Why is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda special?
The Great Buddhist pagodas in Xi'an date back about 1300 years during the Tang Dynasty. Built to store and translate Sanskrit Buddhist Scriptures that a monk brought from India, it was initially built in 652 with only five floors. Several decades later, two more floors were added. Today, it is the only tall pagoda of the historic Tang era still standing.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda Highlights
Base of the pagoda
Preserved on the four stone doors in the base of the pagoda are exquisite engravings of the Tang. Two steles with the Preface to the Sacred Religion written by the famous Tang calligrapher Chu Suiliang are set into the walls on the either side of the south door of the pagoda.
On the forehead of the west stone gate, there are carved with architecture joss patterns and pictures, which are in compact layout, with vigorous and smooth lines, and are said to be the works of Yan Liben and Yu Chiyi, famous painters of the Tang Dynasty, so that these patterns and pictures become the significant material for Chinese ancient architecture research.
Walk up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda's spiral staircase for an excellent view of Xi'an and countryside. Do this early or late in the day during the tourist season to avoid long waits.
Superscription of the Wild Goose Tower
Since the Tang Dynasty, in the 14th, 15th and 16th days of every lunar January there have been traditional temple fairs in the Goose Pagoda Temple. It also became a gathering place for intellectuals. Successful candidates in the highest imperial examinations always left their signature in the tower which was called Superscription of the Wild Goose Tower. In addition, many celebrities left poems or some other literature works.