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Small Wild Goose Pagoda

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  • Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian
    Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian
  • Gate of Small Wild Goose Pagoda
    Gate of Small Wild Goose Pagoda
  • A Big Golden Glazed Bell
    A Big Golden Glazed Bell
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Located about one kilometer (1,093 yards) south of Jianfu Temple in Xian, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the two significant pagodas in the city of Xian. Despite inferiority to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in scale and outlook, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a serene and tranquil place for leisure trip.  

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was initially built between 707 AD and 709 AD, during the reign of Emperor Zhongzong in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 709). The temple was originally named as Xianfu Temple in honor of Li Zhi - Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty. It got its current name Jianfu in 690 AD. The original pagoda stood 45 meters (147.6 feet) in height with 15 storeys. Suffering several destructive earthquakes, it now stands at a height of 43.3 meters (142 feet) with 13 storeys. 

Having stood still in Jianfu Temple for about 1,200 years, the construction of the pagoda is a miracle in ancient times. According to the historic records, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda was split from top to bottom under the great impact of the earthquake in 1487. However, it did not fall apart. More surprisingly, the split was healed overnight when a more destructive earthquake hit the area some years later. Then, people called it 'Magic healing'. When repairing the pagoda in 1949, people got to understand that the base of the pagoda was hemisphere-shaped, which conformed to the geographic features of Xian. When suffering the great force such as the earthquake, the stress can be evenly divided to stop it from collapsing. 

Jianfu Temple was one of the important venues for the sutra translation in the Tang Dynasty. The great monk Yijing started off for India from Chang'an in search of Buddhist principles. He toured around 30 countries in 25 years and brought back about 400 volumes of Buddhist scriptures. He returned to Luoyang at 695 AD and then began to focus on translating the sutra in Jianfu Temple in 706 AD. Yijing totally translated 56 volumes of scriptures in Jianfu Temple and wrote the book Biography of Eminent Monks of Tang Dynasty in Search of Buddhist Truth in India. From 707 AD to 709 AD, a 15-storeyed pagoda was built in Jianfu Temple, which is the present Small Wild Goose Pagoda. 

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a multi-eave and square brick structure. The images of arhats and designs of grasses carved on the lintel suggested the excellent workmanship and artistic style of early Tang Dynasty. There are 15 pent roofs. Each storey is very low with small windows only on the south and north sides to let in light and air. The width of the pagoda tapers very little from the first to the fifth storey, but it reduces greatly from the sixth storey up, making the pagoda graceful in style and even in scale. The tubular interior of the pagoda has wooden flooring and a winding flight of wooden steps leading to other storeys.

The huge bell in one of the courtyards can date back to the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), which is 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) in height, 7.6 meters (8.3 yards) in diameter along the rim, and 10 tons in weight. The bell was stricken every morning during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), and the sound was so resonant that it could be heard several miles away. The 'Morning Bell Chimes of the Pagoda' is considered as one of the Eight Famous Scenic Features in Shaanxi. 

Standing sedately in the bustling street, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda welcomes tourists all over the world.  

 Entrance Fee: CNY 50 (including Jianfu Temple and Xian Museum)

 Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 

 Bus Routes: Take Bus No. 18, 21, 29, 32, 40, 46, 203, 204, 218, 224, 407, 410, 508, 521, 700, 707, 713, 720, Tourism Bus No. 7, Tourism Bus No. 8 (610)  or Wulong Special Line and get off at Small Wild Goose Pagoda stop.

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