The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a world-famous Buddhist pagoda located in the city of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the ancient city, and has a long history of over 1,300 years. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) by the famous monk and translator Xuanzang, who was sent to India by Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty to study Buddhism and bring back Buddhist scriptures.
History of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was originally built in 707 AD, during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty. It was originally named the ‘Pagoda of Transmitting the Dharma’ and was built by Xuanzang, the famous monk and translator, as a place to store the Buddhist scriptures he had brought back from India. After Xuanzang’s death in 664, the pagoda was renamed ‘Small Wild Goose Pagoda’.
Over the centuries, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda has been damaged several times by earthquakes, fires and wars, but it has been restored many times, and the current structure is a reconstruction from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The pagoda is now a well-preserved cultural relic, and is one of the most important Buddhist sites in China.
Architecture of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a brick structure with a height of 45.2 meters and a base diameter of 34.5 meters. The pagoda is made up of 15 tiers of eaves, and the eaves of each tier are decorated with Buddhist figures, such as the Buddha, bodhisattvas and arhats. There are also various carvings of birds, flowers and animals on the eaves.
The pagoda has four doors, one on each side, and is surrounded by a stone wall. Inside the pagoda are four staircases, one in each direction, which lead to the top. At the top of the pagoda, there is a square terrace, where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Xi’an.
Cultural Significance of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a symbol of the city of Xi’an and its long history. It is a reminder of the great achievements of Xuanzang and his contributions to the spread of Buddhism in China. The pagoda is also a popular tourist destination, and is a favorite spot for visitors to take pictures and appreciate the beauty of the ancient city.
Visiting the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is open to visitors all year round, and there are a number of ways to visit the pagoda. Visitors can take a bus or taxi to the site, or they can take a boat ride on the nearby Wei River to get to the pagoda. There is an admission fee for visitors, and there are also guided tours available.
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is an iconic landmark of the ancient city of Xi’an, and a symbol of the long history of Chinese Buddhism. It is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the city, and is a great way to appreciate the beauty of the ancient city.