Exploring the Big Wild Goose Pagoda: An Ancient Chinese Wonder


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Exploring the Big Wild Goose Pagoda: An Ancient Chinese Wonder

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in the southern part of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China. Built in 652 AD during the Tang Dynasty, it originally had five stories, but the structure was rebuilt in 704 AD during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming Dynasty. It now stands at a height of 64 m (210 ft) tall and is a well-known landmark of Xi’an.

History

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built to house Buddhist scriptures and figurines brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. Xuanzang was a monk at Jingtu Temple in 629 AD when he was sent by Emperor Taizong of Tang to India, to obtain better copies of Buddhist scriptures. After spending 17 years in India, he returned to Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) with 657 Buddhist texts and figurines.

The emperor ordered the construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to house the items brought back from India. The pagoda was originally five stories tall, but was later expanded to seven stories by Empress Wu Zetian in 704 AD. It was damaged by several earthquakes over the centuries and was renovated and restored during the Ming Dynasty in 1399 AD.

Architecture

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a brick structure with a square base and a circular top. It stands at a height of 64 m (210 ft) and has seven stories. The structure is decorated with glazed tiles and has a stairway with 446 steps leading to the top. It also has four gates, each facing a different direction.

Features

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a popular tourist attraction in Xi’an. It is known for its Buddhist carvings, statues, and frescoes. The pagoda also houses a museum with a collection of Buddhist artifacts from the Tang Dynasty. Visitors can also explore the surrounding gardens, pavilions, and ponds.

Cultural Significance

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is an important symbol of the Chinese culture and history. It is a reminder of the great religious and cultural exchange between China and India during the Tang Dynasty. It is also a reminder of the importance of Buddhism in Chinese culture and of the legacy of Xuanzang, who helped to spread Buddhism in China.

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a popular tourist attraction and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Xi’an. It is a symbol of the city and a reminder of its long and rich history.

Conclusion

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a symbol of the Chinese culture and history. It is a reminder of the importance of Buddhism in Chinese culture and of the great religious and cultural exchange between China and India during the Tang Dynasty. It is a popular tourist attraction and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Xi’an.


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