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Big Wild Goose Pagoda (DayanTa)

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda could be regarded as a composition of the Da Ci'en Temple, situated in the southern outskirt of Xi'an City about 4 kilometers from the downtown area. In a large degree, it is a symbol of the old-line Xi'an. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the well-known Buddhist holy places in China. As one of the National Key Cultural Relic Preserve and an AAAA Tourist Attraction, it attracts numerous tourists every year.
Totally to say, the whole attraction can be divided into three sections: the Big Goose Pagoda, the Da Ci'en Temple, and the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

History
The temple was originally named WuLou Si Temple in Sui dynasty in 589 A.D., which lasted about 59 years till the Emperor LiZhi. As he was just a crown prince, managed a renew project on the temple. In commemoration of his mother's kindness for whom had passed away in her early age. That exactly the reason why the temple called "Ci'en Si" and it was said that Emperor GongZong had showed his respect to the temple twice a day by looking in to its direction from the Hanyuan Palace.
There are thirteen yards and with the number of more than 1987 rooms inside. And appointed XuanZang, who was considered starting off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian) along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism, as the first abbot of Da Ci'en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled "Pilgrimage to the West" in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance.

Legend-Name Origin
In accordance to the ancient Buddhists stories, there exist two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. Suddenly one day, they failed in finding meat to buy. Once they saw a group of big geese flying by, a monk said to himself: "Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some." On such occasion, the forefront goose broke its wings and fell to the ground in front of the monks. They were firmly believed it was Bodhisattva that gave hint to them. As for this, they established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. So it got the name "Big Wild Goose Pagoda".

Architectural Complex
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was an architectural mighty works. It was firstly a five-story building with a height of 60 meters, but later to follow the traditional saying that saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda, the pagoda had add to 64.5 meters high with two more stories. Seen afar, it seems like a square cone, simple but grand. It is a firm construction without any cement in between of bricklayers. It is a kind of traditional bracket style; the seams between each layer of bricks and the prisms on each side of the pagoda are clearly to see.
The main body of the pagoda with its solemn appearance, simple style and high structure, is indeed a good example of ancient people's wisdom and talent.

Da Ci'en Temple
As the former said that Da Ci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The name means mercy and kindness to commemorate the dead virtuous queen. Covering an area of 32,314 square meters.
Figures of the Holy King and of Buddha are on the doorframe sand horizontal bars on four sides of the pagoda's base. These stone sculptures show highly skilled workmanship, and show vivid shapes and smooth lines. Nowadays they serve as an important source of material for the study of painting and sculpture of the Tang dynasty. Out of these artistic works, the one on the horizontal bar of the west door is the most precious. It is a rare piece of art, now used for the study of the Tang architecture.
Entering the temple where the pagoda is situated, there are two small buildings: the one on the east side houses a bell, and a drum on the west. The bell, an iron cast from the Ming dynasty, weights 15 tons. Together with the drum, the bell was used to strike time for the monks in the temple.
In the Great Hall of the Buddha there are three incarnations of Sakyamuni. The one in the middle is called Dharmakaya. Named Bao Shen Buddha on the west, and the one on the opposite is called Ying Shen Buddha.
The Amitabha Buddha stands in the Doctrine Chamber. On the wall at the east side of the chamber, there are three rubbings. The one in the middle is called Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) carries the Scriptures to Chang'an.

North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
It is a square that has entitled a lot both in Asia and the world. In Asia, it is the biggest Tang-culture square, the biggest fountain and waterscape square, and the largest-scale sculptures area. As in the world, it has the most benches, the longest light-belt, and the largest -scale acoustic complex.
The North Square covers about 110,000 square meters plus 20,000 square meters of water area. Excellent natural environment surrounded the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It consists of four parts: waterscape fountains, a cultural square, gardens and tourist paths, where one can fully taste real Chinese culture and traditions as well the attractive and enjoyable views. Due to the prosperous Tang Dynasty, 200-meter-long sculpture groups, 8 groups of sculpted figures, 40 relievos on the land, and 22 styles of musical fountains, it has become irresistible scenery while touring Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

 


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