February 23, 2010

Hua Shan (simplified Chinese: 华山; traditional Chinese: 華山; pinyin: Huà Shān, sometimes spoken Huá Shān) is located in the Shaanxi Province, about 100 kilometres east of the city of Xi’an, near the city Huayin in China. The mountain is one of China’s Five Sacred Taoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. The mountain has five main peaks, of which the tallest is the South Peak at 2160 m.
As early as the second century BCE, there was a Daoist temple known as the Shrine of the Western Peak located at its base. Daoists believed that in the mountain lives a god of the underworld. The temple at the foot of the mountain was often used for spirits mediums to contact the god and his underlings. Unlike Taishan, which became a popular place of pilgrimage, Huashan only received local pilgrms, and was not well known in much of the rest of China.[1] Huashan was also an important place for immortality seekers, as powerful drugs were reputed to be found there. Kou Qianzhi (365-448), the founder of the Northern Celestial Masters received revelations there, as did Chen Tuan (920-989), who lived on the mountain prior to receiving immortality. In the 1230s, all the temples on the mountain came under control of the Daoist Quanzhen School.[2] In 1998, the management committee of Huashan agreed to turn over most of the mountain’s temples to the China Daoist Association. This was done to help protect the environment, as the presence of monks and nuns deters poachers and loggers.[3]
There are three ways up to Huashan’s North Peak (1613 m), the lowest of the mountain’s major peaks. The most popular is the also the original route, which winds for 6 km from Hua Shan village to the north peak. There is also the cable-car, as well as a path that follows the cable car to the North Peak. From the North Peak, a series of paths rise up to the four other peaks, the West Peak (2038 m), the Center Peak (2042 m), the East Peak (2100 m) and the South Peak (2160 m).[4]
Huashan has historically been a place of retreat for hardy hermits, whether Daoist, Buddhist or other; access to the mountain was only deliberately available to the strong-willed, or those who had found ‘the way’. With greater mobility and prosperity, Chinese, particularly students, began to test their mettle and visit in the 1980s. The inherent danger of many of the exposed, narrow pathways with precipitous drops gave the mountain a deserved reputation for danger. As tourism has boomed and the mountain’s accessibility vastly improved with the installation of the cable car in the 1990s, visitor numbers surged. Despite the safety measures introduced by cutting deeper pathways and building up stone steps and wider paths, as well as adding railings, fatalities continued to occur. The local government has proceeded to open new tracks and created one-way routes on some more hair-raising parts, such that the mountain can be scaled without significant danger now, barring crowds and icy conditions. Some of the most precipitous tracks have actually been closed off. The former trail that leads to the South Peak from North Peak is on a cliff face, and it was known as being extremely dangerous; there is now a new and safer stone-built path to reach the South Peak temple, and on to the Peak itself.
Many Chinese still climb at nighttime, in order to reach the East Peak for the dawn – though the mountain now has many hostels. This is also a hangover from when it was considered safer merely not to be able to see the extremes of danger and exposure of the tracks during the ascent, as well as to avoid others descending down what at many points were pathways with scarcely room for one to pass along.

February 23, 2010

To the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, a performance of Chang’an music and dances that was originated in the Tang Dynasty of Chinese history over a thousand years ago.

It has been recreated in accordance with various historical records and ancient arts and relics discovered in Xi’an, the capital of the empire throughout the Tang Dynasty regime.

The Tang Dynasty Dinner Show is performed by the “Tang Dynasty Song & Dance Troupe”, a branch of the “Shaanxi Provincial Song & Dance Troupe”.

Accompanied with dinner, you will enjoy a national art that reflects the glory and richness of the Tang Dynasty era.

February 22, 2010

Famen Temple (Chinese: 法门寺; Pinyin: Fǎmén Sì) is located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometers west of Xi’an City, Shaanxi

Province. It was widely regarded as the “ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong area”.

One theory, supported by unearthed eaves-tiles and carved bricks of Han Dynasty, is that the temple was built during the Northern Zhou

Dynasty, by Emperor Huan and also by Emperor Ling of the Eastern Han Dynasty. The literature record indicates that during Northern Wei

Dynasty, Famen Temple already existed on a quite large scale. However, Buddhism was greatly suppressed in Emperor Wu’s years of Northern

Zhou Dynasty, and Famen Temple was almost completely destroyed. After establishment of Sui Dynasty, Buddhism was venerated, and Famen

Temple was rebuilt, although it couldn’t be recovered to its heyday in Northern Wei Dynasty. Its name was changed to Cheng Shi Dao Chang

(成实道场), and soon it merged with nearby Baochang Temple (宝昌寺), and became a temple-owned farm.

