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Ancient Places / Trip Ideas

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

By Jocelyn Yi

May 9

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in the Daci’en Temple.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in the Daci’en Temple.

As known to many, Xi’an (or “Chang’an” in ancient China) was the departure point of the world-famous ancient Silk Road, and there is also a long-standing Buddhist building in this city that is an ancient landmark – the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda (or the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Dayan Pagoda) was built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in the Daci’en Temple. It kept Buddhist materials that were taken from India by a legendary monk called Xuanzang. People call it the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to distinguish it from another smaller and younger one, which is also located in Xi’an.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda [Credit: VCG]
The pagoda, 64.5 meters high with seven stories, is now the largest and oldest square pavilion-style Tang Dynasty brick pagoda. Externally it looks like a square cone, and still stands firm after all these centuries. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can ascend and take in the views of the city from the arch-shaped doors on the four sides of each story. On the walls beside the doors of the ground floor, visitors can find statues and steles by renowned artists and calligraphers of the Tang Dynasty. The pagoda is not only a tourist attraction but an import historic heritage to China and the world.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda [Credit: VCG]
The Daci’en Temple is the home of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which now sits stately alongside other Buddhist buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The Buddhist relics and the parietal bone of Xuanzang are respectively enshrined in the pagoda and a yard called “Xuanzang Sanzang Yard,” and are seen as treasures for the Daci’en Temple. Visitors can also find nine stupas to the east of the temple in which Buddhist relics of nine hierarchs of the temple since the Qing Dynasty are enshrined.

 

Time to visit: High season: March 16-Nov. 14; Low season: Nov.15- March 15

Entry: 50 yuan / person, for the Daci’en Temple; 30 yuan/ person, for the Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Opening Hours:9:00-19:00

There are squares on the northern and southern sides of the temple. The northern one boasts the largest musical fountain in Asia.

In addition, the nearby Tang Paradise Panorama is also worth visiting.

 

Opening hours for fountain performance:

From June 10 to Oct.5

Monday-Friday: 12:00, 21:00

Saturday and Sunday: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00

From Oct.7- Oct.31; Feb.1- June 9

Monday-Friday: 12:00, 20:30

Saturday and Sunday: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:30

No shows from November to January, except for the Spring Festival; no daytime show on Tuesdays for routine maintenance.

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