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  The Little Wild Goose Pagoda

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda stands in Da Jianfu Temple, to the south of the walled city. The temple, was originally established in 684 A.D. in honor of Li Zhi - Emperor Gaozong of Tang dynasty. It was particularly associated with Buddhist Monk Yijing, who translated Buddhist scriptures he had brought back from India.

The temple was the place where the great translator Monk Yijing(635-713AD.) translated Buddhist scriptures. Yijing set out by sea for India in search of Buddhist principle in 671. On his way back to China with some 400 volumes of holy Sanskirt scriptures after traveling over 30 countries for more than 20 years, he once stayed on Island of Sumatra in Indonesia for investigation. Yijing translated altogether 56 volumes of scriptures in Da Jianfu Temple and wrote the book Biography of Eminent Monks in the Tang dynasty in Search of Buddhist Truth in India, which was regarded as a companion to Pilgrimage to India by Xuanzang, and of great help to the study of Chinese and Indonesian history and the cultural exchange.

Standing in one of the courtyards is a large bell 4.5 meters in height, 7.6 meters in diameter along the rim, and 10 tons in weight, dating back to the Jin dynasty (1192). It was called the 'Magic Bell' for an interesting legend that the one who missed his beloved living far away from him, could write down their names on a piece of yellow paper and send a message by the sound of the Bell. Hence, the 'Morning Bell Chimes of the Pagoda' is one of the eight famous scenic features in Shaanxi.

The pagoda set up in 707 originally had 15 storeys about 45 meters in height at the request of Yijing to preserve scriptures. But it was damaged during a series of earthquakes in the late 15th and 16th centuries. In 1847, the pagoda was split from top to bottom by the impact of an earthquake of 6 points on the Richter scale. Amazingly, it did not fall. In 1556 another quake, 8 on the Richter scale, had its epicenter some 75 kilometers (47 mile) east of Xian. The crack healed overnight, therefore it was called the 'Magic Healing'. When repair work started in 1949, it was found that the healing was not 'magic', but 'man-made'. The base of the pagoda shaped a hemisphere in accordance with the geographic nature of Xian, which evenly divided the stress of the earthquakes. It revealed the admirable workmanship of the ancient Chinese.

The Xian Museum  has been newly built in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda where many historical items like bronze arts, jade wears, tri-colored glazed figurines were displayed inside. Some of them were listed under the national protection. it opened to the public on 18th, May 2007.


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