Famen Temple entered its halcyon days after formation of the Tang Dynasty. Wude 1st year (武德元年, 618), Tang Dynasty, it was named

Famen Temple, and monks were recruited next year. Later the temple took in homeless people from chaos caused by the war at the end of

Sui Dynasty, and was unfortunately burnt. It was rebuilt later by the effort of monks. In Zhenguan 5th year (631), a man named Zhang

Liang was appointed to demolish Wangyun Palace to build the pagoda. It was rebuilt in Gaozong Xianqing 5th year(660), and appeared to be

a four-storied pavilion-like pagoda. It was named later by Tang Zhongzong “True Relic Pagoda”. Tang Zhongzong actively advocated

Buddhism, and along with Empress Wei (韦后) buried their hairs under the pagoda (unearthed in autumn 1978). Jinglong 4th year (710), the

temple was renamed “Grand Empire Carefree King Temple” (圣朝无忧王寺), and the pagoda “Grand True Relic Pagoda” (大圣真身宝塔). In

Wenzong Kaicheng 3rd year (AD 838), it was renamed “Fayun Temple”, but soon was changed back to Famen Temple. When Buddhism was

suppressed in Huichang year of Wuzong, Famen Temple was affected. In Yizong’s years, it held the last activity of Buddha relic

acquisition in Tang Dynasty. At that time, Famen Temple was rebuilt, and its underground palace has never been altered since then. The

emperors of Tang Dynasty acquired Buddha relic 7 times here, and every time donated generously, which facilitated the expansion of the

temple and pagoda. After being built and renovated multiple times, Famen Temple evolved into a scale of 24 courtyards.

During Five Empires period, the king of Qin, Li Maozhen spent more than 30 years greatly renovating Famen Temple. In Houzhou Zhizong’s

year, Buddhism was restricted, but Famen Temple was not abandoned. After establishment of North Song Dynasty, Famen Temple was revived

again. After being renovated many times, in Da’an 2nd year, Jin Dynasty, it was claimed to be “Temple and Pagoda against Heaven”. During

Longqing’s years (1567-1572), Ming Dynasty, Famen Temple was greatly destroyed in Guanzhong earthquake, and the wood pagoda built in

Tang Dynasty collapsed. In Wanli 7th year (1579), the “True Relic Pagoda” was rebuilt, and became 13-storied brick-mimic-timber

structured pavilion-like pagoda.

During Qing Dynasty, Famen Temple was renovated in Shunzhi 12th year (1655), Qianlong 34th year (1769), and Guangxu 10th year (1884). In

Tongzhi 1st year (1862), the temple was damaged in Huimin Uprising in Shaanxi Province. It’s rebuilt later, but scale shrank a lot.

After formation of the Republic of China, Famen Temple was used to station army continuously, and it was largely ruined. Because of

natural and man-made calamities and the masses living in dire poverty, North China Philanthropy Association decided to rebuild the

temple and pagoda, and use labor work as methods to relieve the distress. The reconstruction started in 1938, and concluded in July

1940. A month later, the Buddhist activities were restored.

After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Famen Temple was among the first key protected historical relics of the

province. However, the properties of the temple were still appropriated for public uses, such like schools in Famen town. During

Cultural Revolution, the Red Guard damaged temple halls and Buddhist figures under the name of “breaking four old fashions”. The abbot,

Liangqing monk (良卿法师), incinerated himself in front of the True Relic Pagoda, in order to protect temple’s underground palace. When

the palace was unearthed later, the relic of self-immolation could still be seen. Other monks were either demobilized or killed. The

temple became “the temporary headquarter of proletariat rebellion of Fufeng County”. After 1979, Shaanxi province government once funded

reconstruction of the Grand Hall of the Great Sage (大雄宝殿) and the Brass Buddha Pavilion (铜佛阁). At 1:57am of 4 August 1981, half

side wall of True Relic Pagoda collapsed in the heavy rain. This incident drew universal attention. In 1984, the government implemented

religious policy and handed Famen Temple to Buddhist community. In 1985, Shaanxi province government decided to pull down the remaining

half side wall and rebuild the True Relic Pagoda. On 3 April 1987, the underground palace of True Relic Pagoda in Famen Temple was

opened, and a large quantities of precious historical relics were unearthed. This was quite a hit in news at that time. The expansion of

the temple and the reconstruction of the pagoda were completed in October 1988. On 9 November of the same year, the Famen Temple Museum

was opened.

