Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Situated inside Ci'en Temple (4 kilometers south of Xi'an City), it is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China. Sponsored by Tang Emperor Gaozong (628-683, reigned 650-683), the temple was first built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty as a symbol of thanksgiving to his mother for her kindness who had suffered an early death.
To protect the scriptures and statues brought back from India by Monk Xuan Zang (602-664), he made a proposal to imperial court for building a pagoda inside the temple. The proposal was approved and a pagoda named the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was first erected in 652 during Tang Dynasty.
The pagoda experienced many vicissitudes in the past centuries. The present structure boasts five stories with 59.9 meters in height and the base of the pagoda is 4.2 meters totaling 64.1 meters in height. Legend tells that one day a group of big wild geese flew over, suddenly one of them dropped from the sky and died on the ground. Monks were at a loss and did not know what to do. They said that the dead wild goose was a Buddha. They buried the goose and a pagoda was erected, hence the name – the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda of Xian is a structure of imposing grandeur.
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