The Big Wild Goose Pagoda, an enormous building comprising 7 floors and surrounded by beautiful gardens was originally built in AD652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong (During Tang Dynasty 628-683). It's main function was to collect Buddhist materials taken from India by Xuanzang and to translate the Sanskrit into Chinese.
The pagoda is an architectural gem, built with layers of bricks but without any cement. The original structure at 60m high and with only 5 storeys was finished in 652 A.D. Between 701-704 AD, mainly because of structural weakness in the earth-cored pagoda, a new 10-storey pagoda was built. However, between the wars of the coming years and a massive earthquake in 1556, this structure was reduced almost to ruins. As a result, some revisions were made during the Ming Dynasty to produce the 7-storey, 64 meter-tall structure we see today.
The entire Temple complex is lovely and is worth a few hours of time.
I have written a travelogue about my visit to the Dayan pagoda:
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/bf090/#ixzz1rsIf5qMW
Not exactly a simple temple, but a wide complex with temples, pagodas and gardens.
A detailed visit will take lots of time. If you don’t worry too much about the function and history of each construction, then a couple of hours will do, but be prepared to meander around, or you will take a rather basic idea of the whole.
The most impressive structure is the Giant (or Big) Wild Goose Pagoda, Also Dayan Pagoda, built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty, with materials brought from India. It was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, with the exterior brick facade renovated during the Ming Dynasty.
In the complex many other things must be seen, specially the Da Cien temple and the gardens, with many musical fountains and sculptures.
This big pagoda dates to the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th Century) and was built to house important tablets from a monk who traveled during that period. It is one of the main historic sites in Xian and is included on many tours. Admission is charged with an additional charge for those wishing to climb to the top.
Inside the temple complex, one can see a golden effigy of the Budha as well as porcelin scenes depicting his life.
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. It originally had 5 stories which collapsed after 5 years. It was rebuilt in 704 and 5 new stories were added, three of which were destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1556, leaving the stucture of 7 stories we see today. There is still a decided lean to the pagoda.
The pagoda was built to serve many functions including housing the sutras and figurines that were brought from India by the Buddhist monk who translated the original texts - Xuanzang.
The legend of the naming of the pagoda is as follows - there were two Buddhist streams - one of them ate meat. When there was no meat to be bought a monk saw a flock of wild geese flying overhead and hoped that the merciful Bodhisattva would provide some. Immediatley the leading goose fell to the ground with broken wings. The monks believed this was a condemnation of the eating of meat and changed their ways. They built the pagoda on the place where the goose fell.
Visitors may enter the complex and also climb to the top of the pagoda. See the web site for more details.
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built between 707–710, during the Tang Dynasty under Emperor Zhongzong (r 705–710). The pagoda stood at a height of 45 m (147 ft) until the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake. The earthquake shook the pagoda and damaged it so that it now stands at a height of 43 m (141 ft) with fifteen levels of tiers. The pagoda has a brick frame built around a hollow interior, and its square base and shape reflect the building style of other pagodas from the era.
During the Tang Dynasty, the pagoda stood across a street from its mother temple, the Dajianfu Temple. Indian pilgrims brought sacred Buddhist writings to the temple and pagoda from India, as the temple was one of the main centres in Xian for translating Buddhist texts. The temple was older than the pagoda, since it was founded in 684. Emperor Zhongzong had donated his residence to the building of a new temple here, maintaining the temple for 200 monks in honour of his deceased father Gaozong. The temple was originally called the Daxianfusi or Great Monastery of Offered Blessings by Zhongzong, until it was renamed Dajianfusi by Empress Wu Zetian in 690.
The Da Cien Temple was originally built in AD 589 and then rebuilt AD 648 in memory of his mother Empress Wende by Li Zhi who later became the Tang Emperor Gaozong. The temple once had 13 courtyards and 1897 rooms and covered an area of more than 24 hectares. A Buddhist monk called Xuan Zang, who studied Buddhism in India, was welcomed to preside over the temple affairs in 653 and arranged for the building of the Da Yan Pagoda, more commonly known as the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, to preserve the hundreds of volumes of Buddhist scriptures which he had brought back from India.
Along the central axis are arranged the Bell Tower to the east and Drum Tower to the west, 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 18 arhats as well as Xuan Zang. A statue of Xuan Zang stands outside.
Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: RMB25.
This pagoda is a landmark not only a landmark of Xian but of China as well. Originally built in 652 AD during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the monk 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 got the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Da Cien Temple, supervised the building of the pagoda.
First built to a height of 60 meters (197 feet) with five stories, it was rebuilt to a height of 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) when an additional two storeys were built in 704. However, a massive earthquake in 1556 heavily damaged the pagoda and reduced it by three stories, to its current height of seven stories. It wasn't possible to ascend it when I visited in July 2008 due to it being maintained following the Wenchuan Earthquake, but now it's fine to climb!
As for the reason why it's 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'.
Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: RMB25.
This Working Buddhist Temple is great to visit.
Its as all temples are, tranquil, beautiful, and very interesting
It was built for a Chinese Buddhist Monk (whose name I forget) who went to India to study, and came home with armloads of scriptures.
The Emperor at the time had the temple built with the pagoda at its centre to house these scriptures.
Whilst in India the monk was studding at a temple called the Wild Goose Temple. It had got this name because in India at that time there were 2 Buddhist Sects. A vegetarian one, and a meat eating one. For the meat eaters, things had got to the stage where they had no more meat, so the prayed to Budda for some meat. Just then a wild goose was flying over, and fell to the ground dead. The monks had it for their meal, and then decided that this was an omen to indicate that they were to give up meat, so they too became vegetarian, and changed the name of the temple where this happened to the Wild Goose Temple.