In May of 2009 the Shaanxi government finished constructing the first phase of a much larger complex encompassing the Famen Temple. With

an area of 150 areas the new “Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area” added 150 acres to the temple complex. The most obvious feature of the

new complex is the 148m Namaste Dagoba stupa and vault (see below).

Famen Temple currently maintains such a layout as Grand Hall following Pagoda. The True Relic Pagoda is regarded as the middle axle of

the temple. Before it stand the Front Gate, the Front Hall, and behind it is the Grand Hall of Great Sage. This is the typical layout of

the early Buddhist temples in China.

The True Relic Pagoda has been altered several times. It evolved from four-storied pavilion-like pagoda in Tang Dynasty to thirteen-

storied brick pagoda in Ming Dynasty. The current version was rebuilt based on the surveyed drawing of the pagoda in Ming Dynasty before

it collapsed. It is made of armored concrete as skeleton, and then covered by grey bricks. Inside the pagoda there are sightseeing

platforms for tourists.

The underground palace was restored to the structure of Tang Dynasty. Only few severely damaged parts were replaced. The whole palace

was built by white marbles and limestone tablets. Inner walls and stony gate are all engraved. During the renovation of the underground

palace, a circular basement was built surrounding the Tang palace, and Buddhist shrines were included. The preserved Buddhist finger

relic rests at the center of the underground palace.

The western division of the temple is Famen Temple Museum, including multi-functioning reception hall, treasure hall and other

buildings.

Buddha’s relics
From 5-12 May 1987, after the opening of underground palace, four relics claimed to be directly related to Buddha were found. Two of

these were made of white jade. The third relic was from a famous monk. These three are called “ghost relics” (影骨). They were placed

together with a “true relic” (灵骨) in order to protect them. The true relic was yellow-colored, with bone-like secretory granules. It

was declared by experts to be a the finger bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha.[citation needed] Thereafter, Famen Temple became Buddhist place

of pilgimage due to the discovery of what is claimed as a true relic of Buddha.

The finger bone was preserved in the last of eight boxes, each enclosing the others, each wrapped in thin silk. The outer box was in

sandalwood and had rotted away, but the smaller boxes were in gold, some in silver, and one in jade, and were in a good state of

preservation. Each box had a silver lock and was exquisitely carved.

[edit] Gold & Silver Relics
The underground “Palace” is now a museum, and contains some outstanding relics. One of the best preserved is a gilt silver tea set,

said to be one of the earliest royal tea sets ever discovered. It includes a tea caddy woven out of metallic yarn, a gilt silver

tortoise-shaped tea box, a tea roller-grinder, and a silver stove for brewing the tea. As a part of the set, a kind of container for

mixing tea, called a Tiao Da Zi, was used for tea mixing and drinking, since in ancient China the tea drinking ceremony was treated to

some extent just like a meal. First, tea was put into the container and spices added. Some boiled water was used to mix the tea into

paste, and them more hot water was added to make it into drinkable tea.

In addition, there is a magnificent silver-gilded incense burner on display, as well as a silver-gold decorated sandalwood burner. This

consists of a burner cover, stack, feet and other parts. The bottom rim of the cover is decorated with a circle of lotus petals

patterns, and the upper part is carved with five lotuses and enlaced tendrils. On each lotus lies a tortoise with its head turned back,

holding flowers in its mouth. The burner has five feet in the shape of beasts, the front parts of which are in the shape of unicorns.

The inscription on the burner indicates that it was made in 869 AD by an imperial workshop specialized in fabricating gold and silver

ware for the imperial family.

A tortoise-shaped gold-plated container with silver inlays is on display in the museum, the cover of which carved with turtle-shell and

brocade patterns. The container is 13cm high, 28.3cm long, 15cm wide. In addition, there is a set of five gilded-silver plates of

exquisite workmanship believed to date from the Tang dynasty.

