The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was
built in the Great Ci'en Temple of the Tang Dynasty in 652A .D.
It is 64 meters high with seven storeys. It was used for storing
the scriptures and Buddha's statues brought back from India by Monk
Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty. This pagoda is simple but of high
architectural art. Above the stone doors at the bottom of the pagoda,
there remain the exquisite line-etched pictures from the Tang Dynasty.
Visitors can spiral up the pagoda to view the whole city. It is
the symbol of Xi'an.
The life and adventures of a Chinese monk who made a 17-year journey
to bring Buddhist teachings from India to China. Xuanzang subsequently
became a main character in the great Chinese epic Journey to the
Wild Goose Pagoda
More Story About Xuanzang
In 629 C.E., a Chinese Buddhist monk named Xuanzang wanted to go
west to India to learn more about Buddhism, but at the time, the
emperor had forbidden travel outside China. Xuanzang respected authority
and he struggled with a decision on whether or not to make the journey.
Xuanzang, a brilliant and devout man, in the end believed that going
to India was the only way to answer questions that troubled Chinese
Buddhists. He started a seventeen-year journey that year, much of
it spent as a fugitive and traveling under the cover of darkness.
Xuanzang traveled along what we now know as the Silk Road. He survived
the dangerous Taklamakan Desert and continued through the high and
harsh mountains of Tian Shan (literally, mountains of the heavens
or sky). The Silk Road took him through countries ruled by powerful
leaders who sometimes wanted to keep him in their kingdom rather
than allow him to travel on. His intelligence and calm devotion
to Buddhism convinced these leaders to help him in this quest to
reach India. He was to have many adventures as he worked his way
through India, on to Nepal, the home of the Buddha, and then to
Nalanda where he spent many years living with the greatest teachers
and thinkers of this time. Before he returned home, Xuanzang had
converted pirates who meant to rob and kill him, survived deadly
typhoons, and won a Great Debate in front of thousands of wise men
The return trip was no less difficult and he slowly made his way
back studying, teaching, and learning about the cultures of the
people he met along the way. Xuanzang was still officially a fugitive
in his homeland, China, because he had left without permission.
Xuanzang wrote a letter to the emperor describing what he had learned
and as a result, the emperor not only welcomed him back, but appointed
him a court advisor.
The rest of Xuanzang's life was spent in teaching, advising and
translating manuscripts that made the journey home with him. Following
his journey, Buddhism became more prevalent and more widely understood
in China and subsequently elsewhere in the world. The record of
his pilgrimage helps us to study and understand Buddhism and the
cultures along the Silk Roads.
Other tourist attractions in Xi'an