When the Monk had the temple built in Xian, he decided to call it the Wild Goose Temple. Today there are 2 Wild Goose Temple's in Xian so the differentiate between them, this one is the Large temple and the other one the small one.
This Temple has some wonderful gardens
This is well worth a visit.
I didn't take a taxi; I decided to walk. That made it hard to find, because it is not signposted as Small Wild Goose Pagoda, but as Xi'an Museum (and mostly in Chinese).
The pagoda, associated historic buildings and the grounds are well worth visiting. The pagoda has been standing for 1300 years.
The new (2006?) Xi'an museum on this site has a lot of interesting things - glassware and ceramic statues are particularly interesting.
The Large Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved pagoda from the Tang Dynasty that is over 200 feet tall. The pagoda was originally built as a five-story pagoda in the 7th century, with additional height and stories added in the 9th century. The top few stories of the pagoda fell of in a 16th century earthquake, leaving it at its current size. As a result of soil settling, the pagoda leans slightly to one side, which you can see from a distance.
The pagoda is part of a temple complex, the Da Ci'en Temple. You can climb to the top of the pagoda for a good view of Xi'an. Some of the other buildings in the temple complex are open to tourists. One included beautiful jade murals of Buddhist imagery, while another featured a large Buddha sculpture.
Una antigua leyenda budista decia que había dos ramas, para una de ellas el comer carne no era un tabú. Un día, no encontraban carne para comprar . Al ver a un grupo de grandes gansos silvestres que pasaban volaban , un monje se dijo a si a sí mismo: «Hoy no tenemos carne. Espero que el Bodhisattva misericordioso nos de algo'. En ese mismo momento, al ganso salvaje líder se le rompieron sus alas y cayó al suelo. Todos los monjes se sorprendieron y creyeron que Bodhisattvales decía que debían ser más piadosos. Donde cayó el ganso salvaje construyeron una pagoda y dejaron de comer carne. Desde entonces se la llamó Pagoda del gran Ganso Salvaje ('Big Wild Goose Pagoda ").
Hay que pagar 25 Yuan para acceder al recinto y 20 Yuan para la pagoda
An ancient Buddhists legend says that , 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'.
You must pay 25 Yuan to enter in the pagoda gardens and 25 Yuan to see the pagoda
Xuanzang fue un monje , gran viajero , digamos que coleccionista y erudito , que escribió , durante la dinastía Tang el libro : "Peregrinaje al Oeste" , en el que cuenta el viaje que hizo por la Ruta de la Seda y por los desiertos hasta llegar a la India , que era la cuna del budismo .
El viaje duró 17 años y pasó por 100 paises en los que consiguió estatuas de Buda , 657 tipos de sutras y varias reliquias de Buda
Cuando volvió a Xian el Emperador Gaozong (628-683) , le autorizó a construir el templo y le nombró abad . Mandó traducir los Sutras que ocuparon 1.335 volumenes y este ha sido uno de los más grandes trabajos de traducción de la historia
Xuanzang was a monk, a great traveler, let´s say that a collector and a scholar, who wrote, during the Tang Dynasty, a book named "Pilgrimage to the West", in which he described the trip that took him through the Silk Road and the deserts, to reach India, which was the birthplace of Buddhism.
The journey lasted 17 years and went through 100 countries in which he got Buddha statues, 657 types of sutras and several relics of the Buddha
When he returned to Xian , the Emperor Gaozong (628-683), authorized him to build the temple and he was appointed as abbot .He ordered to translate Sutras , which occupied 1,335 volumes and this has been one of the largest translation work of history
The gardens surrounding the Pagoda were immaculate. I got a bonus treat when I was there because there was a Buddhist ceremony taking place in one of the side gardens. They allowed me to quietly watch as they conducted their sacred ceremony.
The topless Small Wild Goose Pagoda has a name which is similar to another pagoda, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. People celebrated its 1300th birthday on 2007/1/1. With the surprising rejuvenation after 70 earthquakes in its life, it’s unfair for it to be ignored by visitors.
The topless look was caused by an earthquake. But why did I mention its rejuvenation? An earthquake split its body in 1487, but another earthquake which happened 34 years later made the crack disappear, so the pagoda recovered. The same miracles happened 3 times.
For me, I prefer the atmosphere here, quiet and comfortable even on hot summer days, compared to the crowds of people at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It’s the best place to relax from chaos outside, to imagine the old stories of the pagoda and the city. Not only do the old buildings attract me here, but also the yard for showing the sculptural stone columns which were put in front of the gate in ancient times. Besides, from 8:00 to 11:30, from 13:30 to 17:00, every half an hour there is a Chinese classical musical performance in a room, just several minutes long. If you are tired, why don’t you stop for a while?
Also, you can visit a new museum-Xi'an Museum, the ticket is included. There are many cultural relic exhibitions, including 3 national treasures.
Price:50(including Xi'an museum)
Another of the must-see stops on a China tour is the big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an. It was built originally to house the first Buddist scriptures and artifacts brought to China from India. The grounds are immense, and part of ongoing restoration. Surrounding the Pagoda itself are other buildings, housing a temple and offices and some beautiful gardens for prayers or simple contemplation.
There are many pages by other VT'ers that contain all the details about this site, I found it a particularly welcoming, restful (although there was some restoration work occurring during our visit) and placed in a wonderful setting. There were places where you could sit and see nothing but the ancient trees and and blooming flowers, and others where the skyline of the modern city peeked over the lush greenery. There must have been great attention to feng shui paid in the situation and surroundings of this site. More than any of the places we visited in Beijing, there was a real spiritual feeling here.