A magnificent set of mini-sized costumes specially fabricated for the Bodhisattva can be seen, the most typical being a half-sleeved

blouse 6.5cm in length, with 4.1cm-long sleeves. This modelled on a typical short sleeved blouse worn by ladies in the Tang Dynasty, and

is made in the style of what the Chinese call “Gold Couching Embroidery,” and is top-grade crinkled embroidery made by embroidering with

gold threads. The blouse was worn drooped to the chest and has buttons down the front, with the collar and sleeve rims decorated with

patterns embroidered with twisted gold threads. The average diameter of the gold threads is 0.1mm, with the thinnest segment as thin as

0.06mm, which is thinner than a hair. Moreover, one meter of gold thread is developed from 3,000 circles of gold foil, which is hard to

achieve even in modern times characterized by high technology. In particular, loop edges of the gold threads make the fabric seem like a

painting, and are arranged to display gradually changing colours. The garment is obviously made by a master-hand and can be rated as an

unsurpassed piece of embroidery.

Also on display are 121 gold and silver articles,17 glass articles,16 pieces of olive green porcelain,more than 700 pieces of silk

fabrics,104 Buddhist figurines,hundreds of volumes of Buddhist scripture.

Colored Glaze
Colored Glaze is just today’s glass. Chinese glass manufacturing technology was long influenced by western Asia, and most common style

was Islamic. Because of it rarity, glass apparatus was as valuable as gold and jade. The unearthed glass apparatuses are mostly

hollowware such as disks, plates and bowls, totally over 20 pieces.

 Ceramics
There were a lot of speculations of “Mystic Color Ceramics” (秘色瓷) prior to the opening of underground palace. Someone thought mystic

color referred to a secret craft of glazing color. Others believed it was a name for a specific color. This conundrum was solved by the

description on the accounting tablet in the underground palace, and by the unearthing of 13 precious pieces of mystic color ceramics.

 Silk
China’s silk industry reached its prime time in Tang Dynasty, and the silk fabrics discovered in underground palace provided a

convincing evidence. Most of those fabrics were contributed by former Empresses. Among them there is a “Empress Wu’s Embroidered Skirt”

belonging to Wu Zetian.

 Figure of Buddha
There were 88 niches of Buddha in the 13-storied pagoda in Ming Dynasty, each containing a figure. By 1939, there were only 68 left.

Later after clear-up, there were totally 98 figures of Buddha, many containing scriptures, sealed at the times of Ming Dynasty and the

Republic of China.

February 22, 2010

The Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor (simplified Chinese: 黄帝陵; traditional Chinese: 黃帝陵; pinyin: Huángdì Líng) is the burial site of the Chinese legendary Yellow Emperor, located at Yan’an, Shaanxi province of China. It was one of the first listed on the China’s National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage issued by Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China in 2006.

The Mausoleum consists of two parts: the Temple of Yellow Emperor and Mausoleum Hall. As legend has it Yellow Emperor ascended to the heaven. So the Mausoleum only has his cloth and hat. Many Chinese emperors, leaders and VIPs have visited and paid tributes to Yellow Emperor’s Mausoleum, including Emperor Wu of Han, Fan Zhongyan, Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong etc.

February 22, 2010

Banpo (Chinese: 半坡; pinyin: Bànpō) is an archaeological site first discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi’an, China. It contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements dating from approximately 4500 BCE. It is a large area of 5-6 hectares and surrounded by a ditch, probably a defensive moat, five or six meters wide. The houses were circular, built of mud and wood with overhanging thatched roofs. They sat on low foundations. There appears to be communal burial areas.

Banpo is the type-site associated with Yangshao Culture. Archaeological sites with similarities to the first phase at Banpo are considered to be part of the Banpo phase (5000 BC to 4000 BC) of the Yangshao culture. Banpo was excavated from 1954 to 1957 and covers an area of around 50,000 square metres.

The settlement was surrounded by a moat, with the graves and pottery kilns located outside of the moat perimeter. Many of the houses were semisubterranean with the floor typically a meter below the ground surface. The houses were supported by timber poles and had steeply pitched thatched roofs.

According to the Marxist paradigm of archaeology that was prevalent in the People’s Republic of China during the time of the excavation of the site, Banpo was considered to be a matriarchal society; however, new research contradicts this claim, and the Marxist paradigm is gradually being phased out in modern Chinese archaeological research[2]. Currently, little can be said of the religious or political structure from these ruins from the archeological evidence.

