Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Xian Trip 2016 - Day 3 - Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Our next trip was to visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda. We took bus 609 from the bus stop at the side of Bell Tower Hotel (see map), just beside the hotel, no need to cross the road. There were many buses heading there but seems like 609 is more popular cause our hotel staff and also the information kiosk right infront of Bell Tower Hotel recommended this bus. There were be an announcement inside the bus to announce each bus stop but is in mandarin. So you need to understand mandarin to be able to take the bus or show the picture of Big Wild Goose Pagoda or chinese wordings to passengers in the bus to alert you to get down incase you dont understand mandarin. The bus stop of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is known as 大雁塔 pronounced as Dàyàn Tǎ . The fare is CNY2. The bus stop (known as Zhonglou bus stop) beside Bell Tower Hotel. The journey took about 30 minutes to reach cause of some traffic jam(otherwise if there's no traffic jam, it took about 20 minutes). Can see the pagoda right infront of the bus screen when almost reaching the destination. After alighting from the bus, we just walked towards the pagoda, need cross the overhead bridge to reach there. Lots of hawker selling their goods along the bridge. Surprised to see mangosteens sold by one of the hawker. Thought mangosteens mainly found in S.E. Asia. Originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang. Xuanzang started off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism. Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics. Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Daci'en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled 'Pilgrimage to the West' in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance. As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn't find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: 'Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.' At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. Read more from travelchinaguide. The only ancient history I saw , must be the tower and the temple, the rest of the buildings and statues were added to attract tourists. The entrance to the place is free of charge but to enter the temple and tower, a fee is collected. We went there to watch the light show in the night so did not ascend the tower as it closed at 5 pm. The light show is about 20 minutes long. Our fast dinner before show started at 9 pm, we had nice burger from Burger King. The bun is really soft and huge, twice the size we ate in Singapore. After the show, we walked back to where we alighted to take the bus back to bell tower. Please note the bus stop heading back to bell tower is opposite where we alighted. Video of the light and musical fountain show Information: Ticket Price: Entrance Fee of Daci'en Temple: CNY 50 Ascending the Pagoda: CNY 30 Opening Hours: 8:00 - 17:00 Musical Fountain on the North Square: Admission Fee Free CNY 30 for a seat on the viewing platform. Hours 1. Monday, Wednesday - Friday: 12:00, 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 12:00, 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31) 2. Tuesday: 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31) 3. Weekend and other statutory holidays: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00 (Jun. 10 - Oct. 5); 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:30 (Feb. 1 - Jun. 9; Oct. 6 - Oct. 31) * Note: There is no show from November to the next January except the Spring Festival Holiday. Information on timing of show and admission fee is correct at the time of posting this blog, please check the website for the updated information.