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Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Pagoda)

Our Tour Group in front of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Our Tour Group at Dayan Pagoda
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As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda (also called Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the downtown of the city. Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion and its simple but appealing style of construction. It is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction. In addition, it was added to the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014, together with other sites along the ancient Silk Road.

This whole scenic area include the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Daci'en Temple, and the various squares, gardens and other facilities around.

 Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.

Xuanzang started off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics. Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Daci'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.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian
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Burning incense for praying
Burning incense for praying, Da Ci'en Temple
First built to a height of 60 meters (197 feet) with five stories, it is now 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an additional two stories. It was said that after that addition came the saying-'Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda'. Externally it looks like a square cone, simple but grand and it is a masterpiece of Buddhist construction. Built of brick, its structure is very firm. Inside the pagoda, stairs twist up so that visitors can climb and overlook the panorama of the city from the arch-shaped doors on four sides of each storey. On the walls are engraved fine statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty. Steles by noted calligraphers also grace the pagoda.

As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn't find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: 'Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.' At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. Hence its name.

 Daci'en Temple
Daci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, the temple is built to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 12.5 acres (50,738 square meters), one seventh of the original area, it still retains its grandeur.

Before the temple, there stands a statue of hierarch Xuanzang, the meritorious hierarch. With guarding lions at both sides of the gate, the temple seems stately for lions were said to function as talismans. Entering the temple you will see two buildings - Bell Tower in the east and Drum Tower in the west. Along the central axis are arranged the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang.
Praying Buddhists in Cien Temple
Reciting scriptures in Daci'en Temple
South Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Morning Exercise on South Square
  Squares and Gardens around Big Wild Goose Pagoda
There are many featured squares and gardens around the pagoda and temple, which provides the locals and tourists with wonderful resorts for free. The most remarkable one should be the North Square boasting the largest musical fountain in Asia. Besides, the Tang Ci’en Temple Site Park and the Shaanxi Opera Garden to the east, the Shaanxi Folk Customs Garden to the west, as well as the South Square with the statue of Monk Xuanzang and the Great Tang All Day Mall to the south are also worth visiting.
 Related Videos of the Locals Doing Morning Exercise around the Pagoda:
Tai Chi Sword Performance
Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Performance

 How to get there
By Bus:
Take bus nos. 5, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 34, 41, 44, 224, 242, 307, 400, 401, 408, 500, 501, 521, 526, 527, 601, 606, 609, 619, 701, 715, 933, Tourist Bus Line 6 & 8 & 9 and get off at Dayanta Station.

By Subway:
Take Subway Line 3 to Dayanta Station directly.
Take Subway Line 2 to Xiaozhai Station (Exit C) and walk eastward for 10 minutes. 

By Taxi:

It costs about CNY 30 from the Xian Railway Station to this scenic area.
Xian Bus / Subway Search
Ticket Price: Entrance Fee of Daci'en Temple: CNY 50
Ascending the Pagoda: CNY 30
Note: Those who want to ascend the pagoda should buy the entrance ticket of Daci'en Temple as well.
Opening Hours: 8:00 - 17:00

 Musical Fountain on the North Square:
Admission Fee Free
Hours 1. Monday, Wednesday - Friday: 12:00, 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 12:00, 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31)
2. Tuesday: 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31)
3. Weekend and other statutory holidays: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31)
* Note: There is no show from November to the next January except the Chinese New Year Holiday.

 Transportation to the surrounding scenic spots:
 Shaanxi History Museum
Take bus 5, 19, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 400 or Tourism Bus No. 8 (610) and get off at Cuihua Road Station.

 Tang Paradise
Take bus 21, 22, 23, 24, 237, 601, 609, 715 or Tourism Bus Route 4 from Big Wild Goose Pagoda and get off at Tang Paradise South Gate. Or take bus no.501, 601 or Tourism Bus Route 8 and get off at Tang Paradise North Gate.

 Qujiang Ocean Park
Take bus 501, 601 or Tourism Bus Route 8 and get off at Qujiang Ocean Park.

 Qujiang Pool Park
Take bus 224 and get off at Qujiang Pool Site Park South Gateway.

 Cool Cave (Hanyao)
Take bus 22 and get off at Hanyao Road West Crossing Station.

 The Tomb of the Second Emperor of Qin Dynasty (The Tomb of Hu Hai)
Take bus 224 or 715 and get off at Qujiang Guanweihui Station, and walk to the west until you see the entrance of the tomb.