The site is now home to the Xi’an Banpo Museum.

February 22, 2010

The Stele Forest, or Xi’an Beilin Museum (碑林; pinyin: Bēilín), is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located in Xi’an, China. In 1944 it was the principal museum for Shaanxi Province on the site of what was formerly an 11th century Confucius Temple. Then because of the large number of steles, it was officially re-named as the Forest of Stone Steles in 1992. All together, there are 3,000 steles in the museum, which is divided into seven exhibitions halls, which mainly display works of calligraphy, painting and historical records.

The Stele Forest began with the Kaicheng Shi Jing Steles (开成石经碑) and Shitai Xiao Jing Steles (石台孝经碑), two groups of steles both carved in the Tang dynasty and displayed in the temple to Confucius in Chang’an. In 904, a rebel army sacked Chang’an, and the two stele were evacuated to the inner city. In 962, they were again moved to the rebuilt temple to Confucius. In the Song Dynasty (1087), a special hall, with attached facilities, was built to house and display the two Stele groups. It was damaged in the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake during the Ming dynasty.

 

It houses nearly 3000 steles and it is the biggest collection of steles in China. Most of its exhibits are steles of the Tang Dynasty. Ink rubbings of the steles are available for sale.

Among the unusual examples is a 18th-century stele depicting a Yangtze River flood control project. Another appears to be a bamboo forest, but on examination the leaves and branches form a poem.

The famous Nestorian Stele was moved to the Stele Forest in 1907, after the local authorities learned that the Danish adventurer Frits Holm was in town, trying to “obtain” the ancient monument and take it out of the country.[2]

Cao Quan Stele (曹全碑, Han Dynasty)
Sima Fang Stele (司马芳碑, Jin Dynasty)
Kaicheng Shi Jing Stele (开成石经碑, Tang Dynasty)
Nestorian Stele (大秦景教流行中国碑, Tang Dynasty)

September 14, 2009

 

Dumpling Dinner is almost the alternative name refers to the cuisine of Xi`an. Actually, whether you are traveling in the north or the south of China, one delicacy you are almost sure to find on the menu is the dumpling (Jiaozi). A universal favorite, the Chinese dumpling has a long history and is an essential part of celebratory meals such as those prepared for the Chinese Spring Festival. The dumpling can be anything from a quick snack to a delicacy with which to entertain family and friends or the basis of a veritable banquet.

  As a story goes that long long ago during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), a doctor named Zhang Zhongjing travelled back to his hometown in the county of Nanyang. He found the people were suffering from an outbreak of typhoid and dying from hunger and cold. In fact the weather was so cold that many had frostbitten ears to add to their troubles. The kindly doctor set about concocting a mixture of mutton, cayenne and a special medicine that he wrapped in a piece of ear-shaped dough. The dumplings he created were fed to the starving people and by New Year’s Eve, not only were they saved from the typhoid epidemic but also their frostbitten ears were healed. The doctor’s fame became legendary and thus the dumpling became a well-received addition to the Chinese diet.

  Xi’an, an ancient city that has been the nation’s capital of many dynasties spanning more than a thousand years, is regarded as  the home if not the birthplace of the great dumpling tradition. It was here that the art of creating the most tasty and delicate dumplings was refined and no visit to the city is complete unless you partake of a Dumpling Dinner.

  This is an experience for the dumpling connoisseur, the colors, flavors and shapes will tempt the palette, while the elegant names and stories attached to each variety are truly amazing. It is no less amazing that a simple way of preparing food has become so very popular and sophisticated that it is now considered to be as much a work of art as a tasty morsel. Nowadays, the word “Dumpling Dinner” is almost another name referring to a Xi`an tour.

August 26, 2009

The Muslim Quarter has its origins roughly from the year 742 AD when the Great Mosque and its surrounding area first appeared in the imperial records. It developed via the Silk Road trade that would bring merchants from Persia, Afghanistan, and many other Middle Eastern kingdoms. It was because of this trade that many foreign envoys would come to Xi’an to set up shop. These “foreigners” in a strange land would congregate with those who shared their similar beliefs, and thus the Muslim Quarter was born.

