Greater Wild Goose Pagoda

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Greater Wild Goose Pagoda

The Greater Wild Goose Pagoda (大雁塔) was originally called Daci'en Temple Tower. It is now found in the temple in the southern suburbs of Xi'an.

The temple was built in 648 by Li Zhi, Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty, to pray for his late-mother, Empress Wende. Originally, the walls of temple were painted with works of such famous Tang Dynasty painters as Yan Liben, Wu Daozi, and Yi Lin. Soon after the temple was completed, Monk Xuanzang spent 19 years here to translate 74 types of Buddhist scriptures after he returned from India and wrote a great work Da tang xi yu ji (A Record of a Journey to the West in the Time of the Great Tang Dynasty). To protect the sutra he brought back from India, Xuanzang had the Greater Wild Goose Pagoda built. The temple then gained widespread fame and appealed to pilgrims far away. Unfortunately, all temple buildings were burnt down in wars in late Tang, leaving only the pagoda. All the buildings in the present temple were reconstructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties.