north of. In this hall are Xuanzang's relic and a bronze statue of a seated Xuanzang. The inner wall is chiseled with murals depicting this hierarch's story. Renowned as the contemporary Dunhuang Buddhist storehouse praised by UNESCO, it is the biggest memorial of Xuanzang.
Surrounding Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the scenery is also quite charming, especially the square north of theCi'en Temple. Covering about 110,000 square meters plus 20,000 square meters of water area, it holds many records: in Asia, it is the biggest Tang-culture square, the biggest fountain andsquare, and the largest-scalearea. In the world, it has the most benches, the longest light-belt, and the largest-scale acoustic complex.
The entire square is composed offountains, a cultural square, gardens and tourist paths. There you can tasteand traditions and fully enjoy the truly attractive views. With reliefs on the theme of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, 200-meter-long sculpture groups, 8 groups of sculpted figures, 40on the land, and 22 styles of musical fountains, it has become a must-see when you visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
2 Days Xian Highlights Tour
On this tour, get to view Xian's signature sights on 2 days of private sightseeing covering national treasure "Big Wild Goose Pagoda", UNESCO World Heritage "Terracotta Warriors", history book of Xian "Shaanxi History Museum", the best-preserved "Xian City Wall", and a famous Islamic heritage "Xian Great Mosque". Your two days of sightseeing include a private guide, private transportation, entrance fees, pick -up and drop-off at your chosen Xian location, two Chinese lunches and a dumpling banquet.
5 Days Xian Terracotta Warriors and Mount Hua Exploration Tour
Xian is a world-famous ancient city since 2,000 years ago. It not only has wonderful historical highlights but also amazing natural wonders. On this tour, you will experience the UNESCO world heritage-Terracotta Warriors, and well-preserved Xian City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum, Muslim Street. Challenge Mt. Huashan, one of the five most impressive and dangerous mountains in China.
3 Days Xian in Depth Tour
Xian is home to some of the most spectacular sights in China, on this tour discover the UNESCO-listed mausoleum of Emperor Shihuang with its thousands of life-sized terracotta warriors and their horses, take a stroll on the historic Muslim Street, visit the spectacular City Wall and also get to discover the national treasure "Big Wild Goose Pagoda", visit the comfortable "Huaqing Hot Springs, and the magnificent "Bell Tower and Drum Tower".
Unique Xian Tour to Terracotta Warriors and Huashan Mountain
On this tour, experience both the historical relics in Xian and explore the wonderful scenery of Huashan mountain. Uncover the national treasure at the "Big Wild Goose Pagoda" and the UNESCO world heritage "Terracotta Warriors" then enjoy a full-day tour to Mount Huashan to see Buddhist and Taoist temples, walking through the mountain, admire the spectacular landscape of sheer cliffs with temples that cling on to the rock.
11 Days China Discovery Tour to Beijing Xi'an Shanghai and Hongkong
Explore the best of China on this sightseeing adventure tour. Amble among the world famous historical relics in Beijing, trace back the start point of silk road from Xi'an, enjoy the pleasure from both modern skyline and traditional look of Shanghai. At last, the tour ends from discovering and enjoying urban luxurious shopping in Hong Kong.
11 Days Popular China Tour including Beijing-Xi'an-Guilin-Shanghai
China boasts of deep tradition, colorful culture, long history, rich relics and beautiful scenery. Seek historical records from Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Badaling Great Wall, Changling, Summer Palace. Discover answers to myths from the Big Goose Pagoda, City Walls, Terra-cotta army, and Huaqing Hot Springs. Marvel at Karst landscape from Reed Flute Cave and Elephant Trunk Hill. Take a leisurely cruise on Li River, Yulong River and West Street. Experience urban life vs traditional face at Huangpu River, Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, Shanghai Museum.
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