 

 

 

Fast forward those initial “foreign” inhabitants through 1,200 years of cultural adaptation and local marriage and you will come face to face with the Chinese Muslim population that lives there today.  They are a tight knit social group that is bound together with literally centuries of shared history and unique culture. In fact, when walking down the main street in the Muslim Quarter every shop keeper and most employees are Chinese Muslims.
The quarter itself is approximately 5 square Kilometers starting at the West gate and ending the Bell Tower it consists of two large East – West roads. From the West street (Xi Da Jie) to Lien Hu Lu it has two large North – South roads, with a multitude of small side streets and walking paths .
One of the main things that has been drawing people, both locals and foreign, to this area for generations, is the food, from the multitude of ka-bobs to the street snacks and desserts the selection is as unique as it is various. The ka-bobs offer everything from the traditional mutton and beef to spicy chicken wings and whole river fish. While the traditional Yang Rou Pau Mo (Crumbled unleavened bread soaked in Mutton stew) is always a great warm-er-upper on those cold winter days. The sweat rice cake desserts and candied dates are a great snack while exploring the dusty streets and quiet shops.

August 26, 2009

 

The Grand Mosque which was originally built in 742 AD, is a large ancient architectural complex featuring the Chinese palace style with a long history. It covers an area of 13000 square meters. Inside the Mosque stands the large wooden archway built in the beginning of the 17th century, 9 meters high with the roof of glazed tiles and the delicately engraved flying eaves. The Mosque displays the harmonious combination of both Islamic and Chinese cultures.

 

August 26, 2009

Big Wild Goose Pagoda, situated in the Da Ci’en Temple, is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China about 4 kilometers from the urban center.Originally built in 589 A.D. in the Sui dynasty, the temple was named Wu Lou Si Temple till 648 A.D. when Emperor Li Zhi, then still a crown prince, sponsored a repair project on the temple. This was a symbol of thanksgiving to his mother for her kindness, after she had suffered an early death. The temple then assumed the present name Temple of Da Ci’en (Thanksgiving). The Emperor Gaozong was said to pay homage to the temple twice a day by looking in its direction from the Hanyuan Palace. The temple, with 13 separate courtyards, contained 1,879 magnificent-looking rooms altogether and was a place of grand extent in the Tang dynasty. However, it went into gradual decay after the downfall of the Tang dynasty. The halls and rooms that have survived the age are structures that were built in the Ming dynasty. The Tang Regime gave orders to build a chamber for the translation of Buddhist scriptures in an effort to have the then widely renowned Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) agree to be the head of the temple.
The Wild Goose Pagoda was finished in 652 A.D. Its five storeys are 60 meters in height. The decay of the earth-cored pagoda caused the new construction of a 10-storey pagoda from 701 to 704. However, the winds of war, in the years to come, reduced the pagoda almost to ruins, which in turn resulted in the construction of a 7-storeyed, 64-meter-high structure today.The pagoda was an architectural marvel. It was built with layers of bricks but without any cement in between. The bracket style in traditional Chinese architecture was also used in the construction. The seams between each layer of bricks and the “prisms’ on each side of the pagoda are clearly visible. The grand body of the pagoda with its solemn appearance, simple style and high structure, is indeed a good example of ancient people’s wisdom and talent. Pictures of the Heavenly King and of Buddha are on the doorframe sand horizontal bars on four sides of the pagoda’s base. These stone sculptures display peak workmanship, and show vivid shapes and smooth lines. They now serve as an important source of material for the study of painting and sculpture of the Tang dynasty. Out of these artistic works, the one on the horizontal bar of the west door is the most precious. It is a rare piece of art, now used for the study of the Tang architecture. Inside the temple where the pagoda is situated, there are two small buildings: the one on the east side houses a bell, and the one on the west side a drum. The bell, an iron cast from the Ming dynasty, weights 15 tons. Together with the drum, the bell was used to strike time for the monks in the temple.
Inside the Great Hall of the Buddha in the temple there are three incarnations of Sakyamuni. The one in the middle is called Dharmakaya. The one on the west side is called Bao Shen Buddha, and the one on the opposite is called Ying Shen Buddha. In the Doctrine Chamber stands the Amitabha Buddha. On the wall at the east side of the chamber, there are three rubbings. The one in the middle is called Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) carries the Scriptures to Chang’an. In the Tang dynasty, every successful candidate who passed the imperial examinations would have to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and wrote poems and inscriptions there.