Thursday, October 24, 2019
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Big Wild Goose Pagoda

big-goose-pagoda Situated inside Ci'en (Thanks-giving) Temple, four kilometres south of Xi'an city, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists.

big-goose-pagoda01Legend had it that a group of big whild geese flew over, suddely one of them dropped and died on the ground. Monks were at a loss and didn't know what to do. They thought that the dead wild googse was a Buddha. They buried the goose and a pagoda was erected, hence the name, the Big Whild Goose Pogoda.

 

The storeyed pagoda was an architectural marvel. It was built with layers of bricks but without any cement in between. The bracket style in traditional Chinese architecture was also used in the construction. The seams between each layer of bricks and the "prisms" on each side of the pagoda are clearly visible. The grand 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.

Pictures of the Heavenly King and of Buddha are on the doorframes and horizontal bars are on four sides of the pagoda's base. These stone sculptures display peak workmanship and show vivid shapes and smooth lines. They now 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.

Inside the temple where the pagoda is situated, there are two small buildings: the one on the east side houses a bell, and the one on the west side a drum. 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.
Inside the Great Hall of the Buddha in the temple, there are three incarnations of Sakyamuni. The one in the middle is called Dharmakaya. The one on the west side is called Bao Shen Buddha, and the one on the opposite is called Ying Shen Buddha.

In the Doctrine Chamber stands the Amitabha Buddha. 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.

In the Tang dynasty, every successful candidate who passed the imperial examinations would have to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and write poems and inscriptions there. This ritual would symbolize a soaring career in the future. The fashion of writing poems and leaving inscriptions on the horizontal bars over doors and stone frame-works by successful candidates of the imperial examinations went on as far as the Ming dynasty. These poems and inscriptions have survived to this day as a fine reflection of the city's past.

Traveler Reviews

5.0
avatar013

Olayemi A

5.0

The two day tour was all i needed. And they made it perfect. From the Badaling Great Wall, Changling Ming Tombs, Jade Factory and Tea Ceremony place to Forbidden City, and Summer Palace and Pearl Factory, it was wonderful.

JanetH944

5.0

I booked this tour last minute and did not regret it! The cost was minimal compared to the fun I had! First we toured the Forbidden City and our guide, Leo, was wonderful! He shared great knowledge and gave us time to explore on our own. Next we went to the Jade factory and was given a short tour followed by lunch there. The dining experience was wonderful and delicious. We then headed to the Great Wall and it was amazing! Although our time there was limited to two hours, it was just almost perfect. We ended the day with a tea sampling and shopping. I couldnt have asked for a more perfect first tour of China.

Colette K

5.0

On our recent trip we visited :
1) Badaling Great Wall and the Ming Tombs with Linda
2) Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace with Jackson
3) Zhujiajao Water Town with Jason
We were well looked after and driven everywhere as part of a small bus group and met some lovely people. The local Chinese lunches were particularly nice.

stephanie 

5.0

We had a 2-day tour with Tour Travel China.
The first day includes Badaling Great Wall and Changling Ming Tombs with visits to the Jade Factory and Tea Ceremony place.
The second day includes Tian An Men + Forbidden City, Tian Tan, and Summer Palace with visits to the Pearl Factory and Bao Shu Tang where we got a nice foot massage for only 20 Kuai. 
The itinerary and tour service, especially the first day with David were absolutely amazing! He is a great tour guide, with excellent command in English as well as a nice personality.
The second day with Paul was a little bit too fast for our liking. He spoke too fast and a little bit unclear, and seem like almost too in rush for anything so I think that could be improved in the future. The meal in our second day was amazing though! Delicious!
Thank you to you and all TTC team for helping our trip in Beijing much easier!

AnnemiekHK

5.0

Enjoyed a hiking day trip with Tour Travel China to the Great Wall at Jinshangling. This is a further away section but much quieter and definitely worth the extra travel. I visited Mitanyu previously which was very busy.
Two hikes were available 7km and 13km. I took the 7km which was still quite challenging. Spent 2.5 hours on the wall. It’s an amazing experience.
After hiking we had a late lunch at a local restaurant and then headed back to Beijing.
There is no shopping, although there are a few hawkers on the wall.
Make sure you take lots of water and sunscreen with you as it can get quite hot in Summer.
The tour guide and driver were excellent and can recommend this trip.
The travel time is quite long so bring a tablet and headphones to keep you entertained

calishandysg

5.0

We had a great 3-day tour. Most of it was a walking tour that required stamina. The cost was a good deal that included 3 lunch meals.
The tour guides Yoyo, Irish and Vik were very knowledgable about their history. Their English was good, but at times could not understand their accent. 
The Lunch for the 3 days were good but on the 2nd and 3rd day, we were brought to the same restaurant. The service in the Great wall restaurant was good. Food was prepared on the table when we arrived. Unlike in the 2nd restaurant, food was served one at a time, hence time-consuming.
The mandatory stops, total of 5 in 3days: Jade factory, Tea factory, Pearl factory, Silk factory, Foot massage were informative but the time spent there could have been added for picture-taking in the tourist places.
The 24-hour hotline was veey helpful for queries.
Overall, Tour travel China met our travel expectations.
Wendy
Wendy
Sara
Sara
Jenny
Jenny
Catherine
Catherine
Lily
Lily
John
John
Rose
Rose
Avan
Avan