Tayuan Temple or the Great White Pagoda is a brick stupa located at the south of the Xiantong Temple in Wutai Mountain. As the most prominent landmark in Wutaishan, Tayuan Temple is best renowned for housing the Great White Pagoda.
Located at the south of the Xiantong Temple, Tayuan temple was originally a pagoda yard of the Xiantong Temple and separated as an independent temple in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD). The pagoda was constructed during the Wanli reign of the Ming Dynasty, as recorded on a stone tablet there composed by the high minister Zhang Juzheng (1525–1582).
The White Pagoda is actually a Sarira Stupa, named after the Sanskrit word sarira meaning 'Buddhist relic', sits on a square base with an archetypal sumeru pedestal. It is roughly 50 m (164 ft) tall, constructed of brick with a lime coating on the outside that gives its white color. The main upper frame of the pagoda is shaped as an inverted bowl. The canopy of the pagoda sits atop a steeple with thirteen tiers. The canopy and bead crowning the top are all made of gilded copper. The canopy also supports 252 small bells.