Small Wild Goose Pagoda
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Why called Small Wild Goose Pagoda?
In the Yonghui Period (650-655) under the reign of Tang Emperor Gaozong, “Wild Goose Pagoda” was built in the Da Ci’en Temple to store the sutras which the eminent monk Xuan Zang had brought from India to Chang’an, today’s Xi'an. In the Jinglong Period (707-710) under the reign of Tang Emperor Zhongzong, “Jianfu Temple Pagoda” was built in order to store the Buddhist sutras that Monk Yi Jing had brought from India.
Because it looked like the “Wild Goose Pagoda” but was a little bit smaller, “Jianfu Temple Pagoda” was called the “Small Wild Goose Pagoda”, while the previous “Wild Goose Pagoda” in the Da Ci’en Temple became known as the “Giant Wild Goose Pagoda”.
Structure of a Rectangular Pyramid
The base of the pagoda is square, each side measuring 11.38 meters (37.34 feet). Beneath the pagoda there is an underground palace. The multi-eaves are made of overlapping bricks. The ground storey has two doors facing south and north respectively and other storeys have exquisite windows. The height and the side line length of every storey decrease progressively. So, the pagoda looks like a rectangular pyramid, with a beautiful design and perfect proportions.
Ascending the Pagoda
Inside the pagoda, a narrow wooden stairway winds its way to the top, requiring quite an effort by those making the ascent. Children and seniors with poor physical condition are not recommended to ascend. Additionally, it is hard for larger people to pass through the narrow stairway on the upper floors.
There is a small open platform on the top due to the missing two floors. Please be aware that it is very small, allowing only ten people at one time. For tourists successfully reaching the top, it is a special experience to have a bird’s eye view of the whole temple through the broken top. One can even see a panoramic view of the ancient city of Xi'an on clear days.
Magical Survival from Earthquakes
The mystery was revealed during the restoration after 1949. The reason why the Small Wild Goose Pagoda can withstand dozens of earthquakes is that wise ancient craftsmen have formed its foundation as a hemisphere of rammed earth. In this way, pressure can be distributed evenly when an earthquake happens. Just like a never-fall doll, the flexible and stable pagoda can survive these storms and earthquakes.
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How to Get to Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Take bus No. 21, 40, 46, 224, 258, 410, 521, 700 or Tourist Line 7 and get off at Xiaoyanta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) Station and get in through the North Gate.
Take Metro Line 2, get off at Nanshaomen Station, and leave from Exit A1 or A2. Walk west about 6 minutes and get in through the North Gate.
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|Ticket Price||Entering Jianfu Temple: Free of charge on ordinary days; CNY 20 to 25 during the temple fair from 1st to 15th of the first lunar month. |
Ascending the Small Wild Goose Pagoda: CNY 30
|Opening Hours||March 15-October 31: 09:00-18:00 (Ticket selling stops at 17:00) |
November 1-March 14: 09:00-17:30 (Ticket selling stops at 16:30)
Close: Every Tuesday (except for Chinese national holidays)
* During the temple fair, the temple allows entry until 21:00 and is emptied at 22:00, while the Small Wild Goose Pagoda closes at 16:30 as usual.
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You can take public bus no. 606 at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station and get off at the South Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. After arrival, walk to the destination.
Or you can take a taxi directly. The fare is no more than CNY 20.