Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is located in the southern Xian, was a Buddhist pagoda built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. Known as a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion. With simple but appealing style of construction of the Da Ci'en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Big Wild Goose Pagoda was originally built in 652 in the reign of the Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for collecting the Buddhist materials which were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang who made his way to India along the Silk Road from Chang’an (Xian) and brought back 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics in 17 years. Later, with the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Da Ci'en Temple, built the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese 1,335 volumes, which opened a new era in the history of translation. Besides, based on the journey to India, Xuanzang also wrote a book entitled 'Pilgrimage to the West', to which scholars attached great importance.
The original Big Wild Goose Pagoda is five stories high in a height of 60 meters, later it was added with two stories in a height of 60 meters for the saying” Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda”. Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can climb and overlook the panorama of Xian City from the arch-shaped doors on four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty. Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the pagoda.
There is a legend of the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In the ancient China, there are two branches of the Buddhism, one of which eating meat. However, one day, they found there is no meat left and to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself:” merciful Bodhisattva please gives me some meat to eat”. 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, so they built a pagoda where the goose fell and stopped eating meat, hence the name.
Da Ci'en Temple
With an area of 32,314 square meters, one seventh of the original area, Da Ci'en Temple is the home of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and it was built in 648 for commemorating a dead virtuous queen. Besides, the status and scale in this temple are far exceeded all others in Xian. With guarding lions, the temple seems stately for lions were said to function as talismans. Moreover, the famous statue of hierarch Xuanzang stands before the temple.
While entering the temple, visitor could see Bell Tower in the east and Drum Tower in the west, and inside the Bell Tower hangs an 15 tons iron bell which was molded in 1548 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang locate along the central axis. The Hall of Mahavira has three carved statues of Sakyamuni, and 18 arhats as well as Xuanzang. The Sermon Hall is where Buddhist disciples would listen to a sermon. A bronze statue of Amitabha is dedicated and a Buddha statue is collected by Xuanzang as oblation. The Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang, which located north of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, contains Xuanzang's relic and a bronze statue of a seated Xuanzang. The inner wall is chiseled with murals depicting this hierarch's story. Renowned as the contemporary Dunhuang Buddhist storehouse praised by UNESCO, it is the biggest memorial of Xuanzang.
North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
With an area of 110,000 square meters and 20,000 square meters water area, this area has quite charming and peaceful scenery. Meanwhile, this square holds many records: the biggest Tang-culture square, the biggest musical fountain and waterscape square and the largest-scale sculptures area in Asia, the most benches, the longest light-belt, and the largest-scale acoustic complex in the world.
With waterscape fountains, a cultural square, gardens and tourist paths, visitors could really taste the Chinese culture and traditions. With reliefs on the theme of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, 200-meter-long (656-foot-long) sculpture groups, 8 groups of sculpted figures, 40 relievos on the land, and 22 styles of musical fountains, it has become a must-see when you visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Show time of the musical fountain:
Monday, Wednesday - Friday
12:00, 21:00 (Summer Time)
12:00, 20:30(Winter Time);
21:00 (Summer Time)
Weekend and other statutory holidays
12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00 (Summer Time)
12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:30 (Winter Time)
CNY 50 (Entrance Fee of the Da Ci'en Temple); CNY 30 (Ascending the Big Wild Goose Pagoda)
Opening Hours: 8:00 - 17:00
Take bus 5, 19, 21, 23, 24, 34, 41, 44, 224, 237, 242, 400, 408, 501, 521, 526, 527, 601, 606, 109, 701, Tourist Bus Line 6, Line 8 (610) or Line 9 and get off at Big Wild Goose Pagoda.