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Big Wild Goose Pagoda


Yanta W Rd., XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta District, Xian, Shannxi Province, China

Reasons to visit

One of landmark of Xian City; Art masterpieces of Buddhist architecture

Our Ratings

Opening Hours

  • 9:00-17:00

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda or Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (Chinese: 大雁塔; pinyin: Dàyàn Tǎ) is a well-preserved holy place for Buddhist with a history of over 1300 years. It is the landmark building of Xian, the key national cultural relics and AAAA attraction.

The whole Big Wild Goose Pagoda scenic area is composed with Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Daci’en Temple and Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza.


History of Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The pagoda was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories, although the structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade renovated during the Ming Dynasty.

Xuanzang, the eminent monk of Tang Dynasty, used to study in India from 629 to 645. He saw this kind of pagoda in India. When he was back home, for storing Buddhist text and figures of Buddha, he built a pagoda in Cien Temple imitating the structure of pagoda in India, and named it Goose Pagoda. One of the pagodas many functions were to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Monk Xuanzang.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda


Structure of Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is brick structure, square-pavilion pagoda. It is 64 meters high now. The tower footing is 4.2 meters high, 48.7 meters in l ength from north to south, about 45.7 meters from east to west. The tower bottom length is 25.5 meters in square taper shape.
There are nine rooms in the first and second layers, 7 rooms in the third and fourth layers and 5 rooms in five, six, seven, eighth layers1, 2, 3, 4, has seven layers, there are five layers 5 ,6,7,8, each have four coupons door. Inscriptions of Emperor Taizong and Emperor Gaozong are situated on its south.

The monk Xuanzang's statue stands in front of the temple area. From the fist five-layer structure to the seven-layer architecture now.

What to See in Big Wild Goose Pagoda

►Basement of the Pagoda: there is stone gate to the bottom of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. There caved the Sanzang Sheng Jiao Xu of Tang Dynasty of Li Shiming – Emperor Taizong of Tang and the article of Emperor Gaozong of Tang, all wrote by Chu Suiliang, the calligrapher in Tang Dynasty.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda

►The first layer: entered the South Gate, on the wall there are lots of title steles inlayed in the wall. On the first floor, there are also the Photo Exhibition of common sense of ancient pagoda and famous pagodas in China.

►The second layer: there is bronze gilding Sakyamuni Buddha figure, which was the treasure of early Ming Dynasty.
►The third layer: on the center of the third layer, there is a wooden seat with Buddhist relics and the model of Big Goose Pagoda.
►The fifth layer: there are displaying the Buddha footprint tablet which was copied the Buddha foot caved by Li Tianzhou of Yuhua Temple, who was invited by Xuanzang.

►The sixth layer: there are hanging the  masterpieces of five poets of Tang Dynasty: Dufu, Censen, Gaoshi, Xueju and Chu Guangxi.
►The seventh layer: on the top of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, you can  overlook around the whole ancient city.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza

Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza covers an area north from the southern end of Yanta Road, south to the out wall of Dacien Temple, east to Guangchan East Road, and west to Guangchan West Road. It is 218 m long from east to west, 364 m from south to nort h, with an area of 110000 square meters. Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza is Asia's largest and the largest Fountain Square Fountain Plaza, with the world's longest optical band, first direct diversion and the la rgest sound combinations, etc. record.

【Fountain Show Time at Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza)】
Monday to Friday 12:00, 21:00 (no performances on Tuesday at noon)
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00.
Duration: 20 minutes, 30 minutes earlier in winter than in summer night 

The Inclined Pagoda

Because of repeated man-made sabotage coupled with its structural problems, Big Wild Goose Pagoda was discovered to incline since 1719. In the 1960s, as the surrounding excessive exploitation of groundwater of the pagoda, the water pressure dropped significantly, causing a wide range of uneven ground subsidence and accelerating the sink of the tower. At 1985, it had been tilted 998 mm. To 1996, the ancient pagoda tilted to the northwest of 1010.5 mm, with an average incline of one millimeter per year. After more than 20 years’ comprehensive renovation, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda’s situation has become stable. In 2005 the amount of tilt is 1001.9 mm. Until 2011, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is no more inclining, and the incline returns 1 mm every year.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Travel Guide of Big Wild Goose Pagoda

【Time for a Visit】1- 2 hrs

【Best Time to Visit】All year round. As summer is hot in Xian, visiting in morning and after sunset is better choice.

【How to get there】 
1. Sightseeing Bus: stop at Big Wild Goose Pagoda North Plaza Station (Da Yan Ta Bei Guang Chang Station )
2. Take Subway Line 2 to Xiaozhai Station (Exit C) and walk eastward for 10 minutes.

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