"Daciensi - Temple of Great Benefaction" Top 5 Page for this destination Wild Goose Pagodas Tip by mke1963
Wild Goose Pagodas, Xi'an: 52 reviews and 89 photos
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the best known structure inside the Daciensi.
The temple was built in 648, during the reign of Emperor Taizong, by Li Zhi, the heir aparent, who wanted to honour his mother. One of the earliest monks there was Xuan Zhuang, who established the Cien sect of Buddhism here as the first home in China of Mahayana Buddhism. The Cien sect is also known as the Faxiang or Weishi sect. The temple though was not actually called Daciensi until eight years later, when Emperoro Gaozong came to power.
Only the western part of the temple remains, as the rest was destroyed at the end of the Tang Dynasty, and the buildings are mainly Qing. In recent years, however, an influx of money, presumably from benefactors in Taiwan, has resulted in some fine new buildings at the north end of the temple.
In its time though, the temple was the pre-eminent temple in China, as Xuan Zhuang was so well-known.
The collection of gilded buddhas in the daxiongbaodian is particularly impressive, dating from 1466 during the Ming Dynasty.
The temple complex is spacious and welcoming, and more relaxing than many in other cities. It is a pity that the temple has been symbolically relegated to the overwhelming presence of its pagoda, but the recent construction, so often a disaster in China, is in this case likely to highlight the role and importance of the Daciensi.
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