Xi’an is a popular destination for visit lovers. Attractionse there are most famously of an ancient nature, notably the Terracotta Army and ancient capital architecture. With plenty of garrets and temples setting each other off beautifully, Dacien Temple presents a grand scene of Buddhism architecture.
About the origin of Dacien Temple, some legends hold that it is built in 648AD to memory the Empress Wende, the Dacien Temple was a famous temple in Chang'an in Tang Dynasty (618-907).
While according to other records, Dacien Temple was built in AD 589 and firstly named Wulou Temple. AD 648, Li Zhi, the king of Tang Dynasty in that time, extended it to commemorate his mother and renamed it to be Dacien (Literally means to remember his mother’s love) Temple, since which Dacien Temple possessed a large scale with thirteen districts, 897 rooms.
With a history of more than 1350 years, Dacien Temple is a world renowned Buddhism Temple, and also one of the four Buddhist sutras translation places in ancient China’s Tang Dynasty. Covering an area of over 24 hectares, the temple is composed of 13 courtyards and 1897 rooms. The famous Buddhist pilgrim and monk Xuan Zang once arranged for the construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and taking charge of the temple affairs.
Inside the temple gate, bell tower and drum tower stands facing to each other, seeming like two majestic guards protecting the whole temple. Dacien Temple consists of four main buildings, including the Grand Hall, Discipline Hall, Wild Goose Pagoda and Xuan Zang San Zang Courtyard. Bell and drum take over command in the temple taking morning bells and evening drums as reminders. Students of Tang Dynasty would inscribe their names under the Cien Tower if they exceeded others to be Jinshi (title for the most excellent students in Tang Dynasty). They planted more than 70 species of tree peonies in the temple.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a place where glorious history and Buddhism essence recorded and exhibited. It is one of the city's most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left in Xian today. Built for safe keeping of Buddhist sutras and relics which brought from India by Xuan Zang, the pagoda is 64.5 meters high.
Divided into seven storeys, the pagoda can be ascended by travelers to overlook the whole Xi’an City. It is quite relaxed and happy. The surface of the tower is sculptured with delicate and beautiful figures of Buddha. Many stone tablets engraved with famous sutras, pictures of Chinese famous towers, Buddha relics, stone inscriptions and records of Xuan Zang western pilgrimage for Buddhist scripture, all these are exhibited in the pagoda.
On the north of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda lies the Xuan Zang San Zang Courtyard in which Xuang Zang’s relic and bronze statue are worshiped. It is currently the biggest Xuan Zang memorial hall. The UN educational, scientific and cultural groups once visited the pagoda and praised it to be the contemporary Dunhuang.