www.asiavtour.com Sign in l Register
Asia Travel Asia Food Asia Culture
   asiavtour.com google
Home  >   Asia  >   East Asia  >   China  >   Shaanxi  >   Xi'an  >  Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  Travel Note
  Photo Gallery
  Useful Information
[Add Section]

[Add Sights]

[Add Region]
[Rename Big Wild]
  [edit this]
photo of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Photo By: Ada
[Change Image]

As the symbol of the old-line Xi'an, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Ta) is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists with a history of thousands of years. It is located in the southern suburb of Xi'an City, about 4 kilometers (2.49 miles) from the downtown of the city.

Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion, 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, the Da Ci'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), the Big Wild Goose Pagoda functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.

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 Da Ci'en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras 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.

The historical record showed that in the 3rd year of the reign of Yonghui (652 A.D.), Xuanzang pleaded with Emperor Gaozong with a design of the pagoda for the permission to build a stone pagoda in front of Duanmen Gate of the temple to house the Buddhist scriptures, statues, and relics so as to reveal the grandeur of Buddhism and the power of Tang Dynasty. Emperor Gaoong gave the permission to build a five-story brick pagoda only with the excuse that he did not want to toil Xuanzang with that big project. As a result, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the west courtyard of Da Ci'en Temple. The construction began in March that year and was completed in two years. Xuanzang not only supervised the construction but also carried bricks and earth himself during the construction. When the pagoda was first built, it was a five storey, 180-feet-high earthen pagoda coated with bricks without staircases. However owing to the destruction from the weed growing wildly out of the seams between the bricks, it went to decadence gradually.

After the restorations in the reign of Chang'an by Wu Zetian, and in Later Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is now 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an additional two stories. It was said that after that addition came the saying “Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda”. 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 Xi'an 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, for 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”.

Edit by: Ada
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Banpo Museum
Forest of Stone ...
Huaqing Hot Spri...
Mausoleum of Emp...
Museum of Qin Te...
Qianling Tomb
Shaanxi History ...
Xi'an City Wall
About Us  |  Site Map  |  Legal & Privacy  |  Sign up as new member  |  Sign in
Web Design by Enymedia  |  Restaurant Coupon  |  Learn Chinese  |  Watch Asian Drama  |  Search Coupons
All rights reserved by Asiavtour.com      EMAIL:services@asiavtour.com